BenevolentForce's picture
BenevolentForce from Los Angeles is reading 1Q84 October 25, 2011 - 8:16am

I'm moving across the world in December (USA>AUS), and through all of it the most difficult decision has been:  Am I going to take all my books with me?  There's about ~900 to move, so it isn't going to be easy (or cheap).

I bring it up because we (manfriend and I) fleetingly considered paring down to our most favorite and digitizing from here on out.  But... it just felt like dying.  Something about the smell of the paper and ink, the memories of having read it on a bus somewhere random, the first editions by favorite contemporary authors.  Nope.  Just can't do it.

But have you?  I’m curious to see how many LitReactors have migrated from a printed book collection to a digital one.  Any of you who were digital, or Library-only readers to start?

Kirk's picture
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun October 25, 2011 - 8:40am

I am semi-notorious for being anti-physical media in the last few years. You know what one of the big factors in that was? Moving multiple times.

I used to be a person who LOVED having a collection of books, movies, music etc. However it was on my 2nd move in as may years where I started looking at my collections and asking myself "do I really need this stuff?" 

At that point, I knew that if I was asking the question, I already knew the answer.

I really didn't need most of it. Sure, I had a lot of great books, but truthfully, I knew I would never get around to reading them again. So, I started putting all the stuff that I knew I didn't absolutely need into boxes. Once that was done, I started getting rid of all the stuff that I had boxed. It was immediately roughly 1/2 of my collection.

A time after that, I started doing the same exercise with what was left over. And that time, I removed probably 60% of what I had left before.

It's funny, but the hardest part is the first time you decide to lose some of that stuff. After you've committed yourself to it the first time, it gets easier and easier each time you thin down the collection each time after that.

This is probably going to sound funny to you right now but you know what? Not having all that stuff in my home was actually kind of liberating. My media collection is now primarily digital, but I also buy a lot less media than I did before. For instance, with music, I found I was a completionist - I had to have everything by an artist I like. Now, I only bother with the stuff I particularly care for.

I suppose if I had a sweet-ass house with a bitchin library, I might think otherwise. But for now, I'm really happy with the choice to ditch most of it. And the collection I have now is truly a reflection of my interests.

BenevolentForce's picture
BenevolentForce from Los Angeles is reading 1Q84 October 25, 2011 - 9:10am

I think you're right about just taking the first step.  I have done that with all my music and movies (giving up the Criterion versions of favorite movies was especially painful - until I found them all on Hulu *hooray*).  If I stay in AUS for a number of years, I bet the books will stay, but if I move back in a year, my resolve may waver.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig October 25, 2011 - 2:18pm

God, this makes me think of our inevitable move (military family) and now I just want to tear all the books off myshelf and hug them and cry.

I have been bad about moving to digital. I really only read digital at the gym, and I really don' the gym...

Anyway, I don't know. I am a bibliophile. I have a small collection of books that are worth a few pennies, and those, of course, will always go with me, the's just a heartbreaking proposition. Personally, I'd start with the paperbacks, just donate 'em all, then go through the trades and hard backs with a fine toothed comb.