Resolve to Recycle Old Reads

By Lou Borgenicht

There is not a lot of time to read, so radical measures must be taken. Start reading a book. If it does not grab you, put it down without guilt. No matter whether you have spent $25.95 for it or your best friend swore it was a fabulous read. Your friendship will not be ruined; there is no accounting for taste.

The other issue is that if you have accumulated a number of half-read books around your house and have run out of bookshelves there is a solution: donate the books back to your local independent bookseller. They will either pass them on to an agency grateful for free books or sell them. My idea is to have a Two Buck Bin.

Another option is to give the book to a friend. It then becomes their responsibility whether they like the book or not. You have absolved yourself of book hoarding; there is relief from holding onto a book you know you will never read.

To do any of these things necessitates a firm sense of resolve. There may be a book you are not sure you do not want to read. You pick it up every now and then, read the flyleaf, thumb through its pages to see how large the print is, read a few pages hoping doing so will help you make a decision. Equivocation is a sure sign you should give up the book. It will be a relief. Believe me.

There are no rules about how long you need to keep a book in your possession before you decide to give it up. It does not have to be an intuitive thing. You look at a pile of books and suddenly that is it. You are ready to unburden yourself of the unwanted. Once you have decided, do not go back on your decision.

You will experience an incredible sense of freedom and perhaps even a feeling of social responsibility. Just because you are not interested in a book you may have bought does not mean that someone else, someone you likely don’t know won’t be grateful for your gift.

How quizzical would it be to see a homeless person standing on the corner holding his cardboard sign in one hand and Anna Karenina in the other?

lou b

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