Sunday, September 07, 2008

Preferences can change

I have been a reader most of my life. In high school, I primarily read history and historical novels. In college, I started reading fantasy and science fiction. In my twenties, I read almost no non-fiction. At the time, I believed that I couldn't maintain the attention span required to get through such books; I felt like I needed a plot to keep my interest. In my thirties, I started reading the occasional memoir. Now in my forties, the majority of my encounters with novels are through audio books. I spend most of my eyes-on-a-page time with non-fiction works of one sort or another.

I come to this reflection as I weed my massive book collection. I have spent decades collecting books that I hoped to 'get around to' reading. Bookshelves take up a significant portion of our unfinished basement. Since we hope to finish the basement in the next twelve months, I decided to begin a brutal weeding of my book collection. Most of what is being "donated out" are novels that I never got around to reading. Many simply no longer appeal to me. Some still appeal to me. Whether an interesting sounding novel stays or goes is based on two factors:

  1. Is it available as a digital audio or audio CD? If so, it can leave.

  2. If it's not available in the desired audio format, is it more than 350 pages, and is it still well thought of? If it's long, but isn't well thought of, it can leave.

I love to read. However, reality has set in. Unless I were a woman of leisure who expected to live another seventy years, I could not possibly read all the fiction currently in my house, much less pick up anything newly published between now and when I pass away.

Hopefully, my castoffs will find eager readers somewhere else out in the world.

1 comment:

Summer said...

I too have lots of book around waiting to be read. Someday I guess. I can't really listen to books on tape, I can't stay focused on them like I can when I read a book. Good luck culling the pack.