Addicted to Books (or A Bookworm's Guide)
Admitting Your Addiction
Ok, I admit it. I am an addict, a book addict. I mean 'I LOVE BOOKS'. I can't walk past a book store, second hand book shop, or charity thrift shop without venturing inside and browsing the shelves for my 'fix' or some little gem by my favorite authors.
Personally I have a preference for fiction novels, crime and suspense, fantasy, sci fi, action/adventure, and historical fiction, but I know that there are other addicts out there who can't get enough books that are non-fiction, biographical, comedy, educational, personal improvement etc etc.
Whatever your preferred 'book of choice' don't try to hide your addiction from your family and friends. Believe me, they will notice anyway despite your best attempts to do it in private, and in most cases will even be supportive and may actually give you books for presents on your birthday and Christmas etc.(make sure you give them a list of your favorite authors or titles you desire).
Tip 1. Keep a list.
Try to keep an updated list or catalog system so you have a record of books you already have in your collection. Write down the names of any books you have been searching for, or missing, as in many science fiction or fantasy epics where there is a series or trilogy, so that when you go to a bookstore you can remember exactly what you need.
Organising Your Library or Bookshelves
Organisation by author and/or category in your bookshelves is essential, especially when your collection grows into the hundreds. If you don't do this you will find that you lose track of what books you already have by a certain author and find yourself doubling up.
Unless you work in a library and wish to shelve your own collection by way of say the 'Dewey system' I find that shelving alphabetically by author sufficient. Also if friends and family wish to give you a book as a gift you will then be able to tell them if you have a certain title.
Simply, it is easier to find the next book you wish to read if you have them sorted and categorized.
New for Old
I approached my addiction to books with the best of intentions. The plan being to buy a book or two, read them and then march off to the second hand book store and exchange them for another book I hadn't read. This does happen...sometimes, but more frequently I find myself not wanting to part with books I enjoy.
This means I now have a collection of books that I have read but wish to keep, usually but not always a collection of one author (e.g. John Grisham). I have another bookshelf(or boxes) dedicated to books I have read and wish to sell or exchange, and the rest of the shelves for books I have still to read.
When I find the shelves overflowing and boxes piling up I have to get tough on myself and make the hard decision to offload a box or two. I have friends who are readers, so give them first choice, next is the exchange option, followed by garage sale or market stall, and final option giveaway to a charity thrift shop.
I used to sell used books online, but with novels this is no longer viable as postage costs make used books unaffordable with cheap new copies of most books now available from sites such as The Book Depository.
if you are like me you will have a number of favourite authors whose books you just can't resist adding to your collection. My favourites included: Robin Cook (the master of the medical thriller), John Grisham (best legal dramas), Matthew Riley (action action action), Dean Koontz and Steven King (horror etc), Mo Hayder, Karen Slaughter, Kathy Reichs, Jesse Kellerman, Faye Kellerman, Harlen Coben, Lee Childs, Robert Silverberg, Robert Heinlein, Michael Connolly......oh God I can't believe how big the list is.. I could go on and on. No wonder I have so many books.
Actually I blame it on Ian Flemming. When I was still in school I read "Dr No" and then was hooked on James Bond and had to collect every 007 book that he wrote. That started my collecting. Next came Edgar Rice-Burroghs and the John Carter series....ahh!
Tip 2. Don't Sell Damaged.
As a matter of courtesy never try to sell damaged books with badly worn covers, stained or torn pages etc.Consider if you would buy a book in this condition yourself before trying to offload it on others. Best to just dispose of these responsibly by recycling or using for fire starters.
Making Money from Used Books
It is possible to make some money from used book but don't expect to get rich unless you happen to have stumbled across some rare limited edition manuscript.
It isn't viable to sell most second hand books online as postage costs are often higher than the price you can reasonably place on a book. An exception may be if it is a popular book that is now out of print, or a current 'hot' novel such as '50 Shades of Grey' or 'The Twilight series' when they were first released.
Reference books of specific subjects can be popular and if purchased cheaply at a thrift shop or garage sale can bring a nice profit. Most popular seem to be books on parenting such as 'Toddler Taming', any book on dieting, books on boating, and certain 'DIY and How To' books.
You can recoup some money by selling your old novels but you need to do this through garage sales, markets etc to avoid postage costs. To me you rarely get what I consider them worth but everyone is looking for a bargain at these venues, but any money recouped for something you've already finished is a bonus.
As a matter of courtesy never try to sell damaged books with badly worn covers, stained or torn pages etc. Best to just dispose of these responsibly by recycling or using for fire starters.
Second hand book stores will buy your old books for a small amount as they have to make some profit, but will often exchange your two for their one which is reasonable.
To E-book or Not To E-book
New technology is advancing all the time at an amazing rate and with more and more of the population now Internet and computer savvy paper books are being superseded by E-books. They are cheaper than new books(many even free) and can be used on normal computers, laptops, tablets, specific e-book readers such as Kindle, Kobo and Dreambook, and even Smart phones.
I have an Android Dreambook, and Apple Ipad and would probably have 100 or so books downloaded on them. I find these very convenient if you are travelling for any length of time as they take up a lot less space then trying to pack half a dozen novels. Though when I am relaxing at home I still prefer the traditional paper book. I'm not sure what it is but I tend to start to doze if I am reading on an e-reader or tablet. I will eventually, I fear, be forced to embrace this new form of reading more and more however in order to curb my book collection growing much bigger than it already is. Also, if they do save our precious trees and encourage children to read I can't really condemn them.
More by this Author
I was recently hired to write a poem as the rhyming text for a children's picture book. I thought I'd share this satisfying experience and hopefully encourage other poets to try exploring this avenue.
An overview of the 1968 novel "The Left Hand of Darkness" by Ursula Le Guin, as well as a poem I wrote inspired by the title but which I called "The Right Hand of Darkness"
Previously I wrote a poem called "If I Could Write a Love Poem." It was very well received and even selected to turn into a song that was recorded on an album by Tally Koren. This is the sequel.