The tendency of many libraries to weed out perfectly good materials, whether by way of book sales or just tossing, is one of many reasons I save a PRINT COPY of every book I ever read, or intend to read. Libraries are absolutely not to be trusted of themselves, that's if patrons never steal, damage, or lose materials, which from a lending library is inevitable to some extent.
This has created some space issues, and may sound expensive, but back when I was a kid many, many decades ago I used to pay $10 for a library card to a large library in the next county because our libraries were small. The school ones were closed during the summer and the town one had limited hours and collection. Over the years this fee went up to $18. In 1994 it was raised so high that I could not possibly read enough books to justify the expense of the card. When my sisters bought me an out-of-county card to this library some years ago it was like $138.00. From their website now, out of city and in county is either $68, or that's the out-of-county price, or it's unclear whether they even sell cards out-of-county at any price, although they do have an application.
Meanwhile, once able to drive I could make the rounds of secondhand and thrift stores, estate sales, yard sales, and used bookstores in a tri-state area, several of which took books in trade. The local library would leave paperbacks to pick up free, which I would take, repair, and drive around to several such stores. None taken after three bookstores were donated to a thrift store. Some of the local thrift stores have cut way back on books and most of the used and new stores have closed but I still amassed plenty. Ironically the only time I usually had time to actually read is if a book was recorded on cassette, and later iPod or cellphone, to play it in the car while doing all this because at home I am always doing something else.
The following was written in defense to a person who has seen part of my book collection and asks why I save more books than I would possibly have time to read.
That time factor is one of the many things which make me weep. Not that I think the books I select to save among my chosen few are not worth reading (I don’t make space for undeserving books) but that I would never have the time to read all of them. I was waiting to be snowed in but we practically have been for a week or two and I’ve not read a single book during that time although I did page through a few. I feel obligated to the books as I’m one of the few people interested in saving them and if something devastating happens to the system of things I may actually have time to read them. See the futuristic part of George Pal’s film of The Time Machine. The scene with Rod Taylor and the books is one of my favorites in film history. I am so grateful to those preserving these films. See also the opening scene of Fahrenheit 451 in which a senior citizen is burned alive rather than part with their library. (Not sure I’d take it quite that far but would NOT want to be tested.) Shortest explanation I can give is, the books are not a total waste of space. Mom and I each read some of them, and when I end up with two of the same thing I trade or gift it. You don’t want to limit yourself to just the thirty books recommended by Marie Kondo, whoever the hell that is when they are home. The World Book alone is 22 volumes and guess what, I use it! If I want to look up a person or date while watching TV, I don’t want to walk over to the computer, turn it on, pull up Google, and type in a term. I can look in The World Book in the time that would take! Also, it serves double purpose. If I need to glue or otherwise flatten anything, once it has sat under a pile of such books for awhile it is flatter than a fritter. Can’t do that with an e-reader! My books will be pried either from my cold dead fingers or my burned crisped ones.
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