As I’ve mentioned, we here in this household overflowing with books have launched a year-long look at how books make their way into (and out of) this place. We’re now two months into the exercise and we’re not only learning some interesting things about our book acquisition and sharing behaviours, but I think this added awareness might be influencing us, at least a bit.
At the end of February, the two columns on my home office whiteboard tallied up as follows:
- 9 paper books / 0 digital books
- 2 purchased / 7 received or received as gifts
- Of the 2 books purchased, one was purchased online and one was special ordered via and purchased in a bookstore (Book City)
- 5 of the 7 received books were complementary copies from publishers or authors
- 1 book that had been loaned to a friend was returned.
I observed last month that I’d like to see more of our purchases taking place in physical bookstores, where possible. So, we paid more attention to that this month, and I’d like to continue to do that in future.
- All 16 outgoing books were contributed to three local Little Free Library boxes.
2014 to date: 17 books incoming, 31 books outgoing
Not sure if there is much to conclude this early on, but I do want to keep up the Little Free Library habit (maybe it’s time for us to get a box of our own, either at home or hmm, maybe up at the cottage …?) and I also want to be mindful of purchasing at and supporting our bookstores. I admit the outgoing book figure surprises me a bit, but then my husband commented that he’s surprised at how many books are still coming in …!
I mentioned before that I am keeping track of the titles coming in and going out, but am not specifically listing them in my reports here. (No one gave an opinion either way about me mentioning titles.) With outgoing books in particular, I’ve wondered if mentioning the titles might make it look like we’re rejecting or kicking perfectly fine books out of our house. Again, I note that some of the books we’ve taken to Little Free Library boxes are reading and/or paperback copies of books we’ve since purchased in hardcover and/or in first editions. In some cases, the books were on specific subject matter and have grown out of date or usefulness. In some cases, admittedly, there are books we’ve relinquished that we don’t expect to revisit, to put it carefully. As I said previously, that doesn’t mean that someone else might not happily welcome them and add them to the “incoming” column in their households. (In fact, when I check our neighbourhood Little Free Library boxes to which we’ve donated, I’m also kind of happy to see that our books have departed.)
Book stack image from ypulse.com