As promised, I’m writing an update on my book purge regardless of my success. Luckily there’s good news (because otherwise would have just been embarrassing).
Last night I went through my book shelf and pulled out a bunch of paperbacks that I felt I didn’t need any longer. Some choices were pretty rough because some of them I thoroughly enjoyed. But I had to weigh the likelihood of re-reading them and the necessity of having it in my home. Into the pile they went.
I pulled a total of 37 books to sell. There’s still a few left that I need to make decisions about (such as my Murakami collection), but I’ll probably give these away eventually rather than sell them since they’re some of my favorites and I’d like to share them rather than sell them.
Anyway, I went out to McKay’s and gave them the books to check out. They said it wouldn’t take very long so I browsed the store while I waited. I kept to the non-fiction because I’ve already figured that any fiction I care to read I can just get for the Kindle. I’d rather own books that would, for lack of better words, look good on a bookshelf. Older books, interesting books, things that people would like to read or just check out for a few minutes. I don’t think anyone is going to visit my home and open American Psycho for a quick read is what I’m saying.
What I discovered while browsing is the exact reason I don’t shop at places like this too often. They have a ton of books, but the prices on much of their stock aren’t much better than new. For example, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (let’s just pretend I named a fictitious book and save the judgments) was priced at $11.00. The price listed on the book itself is $15.95 and a quick look on Amazon can get you a copy for under $10. New.
Aside from that, I can just get it for the Kindle for $6.29. This is another benefit of going digital – the sheer amount of money to save. I understand the appeal of brick-and-mortar stores and the mom-and-pop operations. I understand the enjoyment of going to a little independent used book shop where the clerks are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Discovering the treasures hidden amongst the shelves or stacks can be incredibly appealing, not to mention exciting. But it all boils down to just more stuff and I can get the same enjoyment from a story regardless of the medium in which it’s presented.
I also chose to check around the CDs and DVDs to get an idea of what they like to take and for how much they sell it. It looks like they take just about anything, but right here is a dilemma. They had multiple copies of many titles. Not necessarily things I have and want to sell, but it doesn’t look like they sell much movies and music. I may need to go elsewhere to shed my CD and DVD collection. On the bright side if anyone needs a copy of R.E.M.’s “Monster”, I know a place.
After about 40 minutes I went back to the counter and picked up my store credit. They didn’t take all my books (I was left with seven of the thirty-seven) and I got $41.68 in trade. I don’t know what I’ll use it for, but I might find a few things. Alternatively, just now I had the idea to use it for gifts. That would make more sense out of this resolution as using the credit to get more books defeats the purpose of purging the dead weight.
As a last note, I got a comment from a friend on my previous post to check out BookMooch.com as another avenue for purging my books. This looks like a great site and I think I would have loved the idea several years ago. However for my current goal of creating more space and room in my apartment and rejection of physical attachments, I don’t think it’s the site for me. Check it out though if you’re interested in trading books at all, it really does seem like a cool idea.
All in all, it felt good to take care of this and I’m looking forward to further expulsion of my crap. Next week I’m going to check out a little record store I noticed on my way to class last night. I think I’d rather support them with more stock than McKay’s, if for no other reason than nostalgia for the days I managed a little record store myself.
Those were the days…