Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Book Lover's Dilemma

This is kind of what my house looks like. Except it's inside a completely different house. And those two people look like me and my husband. Except we wouldn't be smiling. Or we would be smiling only because someone was taking a picture of our books piled outside of our house, which isn't really our house. And we'd have to borrow a Jeep. That is a Jeep, right? Whatever.

So ... my point is that after having a really eventful day just driving my car and doing some shopping, I decided I needed to part ways with some of my beloved books, at my husband's continual nagging incessant urging.

This meant I had to decide which books really meant something to me. I kept thinking that I loved them all, because I love all books, damn it. That's why this blog is called The Book Grrl, and not The Reading Device Grrl or whatever. Not that it matters. Stories are stories, regardless of technology, right? This is a story right here. A really boring story, maybe. Too bad. Ha ha!

So then I figured, okay, I simply can't keep ALL these books. I'm not a library. I fell back on my own advice. Share your toys.

That's when I decided, here's what to do: If you love a book, donate it so others can enjoy it; if you cherish a book, keep it so you'll always remember why it was awesome.

That still left me with the decision of which books I loved and which I cherished. Some decisions came easier than others. The ones close to the line were toughest.

But I survived! And I'm ditching donating a whole sh*tload lot of books. That's a whole lot of reading to share with others. And I did it, despite my gimpiness. In my hand and my curled-in foot. :D

If I'd had a hat on, I would have thrown it in the fucking air. :)

While I was piling all the books around and figuring out which to donate, I happened to find an old Lawrence Block paperback called IN THE MIDST OF DEATH. It's a Matthew Scudder book, and I love Matthew Scudder like nobody's business.

It occurred to me that Matthew Scudder is driven by guilt. And guilt has figured largely in my writing. Weird.

Then, I opened the book and flipped through the first few pages. On the second page, there's a woman named Portia Carr. The protagonist in the young adult novel I'm writing is named Portia. Weird.

So ... I walked around the house, clutching the book like grim death. Or maybe it was just my dystonia. Whatever. #iamfoolish

PS: I really love those striped socks, but on me they would just look fucking ridiculous.

PPS: Curious George is awesome! :)

PPPS: If you have to bow out, do so gracefully.

PPPPS: World Book Night celebrated reading by giving out print books. Amazon wasn't invited.

Quoting the article:

The costs of the paperback World Book Night special editions are being underwritten by publishers, printers and paper companies. All 30 authors have waived their royalties.

Most of the publishing industry, including the two largest bookstore chains, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, is involved in some way. The one conspicuous exception: Amazon, the giant e-retailer that's at odds with publishers and traditional bookstores over Amazon's discounted e-book prices.

Amazon, which sells both print and e-books, wasn't asked to participate. Lennertz says only that "the philosophy behind World Book Night has been about physical books in physical places, handed out person to person. How can Amazon participate meaningfully without a physical presence? It uses other retailers' stores as its own showrooms. That's just messed up. Plus Amazon doesn't really give a damn about books, anyway. They're a retailer that sells all sorts of stuff and books happen to be among the things they sell."

But Amazon spokeswoman Sarah Gelman says, "We look forward to talking to the organizers of World Book Night about future opportunities, after we've run everyone else out of business and we're the only publisher and retailer in the world."

Oren Teicher, head of the American Booksellers Association, which represents independent bookstores, says that in Britain last year, World Book Night "triggered an avalanche of publicity for books," which then led to a boost in sales of the same titles that were given away.

Or, as Lennertz puts it, "We believe that reading begets reading."

I believe that's the whole concept behind libraries and promotional giveaways.

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