October 16, 2009, Newsletter Issue #22: Do You Really Need ALL Those Books On Your Shelf?

Tip of the Week

There's an episode on Seinfeld where George breaks up with a girl, but inadvertantly leaves a few books in her apartment. George coerces Jerry into retrieving the books for him, but before Jerry agrees to do so, he goes off on this rant about and I'm paraphrasing...What is it about people and there books? It's as though books are some sort of artifact, prize possession. Do you really need to keep a book after you've read it?

My writing studio is farily small and well, why not? It's not like I need more space than my desk, computer and phone-right? Well, if you're a writer of any sort, your book collection IS a prize possession. It's not only an accumulation of years of autographed copies by some of your mentors, but also an on-going reference library of your very own. Okay, do you really need ALL those books? Can't you find what you need on the internet without having to rummage through your dust-ridden books?

Well, I thought I could live without adding more books to my limited amount of bookshelves, too, but I have to say that just having the printed word within eye-shot of my desk and being able to be in the constant company of some of my greatest advisors and storytellers, I just can't possibly get rid of all of my books. I did manage, however, to rid myself of books that I haven't read or will never read that people have given me over the years and all with good intentions of influencing me or just to supplement my enjoyment of reading. With so little time to read what I MUST, finding time to read what would be pleasurable is just not an option, now.

So, if you're faced with limited bookshelf space, my suggestion is to periodically go through your bookcase and rid yourself of books that are out-dated, really not "keep-sakes" and those that you've just been keeping on your shelf because they look good.  Instead, fill your shelves with books that will support your writing career in whatever form that means to you.

When I look at my bookshelves I see great thought leaders, childrens' stories and writing reference books and internet informational books of all kinds. The latter has recently become a major space holder.


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