Friday, July 27, 2012

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Bookarrhea?

I have an embarrassing problem. Loose books. They appear with abnormal frequency, and flow all over the house. I can't contain them. It's a chronic condition, which causes undue stress. I've had this affliction since childhood. In fact, I think it's hereditary. My paternal grandmother suffered from the same ailment. Of the immediate family, only The Pony has inherited the disorder.

I have piles. Caused by my bookarrhea. Hick tried to cure me, or at least relieve some symptoms. When he started finishing the full basement, he built shelves into my office. One whole wall. Ten feet. Four tall bookcases, floor to ceiling. Seven shelves per case. He added two more shelves on two other walls. I have four more tall bookcases scattered throughout the basement. And another one that is chest high. All full.

Some favorites have a home forever. I will not part with them. Others are unread. So they have a reprieve. The books I have read and am ready to release are filling up the house. Oh, I try. I packed up many boxes, and told Hick that he was welcome to take them to the auction. Set up a flea market booth. Do what was necessary. His action? He put them ALL on a tall bookcase in his workshop. Really? REALLY? I sorted and packed and set them on the counter by the door...and he unpacked them.

I donated several boxes of paperbacks to the local library. They put donations on a shelf up front. Sometimes more in a side room. And sell them for twenty-five cents. A dollar for hardbacks. Of course, on the day we dropped off my overflow, the library was having a sale. Ten cents. Genius picked up ten books. And I picked up ten books. How could we not? TWO DOLLARS FOR TWENTY BOOKS!

One of my work friends always donates her books to her church charity organization as soon as she finishes reading them. Except for John Grisham. Her husband allows her to keep a collection of Grishams. But everything else must go.

I've tried offering my books to Genius. He could set up an eBay account. Or Amazon Sellers. Make a good piece of change. But he says it's too much of a hassle. Hick says the auction is a waste of time. People might bid to get one book out of a box. Or the whole box will go for one dollar. No doubt for the buyer to make a killing selling those books online. I've even thought of asking if I can take a box to school, to the teacher workroom, and sell them for a couple bucks apiece. These are hardbacks. Like new. I know I could give them away at work. But selling might be frowned upon. I've thought of giving them away through my blog, but that is entirely too much work, what with garnering addresses, and hauling them to the dead-mouse-smelling post office, and paying to ship them.

My last resort is to look up that Amazon buy-back program. You can ship them a whole box, and get a paltry sum in return.

My bookarrhea is becoming advanced. I need a cure. STAT!


  1. It is times like this when I wish I lived nearer a city of some size. When I lived in MN, I could take them to Half Price books and sell them. They will give you an offer and you can accept it or not. They will give you cash or credit to spend in the store. I suppose you know which one I chose ....... Guess it didn't really solve my space problem, but I didn't feel so guilty about buying books. When we moved here I donated what seemed like tons of books to the library to keep from moving them.

  2. The cure to what ails you is called e-books. They take up very little space. Just keep the picture books.

  3. I suffer from the same malady. In fact, I have it so bad, I had donated some of my books to the dog rescue group I work with. We participated in a huge garage sale in an auditorium parking lot. As the day went on, I chose some books to buy, and put them back, realizing they were books that had formerly been mine.


  4. Kathy,
    Somebody at work told me there is a store like that thirty miles away. They only give credit. And I don't go there that much. It's in the opposite direction of most of my local dealings.

    The Pony has both a Kindle and a Kindle Fire, Genius has a Nook, and I have none. I really like the feel of a book. But I see how convenient it is for them to carry along. This year, The Pony will be in high school, which allows such electronics if they are registered with the tech department for spying purposes. He is ecstatic. Always bored when his work is completed. He used to carry five books in his backpack, so he wouldn't run out.

    Admitting the problem is the first step. I look forward to your episode of Intervention. You can look for me on Hoarders.