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Old 07-23-2017, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
12,284 posts, read 6,661,917 times
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I was reading over //www.city-data.com/forum/gener...whirlwind.html and there was a note there about realizing I have too many books, that I need to read them and get rid of them.............................and then remembering that it was never done.

Well now I am unpacking all the boxes and oodles and oodles of books, especially paperbacks, are being double stacked on the shelves.

When the library is too big, do you dedicate yourself to reading through it or just bite the bullet and get rid, unread?

When the library is too big, how do you get around all those books that have been read and are now potential reference items?
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:38 AM
 
Location: SoCal
14,534 posts, read 16,687,871 times
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I can't think of anything to help you with your present problem except to point out you have misjudged which books to buy and perhaps bought books that you aren't really interested in reading. I suggest you can start by reading a chapter or two and then deciding if you want to spend another several hours of your life reading that book.

Triage: separate them into three groups, those you are certain you have no interest in reading, those you may be interested in reading, and those that you are sure you want to read. Discard those you are certain you have no interest in.

This is why I read ebooks, usually from libraries. No matter what happens they check themselves back into the library when they expire (if not manually returned sooner). I have a carefully selected reference library of mostly hardcover non-fiction books on subjects that greatly interest me (cooking, art, a few with sentimental attachments). You may have a similar collection you wish to keep.

If you follow my advice you will end up with a group of books you have no interest in, get rid of them. You may have a second group that you are interested in enough to read them but not to keep them—read them and get rid of them.

By getting rid of them I mean either sell them to a used book store if they have any value or donate them to a charity. Sometimes libraries accept book donations, but usually to sell them in occasional book sale events to raise money for the library.

I don't want to over-do or proselytize for ebooks but they do solve a lot of problems. They go away when you are done reading them—but you can always check them out again if you wish to re-read them. If you purchase them perhaps on Amazon, you can delete them from your device and then restore them at any future date if you decide you want to re-read them.

It's a pretty unusual book that I want to ever see again once I've finished reading it. Note that I read mostly novels. There are too many new novels that I would have the interest to go back and re-read any.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
12,284 posts, read 6,661,917 times
Reputation: 10213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
I can't think of anything to help you with your present problem except to point out you have misjudged which books to buy and perhaps bought books that you aren't really interested in reading. I suggest you can start by reading a chapter or two and then deciding if you want to spend another several hours of your life reading that book.
(writing this in a 2nd edit, after I wrote my first response, so things may seem a little out of order)

That brings up an interesting approach of one of the "tricks" I have. I could always ultra speed read the book, whatever book, and be done with it in an hour or two. The catch is at that speed (just slightly slower than blink-page), I won't know what I've read for 4-6 months (the way I figure it, it takes that amount of time for the subconscious to process the material and load it up to memory). So the book would have to sit around for that amount of time at least.

Quote:

Triage: separate them into three groups, those you are certain you have no interest in reading, those you may be interested in reading, and those that you are sure you want to read. Discard those you are certain you have no interest in.

This is why I read ebooks, usually from libraries. No matter what happens they check themselves back into the library when they expire (if not manually returned sooner). I have a carefully selected reference library of mostly hardcover non-fiction books on subjects that greatly interest me (cooking, art, a few with sentimental attachments). You may have a similar collection you wish to keep.

If you follow my advice you will end up with a group of books you have no interest in, get rid of them. You may have a second group that you are interested in enough to read them but not to keep them—read them and get rid of them.

By getting rid of them I mean either sell them to a used book store if they have any value or donate them to a charity. Sometimes libraries accept book donations, but usually to sell them in occasional book sale events to raise money for the library.
I'm not one to sell books, especially those I picked up on the bargain basis (ie, a box of books for $10). One thing I have figured on doing, though, is to have a bag of books ready to donate to some cause, such as "send to soldiers overseas". The thing is, of course, is that I am probably thinking 40 years in the past.

Quote:
I don't want to over-do or proselytize for ebooks but they do solve a lot of problems. They go away when you are done reading them—but you can always check them out again if you wish to re-read them. If you purchase them perhaps on Amazon, you can delete them from your device and then restore them at any future date if you decide you want to re-read them.

It's a pretty unusual book that I want to ever see again once I've finished reading it. Note that I read mostly novels. There are too many new novels that I would have the interest to go back and re-read any.
Thank you for the tips.

A question, though: how is your reading memory? Do you remember books that you read decades ago like you read them last year? That's me on the subject of finding references in this or that and then being trapped with the book.

Further with such a memory is a reason why I read everything........it is just finding the time to do it. So while the triage is great idea, one leg of it is already missing.

So does having an extensive memory make it necessary for other strategies to be used?

There are 2, 3 reasons why I don't go to E-books. First of all, I don't trust the system to always have the book there or for it to be in an unedited version. Secondly and this may be part of why I remember so much, there is so much to holding the book in hand, to seeing its spine at the beach house library. I read "Bank Shot", this edition https://thewestlakereview.files.word...shot_3rd_1.png , at the beach house in the 70s and still remember passages out of it.

Third, there is what Giles said on Buffy:
Jenny Calendar: Honestly, what is it about them that bothers you so much?
Giles: The smell.
Jenny Calendar: Computers don't smell, Rupert.
Giles: I know. Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a... it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It's-it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible. It should be, um, smelly.

(from imdb, "I Robot, You Jane")


In all of this, one might consider that in some lines of thoughts, have an active mind, probably one with lots of links, is a believed defense against senility. I'm rather like a Fahrenheit 451....and I read that in 8th grade.



Finally, on this particular aspect of the subject, there is the book,



http://www.teleread.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/cyberbooks.jpg


which I have read years ago, still remember passages out of it, and it is somewhere up on the shelf. I didn't quite remember the title right, saw it as "E-Books" but remember it as being a Bova book.

Last edited by TamaraSavannah; 07-23-2017 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:10 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,408 posts, read 1,980,026 times
Reputation: 4268
Default Out, out, brief candle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post
...

When the library is too big, do you dedicate yourself to reading through it or just bite the bullet and get rid, unread?

When the library is too big, how do you get around all those books that have been read and are now potential reference items?
Yah, triage. Barring sentimental value, you know that several categories of books will always be available - classics, reference (encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. - @ library or online) (& current tech ref books become dated very quickly anyway), best sellers. So those can go. (I do keep general ref. for home use - a good dictionary, some professional reference material, thesaurus, etc.)

I've learned to stop reading after a fair assay, if the book or story or whatever isn't engaging. We all have to decide for ourselves what a fair sample is - I've stopped in the first 20 minutes of a DVD - just too un-mesmerizing.

On books you might want to read @ some point, keep a list. I've begun keeping a list of non-fiction books I might want to refer to - author, title, copyright, the CLIP data. Handy if your memory is like mine - I remember the highlights, rarely all the publishing data. I scan through the book collection @ thrift shops, sometimes there are surprising bargains there.

As to books v. e-readers & so on - yes, there's a physical presence to a book or print that isn't there for me with e-media. Perhaps it's just the thought of the millennia & trained hands & discerning eyes that made the paper & ground the ink & set the type & so on. There's a continuity there, that I don't find with the e-versions - too ephemeral, I suppose. Especially if the memory simply evanesces if the current fails. Too much like the spirit abandoning the fleshy envelope, perhaps.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:28 PM
 
Location: SoCal
14,534 posts, read 16,687,871 times
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Are you speed reading non-fiction or fiction? If non-fiction then what's the point if you forget it in 6 months? If fiction, what's the point in speed reading if you are reading for enjoyment?

I read 1-2 chapters of a book and return it to the library if I'm not enjoying it. (I can return an ebook in 2-3 minutes.)

Do whatever you want with books you aren't going to keep.

What does my memory have to do with anything? I told you, I have a reference library of non-fiction (mostly hard cover) on subjects that are important to me. The vast majority of all novels I read come from the library and I can always check them out again in the future if I want to re-read them. I keep a diary of all the books I've read. I can go back as far as I want and locate books if I want to re-read. (author, title, rating, date)

Yeah I read "Farenheit 451" too, and read "1984" before 1984. I still remember both. I'm thinking if I get bored on my present genre I might read all of Dickens and chase it with some Bronte.


I don't understand any difference between print and ebook re: continuity or being ephemeral. They are the same books in different formats.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:42 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,408 posts, read 1,980,026 times
Reputation: 4268
Default Stranger in a strange land

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
...

I don't understand any difference between print and ebook re: continuity or being ephemeral. They are the same books in different formats.
Yah. I suppose if I could taste electrons or sense the provenance of quarks & gluons, I'd see some similarities to cuneiform & the Rosetta Stone & vellum, I'm sure. Since I haven't uploaded my consciousness yet into a fully Galactic-standard body ...

/snark off/

But seriously, I think there's a traceable link from print to paper to all the methods & crafts that preceded the advent of the paperless office, & so on. It may merely be a foible of old age, but come a massive EMP event, print will still be there. Unless massively shielded, electronic data will have given up the ghost. There's a sense of a tradition of craftsmanship to print, that I don't get from e-media.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:04 PM
 
Location: SoCal
14,534 posts, read 16,687,871 times
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If you are a book collector, or if you like your own pristine reference library like I do, then I can understand why you value printed books. I even have a few that were given to me by the authors and personally signed.

But novels? Ebooks are easier to read for me, and I don't have the OP's problem of what to do with them when I'm done. Even better, I can just go check them out again any time I want to re-read them.

Ebooks are self-storing and self-returning (library). Books purchased at Amazon can be re-downloaded any time in the foreseeable future as long as you don't delete your account.

I'm not an environmentalist but I don't see any point in hacking down trees to become books that will ultimately end up in the landfill.

One negative about ebooks is that you can't lend them to others, donate them or sell them.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
12,284 posts, read 6,661,917 times
Reputation: 10213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
Are you speed reading non-fiction or fiction? If non-fiction then what's the point if you forget it in 6 months? If fiction, what's the point in speed reading if you are reading for enjoyment?

I read 1-2 chapters of a book and return it to the library if I'm not enjoying it. (I can return an ebook in 2-3 minutes.)

Do whatever you want with books you aren't going to keep.

What does my memory have to do with anything? I told you, I have a reference library of non-fiction (mostly hard cover) on subjects that are important to me. The vast majority of all novels I read come from the library and I can always check them out again in the future if I want to re-read them. I keep a diary of all the books I've read. I can go back as far as I want and locate books if I want to re-read. (author, title, rating, date)

Yeah I read "Farenheit 451" too, and read "1984" before 1984. I still remember both. I'm thinking if I get bored on my present genre I might read all of Dickens and chase it with some Bronte.


I don't understand any difference between print and ebook re: continuity or being ephemeral. They are the same books in different formats.
You misunderstand me on the speed reading. It's not that I forget it in 6 months; it is that it takes about 6 months for it to show up and be locked in memory. The ultra speed read is like 1-2 seconds per page.

As it is or as it was, hours ago, I unhooked from the Net, blindly picked a book out of the box and started reading it. So that's the interim solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by southwest88 View Post
Yah, triage. Barring sentimental value, you know that several categories of books will always be available - classics, reference (encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. - @ library or online) (& current tech ref books become dated very quickly anyway), best sellers. So those can go. (I do keep general ref. for home use - a good dictionary, some professional reference material, thesaurus, etc.)
Well, I am not so sure that things will always be available given our PC culture. I mean, for example, if they are taking down statues in the south, what's to stop them from banning books like "Lee's Lieutenants"?

Quote:
I've learned to stop reading after a fair assay, if the book or story or whatever isn't engaging. We all have to decide for ourselves what a fair sample is - I've stopped in the first 20 minutes of a DVD - just too un-mesmerizing.
I suppose it is just different walks of life. I am still reading, off and on over 4-5 years, "Prisoners of Hope". The story of two missionaries locked up by the Taliban may not be the most fascinating story but knowing books like that gives me an angle to talk from, if not a cover, in various conversations.

Further, as I said about different walks of life, in the Navy, I rarely got time to watch a movie completely or read a book completely in one sitting. So a book or movie that doesn't make the link in the first 20 minutes may be granted extra time given how I've been indoctrinated as an adult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
............Ebooks are self-storing and self-returning (library). Books purchased at Amazon can be re-downloaded any time in the foreseeable future as long as you don't delete your account.
"Any time" exists only if one has links to the Net. I picture my relatives visiting me and asking for the wifi password and going into shock when they find there is no wifi password, no wifi, and that the Net is limited to 5Gs/month.

Quote:
I'm not an environmentalist but I don't see any point in hacking down trees to become books that will ultimately end up in the landfill.
I recall an argument in the 90s about how people seem to forget that paper is a renewable, recyclable resource. I don't think we can quite say as easily about our electronics, especially those encased in plastic.

Quote:
One negative about ebooks is that you can't lend them to others, donate them or sell them.
Well, that is one thing about the library here, the good of it and the source of the problem of it. I picture my carnie friends stopping by for a spell and falling in love with a book they took off the shelf for the night....and wanting to have the next morning on departure. I'm probably in a pretty good position to allow them to take it.

Last edited by TamaraSavannah; 07-23-2017 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
12,284 posts, read 6,661,917 times
Reputation: 10213
Been thinking about it (and me) and maybe at this time, there is no acceptable answer since neither E-books nor TRIAGE seen to be workable. About the only answer seems not to add to it and to stay out of bookstores and book sales, the latter being the most difficult ones to avoid.

Thank you, all.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Middle of the valley
37,547 posts, read 23,572,784 times
Reputation: 53829
You either want to read it or you don't. /shrug

If you can read a book at a couple seconds a page, I really don't see where there is a problem.
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