I did a purge last week. Oh, no, not that disgusting thing! Where is your mind, people! I’m talking about a book purge. Yes, me, queen of collecting books, decided she needed to eliminate some of her collection.
Now, before I get going, most of what I purged was not considered good fiction. Not probably even great fiction. I eliminated romance paperbacks. Yep, I collect romance books. Now, I don’t collect everything there is of that genre. I do have some taste, thank you very much. I tend to collect regency novels. I love the regency era, or what I’ve read of it in romance books. Dukes and Earls…. Barons, Viscounts, ladies, maids… Oh yes, it’s all quite romantic.
However, I decided that when I have a collection of books I don’t plan to ever read again, it’s time for them to go. Now, the reason I was keeping them was many times I read a paragraph, a page, or a character that I like, or even love. And as I sometimes indulge my fantasy of writing romance fiction, I want to keep said inspiration for a later jolt when I might need some help. However, when I’m keeping that many books just for inspiration of a couple of pages, it seems pretty ridiculous. (ooh, I scared a boggart there) (Sorry, Harry Potter joke)
I was able to eliminate at least 20 to 30 books the other day, and it felt great. I still kept all my Lisa Kleypas, Amanda Quick, Stephanie Laurens, and Julia Quinn… I won’t go to that extremes yet. Besides, I do reread those.
But I eliminated books I never plan to read again. Books I’d forgotten I’d even kept, as well. There were a couple hardbacks in there, and a book on poetry that I got at a book sale, and was a total waste of time.
I told my mother that I think it’s one of the curses of being a writer. I think writers see something they like in a book and want to hold onto it. Maybe not. My father suggested ripping out the pages. I can’t do that. If the book is perfectly good, even if it’s a silly romance, why would I want to chuck it? Because it would have to go in the trash after that. And spare me the trashy novel comment. I know I’m scoffed at enough in this house for even reading romance.
However, I can’t deface a book. So, away to the library it went for another book sale.
How about any other writer out there. Do you keep a book for the strict purpose of having read a bit of inspiration in it, even if you plan to never read the book again? And if so, how do you deal with all the books you may collect?