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On Selling Books

Yesterday I did something I’ve never done before: I took a stack of books and sold them at the local used book store. This was a major step for me. I’ve accumulated books for a long time – pretty sure I still have books on my shelves that I got in elementary school – and rarely let any of them go. My rationalization has been that someday maybe my kids will want to read them, or I’ll strategically want to loan them out or give them away to friends.

But when I was looking for a book a few weeks ago I did another assessment of my burgeoning bookshelves and came to a realization: those things aren’t likely to happen.

Sure, I’ll keep some of them. I fully anticipate my girls will want to read The Lord of the Rings at some point in the next decade. But The Hunt for Red October? Probably not so much.

And then there’s the piles of theology texts. Some floating around from college. Some freebies I got and reviewed on the blog. Some were gifts. Some I agree with a lot less today than I did when I bought them. Many I’d be hard pressed to recommend or want to gift.

So I sold them.

I didn’t get much – basically garage sale prices, but where you just carry in a bag and walk out 10 minutes later with money. Beats the heck out of having to hold a garage sale and hoping the right buyer shows up.

I managed to clean out one whole shelf. That’s enough room to move my recently-read pile from the top of my dresser down to the shelves. Then I can start attacking the to-read pile that sits next to my bed.

I think this is the year I’m going to fully embrace accumulating ebooks instead of hard copies. I like the ability to read, easily highlight and share text, and archive them someplace smaller than the dozens of feet of shelf space occupying my basement.

You know, I converted from CD buying to MP3 buying a couple years ago. I guess this is the next logical progression.

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