Since most used bookstores are closed, why not just browse your own bookshelves?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/18/since-most-used-bookstores-are.html

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I have way too many books, most of which I have yet to read. Visitors are often curious that I own so many books I haven’t read. I always respond, “I’m saving them for the day when I can’t go to a library.” I didn’t know that that time would come in the first half of 2020.

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“ We love to buy books because we believe we’re buying the time to read them." Warren Zevon

Arthur Schopenhauer: “Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them; but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.”

I have a book closet full of books I haven’t read yet. I also have a pile of books in the hall that I’ve read that I can pick up before I leave the house to put in a local Little Free Library. Unfortunately, sometimes too often I leave one book and pick up two.

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Why don’t we browse each other’s shelved?
I’ll start. Disorganized books in front have not been read yet.

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Also: Check your local library. Many libraries have curbside service; although you can’t go in and browse, you can request books online or via phone, and pick them up later. YMMV, depending on how your library has their policies structured.

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Powell’s Books in Portland just announced that they are opening two of their rooms with limited hours!
https://www.kgw.com/article/money/business/powells-books-to-reopen-in-downtown-portland/283-33c2297f-1a00-4189-a276-5c00d4e8fc93

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The Cedar Hills Powell’s has already reopened.

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I can definitely browse my bookshelves, as although I buy books with every intention of reading them, I often bring them home when I’m in the middle of something else, and then either that something else gets set aside to (hopefully) be picked up again later, or I put the new book aside and then sometimes forget about it.

But I also like to re-read books. I know that doesn’t work for a lot of people, but especially when I am super-stressed, picking up something that I’ve read before and know that I enjoyed the first time around is quite relaxing. It seems most of my reading these days is a second reading of my more trashy books from the past.

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Books need to be read at the right time. You can be really excited about finding a book, but you may fail if you try to read it. But then at some later time it’s perfect.

Of course, then if you feel you need to reduce, you think “wait, I’d better read that first”.

I said it before, I miss going to used book sales, to see what there is. It’s not just that there are way more books than one person can read, but there are endless books you don’t know about. Book sales are a chance to find the unknown, some you will read the moment you get home, some to read later.

It’s not just the books you will see, it’s a chance to get out of the everyday, to get away from books (well, reading them). I’m stuck in a morass, there’s a limit on how far reading can get you out. But seeing new books is a way out. It’s not the same thing reading blurbs at amazon.

I can’t even find some of my Heinlein juveniles, I’ve read them so many times, but they are reliable.

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An essential insight. They should teach this at school.

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In high school we had to write an essay. I remember nothing of it, but it was prompted by the other kids saying “there’s nothing to read”. So it must have been abiut finding books to read.

I got top marks, , and the teacher suggested others read it, but it’s one thing I no longer have. Someone actually did ask to read it.

So true, but I think this applies to about anything available for possession. For me; yes, books; a brand new multimeter still in its mailing package; fly-fishing gear; kitchen gadgets; seeds (the peas, arugula and nematodes never went in); various broken down watercraft; art supplies; the disused crap I keep because I might need it someday.

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giphy (79)

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Same. I frequently get inspired by some electronics project I see posted and go through the effort of sourcing and purchasing all of the parts, only to end up with a box of parts that represent a project never built. I admit though that it’s kind of fun to later on find a box I don’t really recognize, and open it to find a bunch of parts that then take me a few minutes to figure out what they were for. Each of those boxes becomes a little mystery puzzle of its own right.

And I too have a room full of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with books, most of which I have never read.

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Cool idea! I don’t have a pic, but mine would show a mix of field guides, how-to books on things like making bentwood trellises, musical instruments, and gardening, picture books to flip through, and (like @annachronica) a bunch of my stress-reading fodder: re-reading a bunch of my already-read but not at all high-fallutin’ tomes :wink:
Writing this is making me want to reread the Papergirls graphic novels…

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It could be worse…

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Seinfeld: What is this obsession people have with books? What do you need them for, once you’ve read them? :sweat_smile:

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I have a novel by a favorite author that I started reading and can’t continue at the moment; when my stress levels are high, I need something that’s different than the real world or at least what I’m experiencing. It’s the same with Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill - it’s interesting but so damned depressing that it’s sat on my nightstand for 3 years (not good bedtime reading for sure).
I head for science fiction when my head’s not in a good place.

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There’s a thread: Post Pics of Your Bookshelves that was started in 2016 and reopened this year.

Here’s mine, on there:Post Pics of Your Bookshelves

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