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Is this extreme? (getting rid of books) - Page 3

post #41 of 85
I have to say, one of the first things we replaced after losing our home in a natural disaster, was a few hundred books; we use them all the time (a mix of fiction, non-fiction, & reference) & a lot of them are out of print and/or rather esoteric. I can't even afford to replace a lot of what we lost (like an antique book from my grandfather on the history of a specific breed of chicken, printed in England, with great color plates - that now sells for over $450; I've raised this breed for over 30 years, & do some judging, so it's an important reference, but alas, one that I'll just have to remember). I'm cranky w/out my daily book fix, & can read a whole novel during my daily pumping sessions - I suppose there's a library around here now that we're living in town, but we've been a 2 hour round trip from town (not counting browsing time) for so long, I'm just not used to going to a public library, & w/2 very young LO's, I just don't go much of anywhere right now.

I had actually decluttered a lot of books from my college years prior to their loss, but still had hundreds more books than most people; they are one of the things that I look at, like to pick up & leaf through, use, & just generally make me happy & comfortable to have around.

That doesn't mean that there can't be valid reasons to cut back, if you have easy access to the books you use, elsewhere; & everyone has certain things in their life that they have a use/need for a certain amount of, that others don't - if I was a great cook, I'd have more kitchen stuff - but no, I'm one of those people who starts studying cereal box ingredient lists if reading withdrawal pangs hit me during breakfast Quick, hand me a book!

So yes, it sounds like the OP has a plan that suits her lifestyle
post #42 of 85
Whew! I'm glad I'm not alone in my seemingly radical (on this thread, anyway) position on a book-filled home.
post #43 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
Whew! I'm glad I'm not alone in my seemingly radical (on this thread, anyway) position on a book-filled home.
Hey, I'm the kid who got in trouble in grade school, because my teacher said I "read too much." (OK, maybe she didn't like me hiding a novel about "Silver Chief, Dog of the North" in my lap under my desk during lessons, but hey, I was multi-tasking, I was still getting As. )
post #44 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
:


There is a direct---not just an indirect---correlation between number of books in the home and reading levels of children.
I have a hard time buying that. How did we develop as such great readers when the concept of owning books (especially in vast quantities) is a fairly new one?

I was an amazing reader as a child and we didn't have very many books at home. I can read a novel in a few hours today. A lot of people just can't afford to constantly buy books. It doesn't mean they're not going to end up being great readers.
post #45 of 85
I want to clear up the idea that people who have lots of books are constantly spending lots of money on them. I can't afford to live anything but frugally. I buy books at yard sales or the library's (very cheap!) resale shop. But many of our books are ones I've had for years, ones I had as a kid, books I read in college (English major...). I will be one of those "poor children" who inherit many books from my parents when they die. Except I won't consider myself unfortunate at all.

Having lots of books does not mean one is leading a life of consumeristic frenzy.
post #46 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post


There is a direct---not just an indirect---correlation between number of books in the home and reading levels of children.
.
Well with the library, there are tons of books in the home, just not all at the same time!
post #47 of 85
I have started this so many times, and I don't know how to say this without someone getting their feelings hurt. It sounds like some are saying that the OP is doing her child(ren?) a disservice by not OWNING tons of books, and I don't think that's true. At any given time, our family probably has 100 library books checked out. There is ALWAYS something to read, and if anyone said s/he wanted to go to the library, I dropped everything and took them (now they drive themselves). We ALL value a book-filled home, it's just that some of us don't think you have to own the books to provide that home.
post #48 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I buy books at yard sales or the library's (very cheap!) resale shop. But many of our books are ones I've had for years, ones I had as a kid, books I read in college (English major...). I will be one of those "poor children" who inherit many books from my parents when they die. Except I won't consider myself unfortunate at all.

Having lots of books does not mean one is leading a life of consumeristic frenzy.
Thank you!

Sure I do buy new book (computer, etc) but a lot of books I have especially the vintage/antique books were .10 - 2.00 at yard and estate sales.
post #49 of 85
Books make good insulation. It lowers my heating and cooling bills to have bookshelves lining all my walls..ya and umm...


I don't think i could live without my books lol. I'm always reading and rereading. I like having them at my fingertips, and not a library trip away, but if it works for you go for it =)
post #50 of 85
Thread Starter 
See, my books are not a library trip away. They are IN our home. I'm not sure what's so hard to understand about that. We go to the library very often and we BRING HOME lots of books. But not anymore than we can read/browse in a 3-6 week period (which is the duration that they are checked out for.) Because lining our walls with books isn't going to make us look any smarter. (Not saying that's what everyone thinks).

And I'm very aware that acquiring a lot of books frugally is possible. That's the only way I've ever acquired books, really. Or given them as gifts. All my of my daughter's books were free.

A lot of these responses are really making me feel some sort of stigma that we're just not going to be as smart or good or well read if we don't line our home with books. It simply isn't true. I have a two year old book addict.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that I'm going to sift through the remaining two boxes of books we have to see what I really need to keep, and donate the rest to the library since they're having their annual book sale soon. And when I'm done with it all, maybe I'll post a list of every book we've chosen to keep and see how crazy that drives people.
post #51 of 85
I don't think there's any stigma to not owning books, I grew up with a great library in a fantastic west coast city, and it didn't hamper my ability to read (or become an obsessive bookworm).
That said, I couldn't do it now (purge my books). Our library is seven 1/2 miles away and they've cut their hours back, and I don't always have time to go when they're open. They often don't have a particular book I'm looking for, even through inter-library loan.

Libraries are great, and if you have a good one, be grateful. Ours is surprisingly good for a semi-rural area, but in some subjects/authors, such as ethnic, obscure fiction, or green living, my home library is better , and more convenient.

Now i just need to get those books on an outside wall for that insulation advantage. :
post #52 of 85
I just had to post one more reason why I own books: Because I abuse them.

I read in the bathtub, while cooking, while doing dishes, while gardening, etc. I can't treat library books like this. So I tend to buy a lot of used books, keep them for a couple of months while I read and abuse the poor things, and then sell them back to the bookstore. Essentially, I treat the used bookstore like a library.

But, again, I see no fundamental problem with owning very few books and getting most of one's books at the library. I don't see how any home could have a large enough variety of books to keep a voracious-reader child satisfied.

Crayfish
post #53 of 85
I vote it is okay!

I work in children's book publishing. I love books. I had TONS of them. I still have too many, and I purge regularly. They would totally take over my home if I didn't constantly pare down. We now have 2 full size book cases, 2 half book cases, and a book case in DD's room. Plus I have a stack in my closet and and a stack by my bed. I could probably lose half of them and not miss them. Some are special though.
post #54 of 85
only on MDC is downsizing books and using the library instead controversial
post #55 of 85
You know, thinking back, I remember the first time I saw my now-DH's family's home. I asked myself "where are the books?" Because they had almost none! One tiny book-case hidden in a corner.

Turned out DH's family were not big readers and in fact, to this day, although he loves to read, he calls himself a "slow reader" (something he got labeled with at school and totally not true).
post #56 of 85
I don't really care if someone else wants to get rid of their books... as long as they don't care that I keep mine. :

I don't think someone has to own a lot of books to make your children good readers. That's not why I have books in my home.
My family didn't own a ton of books growing up. I read everything we had, stuff from school, stuff from the library. I love books and am a very good, fast reader.
Someone owning books vs. getting them from the library isn't much different to me. I think they both create a bookish environment.
post #57 of 85
I say unload all you can. A pp noted the relationship between books and reading levels. There is some truth to this, but the correlation is not perfect. That is to say a family with zero books and zero demonstrated reading is more likely to have children with lower reading scores. A family with zero books in possession but demonstrated reading is not likely to have lower reading scores. A family with one million books in possession without demonstrating the reading of those books may have a child with a lower reading score. Can you dig it?
The studies that have examined this have more to do with the absolute absence of all reading materials among the lower reading groups and the obviously higher scores among families who read (whether they hoard the things or not).
It took me years to let go of books. I had thousands, but being a lifer student got me in that pickle. I almost never reread a book, and I used to have a problem with bag sales for books. I also had an almost complete collection of caldecotts and newberys. I unloaded all but some treasures (they just smell so good) and while we do have books laying here and there for dd to peruse and some collections of fairy tales and those sorts, and a few that are on deck to read (from the used book store where I have an ungodly amount of credit), we don't need bookshelves anymore, and my life is freer.

Good for you!!
post #58 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
only on MDC is downsizing books and using the library instead controversial
Or the opposite.
post #59 of 85
Sounds great to me . We have at least 5 tall bookshelves' worth of books but I want to shift on that. There are many reference books that I need to keep for my business, and some reference books that I use at home, but I think that a lot could go. My weakness is "that book might be useful for homeschooling" . Your dd will grow up thinking that it's the library's job to store books . She is growing up in a reading home and will most likely be a reader .
post #60 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crayfish View Post
I just had to post one more reason why I own books: Because I abuse them.

I read in the bathtub, while cooking, while doing dishes, while gardening, etc. I can't treat library books like this. So I tend to buy a lot of used books, keep them for a couple of months while I read and abuse the poor things, and then sell them back to the bookstore. Essentially, I treat the used bookstore like a library.

But, again, I see no fundamental problem with owning very few books and getting most of one's books at the library. I don't see how any home could have a large enough variety of books to keep a voracious-reader child satisfied.

Crayfish
I do the bathtub reading thing too!: However, NOT with a borrowed book! I've never dropped a book in the tub, but a borrowed book WOULD be the one I'd drop!

Miriam, if you want to get rid of the books, GO FOR IT! I've only got about 70-80 books, but aside from reference/history/classic fiction, the majority are obscure, impossible to find in the library. I'm moving soon and donated a ton to my church's library. The suburb I'm moving to has an EXCELLENT library!: I want to read more history and libraries are great for that sort of thing. I've decluttered TONS of books over the years.
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