Bookses in Boxes

The term “bookses” comes from my daughter, when she was four years old and we were reading together:

“Daddy, I put out the bookses for you.”

In an ongoing effort, I have unpacked all my “bookses in boxes” in the garage and categorized them:

  • fiction
  • non-fiction
  • science fiction
  • math and computer
  • foreign languages
  • English and writing
  • miscellaneous others

I barcode scanned all the ISBN numbers into a spreadsheet by categories, so I’d have easy reference and access later.

Now that all most of my books are ebooks, and they have no more physical substance, I don’t quite know what to think about my boxes of books and what to do with them.

Many are old, some 40 years or more. Those are often yellowed around the outside and the glue is breaking down in the spine, causing the books to fall apart when opening. Those really need to be trashed. They serve no further purpose, except emotional value.

As I work through the books, I find bookmarks of long days past. I often used airline boarding passes. It’s fascinating when I can look up the exact date and flight I was on when I last read a given book, before it somehow made it on a shelf, then into a box, never to be opened again.

Some books I remember reading and I can talk about the content. Other books I look at and I know I read them but I can’t remember a thing. Finally, there is a whole category of books where I can’t tell if I read them or not. One such book was Homegoing which I recently read and reviewed. Usually I have to read the first five or ten pages and I either remember I read it before, or it’s new.

I am astonished about how many such books I have. Why did I buy them? I must have thought I’d read them, put them on the reading shelf and eventually retired them – unopened.

Now the big question: What do I do with all these books?

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