The books come in, the books go out
#1
Over the years it has struck me that the books seem to come in at a faster rate than they go out. Without some book out mechanism, you will some day see me on a TV episode of "Hoarders".

Right now I have the walls of living room, Den, and upstairs library covered with book cases & shelves. I refuse to hang stuff from the ceiling, or put shelves up at the 6 foot height around the rooms. I haven't confirmed that the house is structurally safe for the weight of the books. [There was a recent hoarder, that had the first floor of her house give way, and they had to pull her out of the basement.]

So, before I accept a free book, or purchase a book, I think 1) will I actually read this, 2) will I keep this, and 3) do I want to carry this home in my suitcase.

Also, I will read a book, and then decide that I won't re-read it. This is easy, I have a box where I keep these, and about twice a year, or when I drive to a convention, I bring the box, and give it to someone. [Usually a deserving book dealer.] As an example: I have had, and de-aquired several copies of Bradley's MISTS OF AVALON.

The Norton books stay.... my comments about "pry my dead cold fingers from around..."

But the Anthologies, and books by other authors are fare game - targets - stacked.
So, I've been divesting, or de-acquisitioning my Anne McCaffrey books, Tony Hillerman, Jim Butcher, Sharon McCrumb books, to make space for the new Sharon Lee/Steve Miller, and Lois McMaster Bujold books. This will also allow me to de-stack the Norton books, and put them decently on shelves.

There still exists the problem of purchasing new books.

Philosophy: I use my Nook reader on vacations. Then I only need to bring the Nook, and I no longer haved the problem of not knowing how many books I might read on vacation. One? Two? Will I like them? I've got a bunch of favorites (all Lee & Miller, Bujold, some Nortons, Harry Potter, Jane Austin, and a few collections), and my camera instruction book, my book list, and sometimes travel guides.

Example: I was at "Mom's Hotel" and started to read HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS. I got home, and went to the shelves and pulled down the hard copy, and fiinished reading the book from paper.
Irene
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#2
This is stollen time - but I've got another 5 minutes - so I'll talk about conventions & ReaderCon in particular.

I go to Science Fiction & Fantasy conventions. Some are more enjoyable than others. All are good for meeting friends. [WorldCon, just a gathering for you and 5000 of your intimate friends.]

ReaderCon is directed at books, Just books. No Art, No movies, Few T-shirts, no Stuff. Sadly this year there was also no "Kirk Poland bad prose competition".
This convention is within my Bermuda-Triangle of conventions. "Money goes in. It doesn't come out". As usual I donated 4 hours of my time to the Blood Drive, and added 2 hours of my time to help tear down the "Book Shop". [So I got to see the details of the Larry Smith books, as they were reduced to books in boxes, boards, wire shelves, and plywood.]

Guests usually include folks like Samuel Delany [Chip] and David Hartwell, but this year most of the other guests were unknown to me. This probably means that I don't know the young turks. I did talk to Craig Shaw Gardner, who didn't attend the convention, but he did go to meet with his publisher, editor, agent (I don't remember which).

So the only program I attended was a Rick Wilber reading [boy can he write - and this tiime he sneaked SF into a Baseball story - Jerrie you may need to purchase Asimov's for Marty.] He wrapped the story around the fact that Baseball players tend to have better vision than 20-20, more like 20-8.

Oops got to go to my second meeting of the morning.
Irene
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#3
My philosophy of book buying.
If I am going to read a book - paperback is fine.
If I am going to read, and read, and read a book - I probably need a Hard cover.
If I am going to read a book on vacation - then ebook is good.

So this week (and this is just one week)
I purchased:
Diane Gabaldon WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEARTS BLOOD - ebook [Barnes & Nobel]
Donna Andrews THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE EMUS - Hard cover [Barnes & Nobel]
Charlaine Harris - MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD - Hardcover [Barnes & Nobel]
Andre Norton Tales of HH 2 - Trade [L.Smith books - ReaderCon]
Louis McMaster Bujold - DreamWeavers Delema - Trade [Nesfa Press - ReaderCon]
- Cetaganda - Hard Cover [Nesfa Press - ReaderCon]
- FALLING FREE - Hard Cover [Nesfa Press - ReaderCon]
- BROTHERS AT ARMS - Hard Cover [The minds Eye - ReaderCon]
- CRYOBURN - Hard Cover [The Minds Eye - ReaderCon]
M.Greenberg Ed - DRAGON FANTASTIC - paper [Free as volunteer - ReaderCon]
Locus Magazine - July 2014 - free [Readercon]
& one more free paper - [ReaderCon]

Luckily the books also went out: All the Anne McCaffrey books on tape + Anne McCaffrey manuscripts, and Trade paper & a couple of boxed editions - in 2 paper boxes & a second boat bag. This included DRAGONWRITER by Todd McCaffrey & signed by Todd & Anne McCaffrey.

Sadly, I've signed up for two more conventions this year. WorldCon in London (where every purchased item has to fit under the 50 pounds, and in the suitcase), and PhilCon in November (I'll be driving - so maybe I can de-acquisition more books).
Irene
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#4
Something about my philosophy on conventions.

Conventions are great places to meet other book collectors, readers, and authors.
Conventions are great places to get books signed, listen to authors read new books, and find small press and hard to find books.

I first discovered conventions from some friends who were readers. I believe that my first convention was a WorldCon in 1988 (New Orleans), Yup that had to be it, because 1989 was NorEasCon in Boston, MA with Andre Norton as guest of honor.

As I've been attending these conventions, I've also built up a group of friends that also attend. Sadly, I've also lost some of these friends (some have died, others are unable to travel).

The Basic elements of a convention feel similar to the start of a Judy Garland+Mickey Roonie movie. A bunch of friends get together to put on a show (Convention=Con). They split up the jobs, and decide what type of convention they will hold, [some are just gaming, some are just costumes - that TV program on CosPlay] and where they will hold it.

An established convention has much of the process down, so the only people stressed are the Convention Chairs, and Venu Heads. That is why I always try to volunteer for a few hours. (OK the free snacks for volunteers are also good. The free picnicks for staff even better.)

So, what would a convention do for you? and why should YOU go to one?
Well, back in the day, when Andre Norton and Anne McCaffrey were attending conventions, I had books to be signed.
Always there are authors reading their work, artist displaying their art (the better for publishers to see), and publishers announcing their new realeases, and checking what books the public might want.

- ReaderCon is the one convention that I attend where the focus is limited to the written word.
- BosKone is the convention that I attend where the focus is wide, except that they don't have a masquerade (costume competition), partly because it requires a large capacity hall, and sound & light crew.
- LunaCon (Rye NY) is a convention that tries to do everything, but this year I didn't attend the masquerade, because my mom tempted me to do something else.
- WorldCon is supposed to be the "class" act. The best of the best attend (authors & artists & costumes). But, as it moves every year, and has in it's mandate to be outside of North America (NA) every 3 years, is expensive to attend. The Hugo awards are voted on by the members (the folks that pay their support or attend). Imagine Bob Egelton trying to get a rocket on board an airline [Bob has long hair, and was traveling with just an overnight bag.] Depending on location, they draw in guests from the region: Disney characters in Orlando, Actors in Los Angeles, NASA scientists, and Once Patrick Stewart to intro the new Star Trek movie (he left as soon as he had done the intro - so no autographs).
- NASfic is a convention held on those years that WorldCon is outside of NA. I've attended several of these. There will be one this year.
- WorldFantasy is intended to be just fantasy, and "classie", the attendance is limited to under 1000, and authors are supposed to be many. A draw is that publishers donate book. I'm in charge of the book bags for the Saratoga Springs WorldFantasy in 2015. That means, this time, that I will bring box cutters, Large Markers, and fill 750 bags of books.
- DragonCon - held in Atlanta, Labor Day weekend (often same weekend as WorldCon), This is a more media type convention, with Actors, Movies, Comic Books and Game companies. This has publishers, and some authors, but the last time I attended, there were fewer of these, and VERY large crowds.
- I've been to tiny conventions in Enfield CT; Brandeis U, Boston,MA; and The 'middle of nowhere' College in PA
I will probably be going to PhilCon this year, WorldCon is Spokane WA next year.

All of these have Dealer Rooms, Some have charity auctions, all have books. If you think that any of this would be fun, you just need to pick your weekend. There is a convention somewhere, every weekend of the year. [Locus magazine used to try to keep up - but it is impossible.]
Most conventions even have panels and tours for new attendees. But the best way to meet new people is to volunteer.
Irene
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#5
Do like I do, Irene, donate to a library. I am working on my second year of donations to the Texas A&M UNiversity Cushing Library right now. It's the only way to keep from having the house foundation groan and complain constantly.
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#6
Irene's right. Like any house, a good collection needs multiple outlets. It's important to make getting rid of stuff as much fun as acquiring it.

I've been known to put stacks or boxes of books out on freebie tables at local cons. [note: charity auctions are wonderful for de-cluttering All The Things, not only books!]

Our local sf club is among the top donors to the sf collection at Georgia Tech. They probably have enough books, but I ship them a box of ephemera [con flyers, programs & badges] every year or so; the students use them for research. I also stockpile sf books throughout the year for our club table when we do our fundraiser.

For ongoing, day-to-day going-awayness, I rely on paperbackswap.com [& its sister cd- & dvd-swapping sites] and donating to local libraries with ongoing sale shelves.

I showed up at the December housefilk with a big box of books to give away. The hostess couldn't stand to be upstaged, so she brought out a bigger box. We put them by the front door, so other guests ran the free book gauntlet. [Tee hee hee. But then, it is a truth universally acknowledged that I am evil like that.]

Wink

Jerrie
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#7
Books go OUT??????? What an extraordinary concept!!!!! Ours seem to stay unless destroyed by happenstance. 80,000 do seem to take up space though. Maybe there is something to all this downsizing business. How to go about talking wife and daughters into that odd mindset? Must ponder the ramifications of such actions. Later Kind Folks--Paul
Frontiers of any type, physical or mental are but a challenge to our breed. Nothing can stop th questing of man, not even man. If we will it, not only the wonders of space, but the very stars are ours
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#8
Donating books to a University! Now why didn't I think of that? Hartford, CT certainly has it's share of Universities and Colleges. I'll ask.

Books must go out. Else, the book cases multiply (sadly they don't just appear - money must be spent on obtaining them), and there is no room to walk between them. [There was a year when there was 'one more' book case in the den, and it was impossible to make my way from the door to sewing machine without bumping, nor find a clear path to the open shelves.]

Having recently de-cluttered a friends house (she being in the hospital after breaking an ankle), I have no desire to go that route. I've declared that the books in stacks are either "fair game" or need to be shelved properly. Now I just need time to go through the books, and de-stack into the two shelves that were cleared out.

I need a 'clone' me, that can be at home working on the books etc, while I'm at work, making enough money to purchase more books. There aren't enough hours in the day, especially since I've got non-book stuff to do.
[Working on sewing a pair of cargo pants - and am in a competition to see if Mary or I finish our pair first.]

PS: I have no idea of the house is strong enought for the books I have. So all book shelves go on the edges of rooms, preferably next to the load bearing walls. Moreover - I have no idea how many books I have. I did count linear feet of shelves one year. Something like 100 feet of shelves.
Irene
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#9
Irene Wrote:I have no idea how many books I have. I did count linear feet of shelves one year. Something like 100 feet of shelves.
I counted my books a few years ago (not sure when). I took a pad of sticky notes, and tallied each shelf. Then I brought all the notes upstairs and worked my little calculator. At that point, there were about 6,000 books, and not nearly enough have "gone out" since then. Confusedcare:

I've been lucky to find several bookcases that have been discarded. I actually brought one to the office after spotting it in the street nearby, and hauled it home at the end of the day...
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