Sunday, September 11, 2022

Time For Another Book Sort

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

I'm an avid reader and love books. If you have read these entries for any amount of time, this fact comes through loud and clear. Books change lives and I know because years ago, my life was changed through reading a book. It's a key reason I've worked in publishing for decades. Because I read and write about books, authors and publishers will send books. They pour into my office and some days it is a challemge to open the packages—much less read the pages of a particular book.
My reality is that I work in a small office and the books can become overwhelming and stacked on my bookshelves. Every few months, the new books stack on my shelves and reach a point where they have to be sorted and eliminated. It's what I'm writing about in this article. I've reached the point where it is time for another book sort. I find this process painful because I love books and don't want to eliminate any of them. Yet I work better without clutter and chaos. Stacks of books can turn into chaos so they have to be narrowed down and eliminated.

My time for reading is limited to a few hours each day. As I sort through my books, I'm evaluating whether I will have the time to read this book. If the answer is “no” then I will have to eliminate it and remove it from my office. Some publishers send me their books. In other situations, I've asked publishers for their books. Also authors send me their books and in some cases I've asked the author to send me their books. The narrowing process is challenging for me because I love to read but also a reality check on what I can actually do in the limited time and hours I have for such reading.
Several months ago when we moved, I eliminated an entire bookcase because my new office would be smaller and not have the room for this third bookcase. That was a painful elimination process. Also I check out books from my local library and read those books.  In addition, I listen to audiobooks but thankfully they are stored on my phone and do not require the space of print books.
Do you have to sort your books and eliminate? What tips can you give in this process? Let me know in the comments below.

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