Adventures In Book Sorting

I’ve been sorting through my book collection and trying to get rid of things I don’t need.  I can hear you laughing — Marissa getting rid of books. But it’s true; I actually let about four large bags leave. Most were either duplicates, or in bad shape, or ones that I’d read and hadn’t liked but hung onto anyway. There were quite a few that were really nice copies, but I just didn’t need them on my shelves.

Unfortunately, I didn’t plan out the way these books are leaving my house very well. Some went to a trading book store, which was fine, but I took others to Half Price Books yesterday and only got $4.00 for three bags of books. They don’t pay much as a general rule, but that seemed really low so I asked and she said, “Well, most weren’t in good shape and we have trouble selling ex-library books.” I’d had a stressful day already so I just signed the paper and left, but in hindsight I wish I’d refused to sell them. Only one of the bags was ex-library and I had some really nice classics and academic anthologies in the other bags that I know they’ll be trying to sell for at least $12 each. *sigh* I really need to work on being more comfortable with standing up for myself rather than avoiding minor conflicts.

Setting those bookish trials aside, in keeping with my new responsible book keeper persona I’m also starting to read all those books on my shelf that I picked up to read “someday.” I started with Pirate Freedom by Gene Wolfe. I’d picked it up because pirates and time travel has to be fun, right? (Spoiler warning: it was.) I really enjoyed that one, and the last paragraph made me rethink the whole story (in a good way). I’ll definitely be reading more by that author.

Which brings me to the first time I almost fell off the wagon. Though committed to reading books I already owned, I was so very close to checking Wolfe’s book Peace out of the library. And then I found out that a three-book series I loved and thought I just finished is actually six books long (it’s the Study series by Maria V. Snyder). I was online ordering book four into the library before I caught myself and canceled the hold. With a heavy sigh, I redirected myself to checking a book out of the library on my own shelves.

I stopped reading the next book from my shelf after one chapter. I feel bad about it since The Last Light Of The Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay has such high ratings on Goodreads, but nothing in chapter one made me want to keep going. Mostly because of the sex scene. I’m not such a discerningly prudish reader (or writer) that I think sex should be left out of a book, but dubiously consensual scenes that are more graphic than the plot calls for turn me off. I also didn’t love the writing style, so why put up with that for the next 500 pages?

Now I’m reading Slave of the Huns by Géza Gárdonyi. And I’m thinking I might abandon that one, too, which is sad since I was really looking forward to reading a Hungarian classic. With this one, my problem is that I think the main character is an idiot. The plot is being moved forward by the incredibly stupid decisions Zeta makes to spend time with a hot Hunnish girl. He even admits he’s obsessed with her body and not her mind since they’ve never actually had a conversation.

As if that wasn’t enough (spoiler warning) Zeta becomes the titular “slave of the Huns” by choice. A free Greek, he poses as a slave and forges a letter from his master giving himself to the girl’s father. He means to only do this for the last 6 months of his fictional slave contract, but then the Romans plot to kill Attila and Zeta’s stuck in the repercussions of that (Attila decrees Roman and Greek slaves can no longer be freed or ransomed). Like I said, he’s an idiot.

But then again, we’re all idiots sometimes. Like when I gave away books (some of which I originally spent $15+ each on) to Half Price Books at $4 for three bags. So maybe I’ll keep reading and give Zeta a chance to grow and change. After all, I wouldn’t want someone to give up on me because of a stupid thing I did in my late teens/early 20s to impress an attractive member of the opposite sex.

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4 thoughts on “Adventures In Book Sorting

  1. I always appreciate book posts! I cull books regularly, but my problem is I acquire about 10 for every 2 I get rid of – thus the book collection grows. Many of mine are Christian non-fiction which I re-use for reference, so many don’t collect dust. I teach, preach, write about the Bible. My local used book store generally gives a better deal than what you got. However, I turn books in for store credit – not cash. They give less if you want cash rather than store credit. Also, they don’t take all books. Mine would not take ex-library books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Laura 🙂 My Christian non-fiction collection is growing, too (one reason for the sorting — I needed to find more room!). It’s wonderful you have a good used book store near you! There is one trading book store here and I always take books there first (she gives a very reasonable price in store credit), but she’s very selective about what she takes and the things I sell at Half Price books are the ones she didn’t want.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I can relate. I ran out of book room on my bookshelf, so I gave some of my “childish” books away to goodwill (books I read when I was in elementary or middle school) and even gave my mom my Harry Potter books because she seemed more interested in them than me. (By the way, what site do you use to online order books? I found this site recently called ThriftBooks where all books are discounted (most are under $5 or $10) and it’s free shipping if you spend $10.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment 🙂 I usually order through Amazon, Half.com and sometimes eBay, since those usually work out to be less expensive than other places I’ve checked for the types of books I’m looking for. But I’ll definitely check out ThriftBooks!

      Liked by 1 person

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