Monday, January 19, 2009

Tuesday Thingers: Swap This Book

This week's topic for the Tuesday Thingers group:

Have you ever used the Swap This Book function which can be found on the main page of any book . . . . If so, what do you think about it? If not, are there any other swap sites you utilize to exchange books once you are done? What do you do with your books if you no longer want them anymore?

OK, to answer the first question – I had never used or even noticed the "Swap This Book" feature – this is the first time I've looked at it. And what do I think about it? I think it looks interesting. To paraphrase Jean Brodie, "for people who like that sort of thing, that's the sort of thing they like."

As I may have said once or twice before on this blog, I have a really hard time parting with books. Once they come into my clutches, they're mine for life. Unless, of course, they belong to the public library or someone else has lent them to me. In that case, I do eventually give them back – grudgingly.

Otherwise, I tend to hoard books as though Ray Bradbury's book burners might be knocking at the door. That's probably why I still have that ancient paperback copy of Helmet for My Pillow (WWII memoirs by historian Robert Leckie) moldering in storage somewhere – a book I read (for some unfathomable reason) when I was a teenager and just never managed to throw out. And several Harold Robbins novels. I've never even read a Harold Robbins novel, but somehow I managed to acquire these and they've found a home.

So you see, the question of what I do with my books when I don't want them anymore is not one I'm qualified to answer. I always want them. I want all my books. I want all your books, too.

Now, if you asked my husband, he'd have a whole other take on the problem. And, yes, I admit – it's not a good neurosis for someone who lives in a smallish one-bedroom city apartment with limited storage space. Is there anyone out there conducting interventions for book hoarders? If you know of anyone, don't send them my name.

Tuesday Thingers is a weekly meme for LibraryThing users, hosted by Wendi's Book Corner.


  1. Wow, that is a very cautionary picture/graphic.

  2. Look, a picture of my desk!

    I would be the wrong person to ask about not hoarding books, although I did post once about a 12 step book addict program.
    Kitty, my imaginary kitty, and I hold a meeting every week...right over by the book cases... "Hello, my name is Caite...."

  3. I used to hoard books. Whether I liked or didn't like a book, I still kept it. I didn't want to get rid of it. I have a huge house, but my basement still is filled with all my older books that I couldn't (and still can't) part with.

    Today, it's the opposite. I rarely keep any books. I trade everything away.

    Have a great Tuesday!

  4. You are very wise - I have spent a lot of money replacing books I gave away and then found I missed too much!

  5. Ooooh - what a lovely pile of books! None of the piles I have are that big - I'm envious! And I'm the same way - if I had room, I would never give away a book.

    My answer is here.

  6. I got a chuckle out of your post when you said you want my books, too. Well, you can't have them!

  7. Ever since I joined bookmooch, I've gone from being a book hoarder to a compulsive book get-rid-of-er! I compulsively stalk my shelves for more books to get send out (though unfortunately I'm getting them in again at almost the same rate). It's actually brilliant: a far larger proportion of the books I have are ones I'll actually read or have read recently, as opposed to ones I'm keeping 'just for maybe'.

  8. I love that photo! :) And I totally understand. It's really hard for me to part with books, too, but I've been doing better latley with passing them along to friends, family and other members of BookMooch. Of course, I joined BookMooch to clear off some of the shelves in my small room -- and have since more than tripled what I had before. No joke. Ah, well! :) It's worth it!

  9. I've never seen or heard of "the Swap This Book function." ???

  10. I wasn't familiar with the feature before this question either, Joy.

    Letting go of books is difficult for me too, although I have moments where I am not so tightly holding onto them. For the sake of space, I try and act on those rare moments when they hit.

  11. Joy - what a wonderful post! I am the worst at getting rid of books! When my husband starts to complain that they are taking over the house, I tend to stash them . . . under the bed . . at the back of the closet . . . in storage bins in the garage. . . :)

    Thanks for participating in Tuesday Thingers last week! I’ve got this week’s posted now.

    Take care, Wendi


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