Friday 30 December 2011

Getting rid of books

One of my many new year's resolutions is to dispose of one book every time I acquire one. Not easy. Even harder, is the Amazon Vine problem.

Like lots of other people, I review books (and other items) for Amazon Vine. Great. Lovely free books every month. But there is a snag. Most of these are unedited proofs, and we are bound under pain of ....not sure what "dispose" of these books. We aren't supposed to give them away because, since they are unedited, the terrible typo on page 96 might get into circulation, and where would it all end?

So what to do? I have lent one or two (ts ts) but some have been so awful that the other day I actually tore one up and recycled it. Now, for anyone who loves books (probably most people reading this), tearing up books is up there with drowning kittens and microwaving live hamsters*; ie something you just don't do. I have never ever destroyed a book. My kids, who were as naughty as most kids, never tore or scribbled on books. Books were/are sacred.

But books are really only things. Well, they are, aren't they? So from now on, I shall try to stop being so sentimental (and, let's be honest, pompous) and recycle bad (Vine) books, difficult as it is.

*I am not a cruel person, and of couse would never try it, but I have often wondered what exactly would happen if you did this. Implosion? Explosion? Any other kind of plosion? Does anyone know?


  1. I'm all for sharing books. That is paperback novels, but when it comes to hardback books I can't. I have to know that they are going to a good home. I have kindle on my PC, but I'm finding I can't even press the delete button after reading them. Will I find my PC will be come overloaded with books like my house in the future then I'll have to decide which to keep and which to delete... :-)

  2. Didn't I read about some horrible person that put a cat in the microwave (or was that in my imagination). I think it would just cook it, like a piece of meat. Awful.

    I always give books away, either to a person I know or a charity shop. Unless it's falling to bits of course - then I MIGHT throw it away.

  3. Some books are more than things, but I don't think unedited proofs so awful you wanted to recycle them come into that category. They're just bits of paper with printing on and all stuck together. You wouldn't mind recycling an old copy of the yellow pages, would you?

  4. There must be something in the air, Frances! One of the first tasks I've set myself for 2012 is to clear out my library. I'm pretty good clearing out other stuff, but books I hang onto. As I clear out, I'm going to decided whether the book I'm getting rid of is worth buying in Kindle for a re-read at a later stage.

    I can also put your mind at rest...nothing happens when you write in/tear up/destroy books (even good ones!) I know. I've done them all and I'm still here to tell...(Ka-BOOM!)..........(long silence)...

    (Only kidding - I really am still here!!!!):)

    Wishing you and yours (and not forgetting Titch!) a wonderful 2012 with all good things.
    Judy, South Africa

  5. Strangely enough, there aren't that many books in my flat. Before we moved here in 2003, my husband made me clear out my shelves, and I did the same again in 2008 when I gave my bedroom a complete make-over for my 40th birthday.
    But kind people of some charity or other have left a leaflet in my mailbox, letting me know they are going to collect clothes on Monday morning, and I intend to go through my wardrobe and leave at least one big plastic bag out for them. It will mean more space in my wardrobe again, and we all know nature does not tolerate a vaccuum for very long :-))))

  6. I give them to the community centre or the library's excellent book swop. I think it's good for people to have something to read, and many of them probably find it hard to afford books of their own. I honestly don't think it matters if the typos get out. But then I'm not an amazon vine reviewer.

    Happy 2012, Frances.

  7. Go for it! Unedited proofs are not really finished books, are they?

  8. Join the club, Jarmara!

    Maggie - it must have been a small cat (or a large microwave)...shudder.

    Just bits of paper. Right, Patsy. I'll try to bear that in mind...

    Judy, good luck with your resolution!

    Very funny, English Rider!

    Librarian, you're right. Books and wardrobes have a lot in common. Good luck!

    Jenny, you're right. Happy 2012 to you, too!

    Pat, you sound marvellously sensible! I'll get shredding.

  9. Hi Frances .. gosh get a book, read, review and destroy ... well sounds like a horror movie to me - how many ways can you destroy latest said book.

    Turn your titles into a murder mystery story around recycling ..

    Cheers and a very happy New Year - Hilary