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Weekend Update

I wrote like a madman this weekend, to total some 10K words (of which one third were stat blocks, which don't count, really). I'm extremely pleased that this wordcount includes material for 4 different projects. The Paizo progress was strong, and the outline for the next Open Design makes me wish the project was already launched. I was amused to find myself opening a 1E MM for reference purposes.

The Great Purge of the Shelves continues its inexorable destruction of unloved books in the Monkey household. The process is a simple one, in which shellyinseattle hands me books and I cast them upon the Internet fires of Amazon used sales, or I carry them in enormous coalsacks to to the used books dealers who offer me a pittance for them. I would surely crumble rather than consign once-loved books to such a fate, but fortunately my wife's will is unshakeable (Burn them all! Out, damn books!). As a happy result our shelves are clear of a lot of paperbacks and junk. Alas, o tempore, o mores.

I find that I continue to ditch stuffy literary fiction and keep reference works, except for a certain special body of what I can only call totemic books. I find these books soothing, inspiring, and nostalgic. I refuse to part with them under any circumstances. I merely have to look at them on the shelf to spur myself to greater efforts in my own writing. They include works by Vance and Barker (yes yes, I know) and CA Smith and Gibson and Eddison. Kushner and LeGuin. Maybe Baker. Not many of the recent wave of acquisitions have made the cut, though there's a few.

What are your bookish treasures, the ones that someone would have to pry from your fingers before you sold it?

Gratuitous Linkage: World's Greatest Toaster

Comments

( 44 sutras — Your wisdom )
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mikigarrison
Feb. 19th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
I've also been doing a massive book-weeding here -- sending them off to bookmooch, selling them to 3rd place, or as a last resort to half-price.

And before this weeding, I had thought there were entire authors I wouldn't be willing to let go of, but this has been proved not to be the case. There are decent stacks of books by Ray Feist or Julian May or Noel Streatfeild that not only will I not ever get rid of, I own *back-up* copies. But there are other books of theirs that I am quite content to read once or twice and then pass on to the world. If I absolutely had to, I could probably get my paperbacks down to one or two shelves, instead of the 2.5 bookcases they are now (the other 2.5 are reference works).
open_design
Feb. 19th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
What is bookmooch? It sounds so amazing, but.... sell me on it.
(no subject) - mikigarrison - Feb. 19th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
johnaegard
Feb. 19th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
The beautiful Orbit editions of Iain M. Banks:

the_monkey_king
Feb. 19th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
ooooooh, Iain Banks is shiny!

You tempt me. But my will is strong, strong I tell you!
(no subject) - johnaegard - Feb. 20th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - avidreader514 - Feb. 20th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC) - Expand
gryphart
Feb. 19th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
There's two art books I adore above all the others: one on the Orientalists and one on N. C. Wyeth. (Though in all honesty, I doubt I'd sell any of my artbooks, no matter what - we're moving 3,000 miles in a month and they're all going.) For word-books, I'd say The Lions of Al-Rassan. I like all my GGK novels, but that one's my favorite.

You might want to try BookMooch or PaperBackSwap, if you're just trying to get rid of old books you won't read again; that way you can get some new, more interesting ones in their place.
shellyinseattle
Feb. 19th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
""
NOoooooo...the idea is to free up space not get more books into the house. The operative phrase I keep using is, "We can always get it again from the library!"
Re: "" - ironymaiden - Feb. 19th, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: "" - open_design - Feb. 19th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: "" - shellyinseattle - Feb. 19th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: "" - shellyinseattle - Feb. 19th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: "" - ironymaiden - Feb. 19th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: "" - blakesrealm - Feb. 20th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: "" - shellyinseattle - Feb. 20th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: "" - blakesrealm - Feb. 21st, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
mimerki
Feb. 19th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
A couple of Heinleins (not all and not even what I would call his best stuff, but ones that were there for me when I needed them). Illuminatus! Fear and Trembling. My Faust collection. Some Chris Moore (Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Lust Lizard). Those portions of my Yeats materials that remain. Large portions of my non-fiction library that cannot be readily replaced...

I think I just said things about myself that perhaps I should not always admit to...
the_monkey_king
Feb. 19th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
Faust... collection? Just how many Fausts are there, exactly? :)
(no subject) - mimerki - Feb. 20th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC) - Expand
ironymaiden
Feb. 19th, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
Dangerous Visions. the complete run of Larry Niven Del Rey paperbacks from the 80s. the boxed set of the Chronicles of Narnia in the proper order. Historical Costume for the Stage. the Poe omnibus. my first Complete Shakespeare. the complete Sturgeon. the first Dragonriders of Pern and the Harper Hall trilogy. Dune. Brave New World. Jane Eyre, some Heinlein, The Mists of Avalon, The Princess Bride...

okay. i don't collect anything but books. books are life. i can prune the collection myself, but if C ever told me i *had* to get rid of books, our marriage would be in trouble. i won't double-shelve unless it's C's shite Battletech/40k/Ravenloft novels, books will never go into storage, and if i ever run out of wall space for books then we need to move to a bigger place. it's not negotiable.
the_monkey_king
Feb. 19th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC)
"Chronicles of Narnia in the proper order"

Proper order, eh? I think you might be pickin' a fight. :)

Yeah, the marriage creaks and groans whenever the book-jihad begins again, but really, over time I'm learning that I can let go of a lot of things. And my love of electronic editions means that my bookshelves truly are infinite these days.
(no subject) - ironymaiden - Feb. 19th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
mckitterick
Feb. 19th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Huh... I guess they'd be the hard-to-find books rather than (necessarily, though sometimes they're the same) books I love. Y'know, 1950's editions of Gnome books, signed editions, those all marked up from reading and loving them.

I admire you your purge-ability. Me, I get rid of about half as many as I acquire each year. Gulp.
the_monkey_king
Feb. 19th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
As long as your rate of acquisition remains in arithmetic rather than exponential growth, you should be fine....

My parents live with thousands of volumes, and it's one of the things that says "A long life, well lived" to me. Shelly's book purges are sad but very practical. Most of what disappears is the chaff; it's rare that I find myself itching for something that's gone.
(no subject) - mckitterick - Feb. 19th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - open_design - Feb. 20th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC) - Expand
anaka
Feb. 19th, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
My Robin McKinley collection. My English lit classics, like Dracula, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, all things Austen, etc. My collectors edition of the Maltese Falcon. My collectors edition of Jane Austen's letters. My Agatha Christie book club collection-- had a great chance to do it during the last purge, and I just couldn't bring myself to do so. Gaiman's work, Diana Gabaldon's books... oh, and in single works, the Family Book of Humor (a gift from my grandmother), a couple of my cookbooks, my copy of John Bellairs' The House with a Clock in its Walls. Oh and my other grandmother's legacy of a series of "how to entertain"books for the 1950s housewife. Classic.
neutronjockey
Feb. 20th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
Wait...you mean you're supposed to get rid of books eventually?
I thought you were just supposed to keep adding bookshelves.
Have I really had this wrong all these years?
blakesrealm
Feb. 20th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
Nope, you have it correct, they're wrong!
varianor
Feb. 20th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
Geez, that's a tough question. I'm not going to survey the shelves. But off the top of my head:

Asimov
Donaldson
Heinlein
Stephen King
China Mieville
Niven
Pratchett
Connie Willis
Vance
Zelazny
jadefalcon14
Feb. 20th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
I could not part with my Anne McCaffery, my programming reference books, nor my 2d/3d animation books. I've culled at lot of the non-fic out and have a lot of reference books/textbooks left. At least what I have left *might* be useful some day hehe.
heyscot
Feb. 20th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
1st edition signed copy of A Many-Colored Land by Julian May and my first copy of Grendel by John Gardner.

sadrx
Feb. 20th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC)
It's interestingly unfortunate, but my bookshelf is only made up of the books I didn't enjoy or have yet to read -- I always give away the ones I like.

There is then, of course, my reference books, and I am still in the text-book phase of life.
avidreader514
Feb. 20th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
The Top 3:

1. My collection of Guy Gavriel Kay novels, all signed by the author (including one that was signed as a surprise gift to me by my wife. She sent the book to a reading to be signed while I was away on a business trip.).

2. Iain M. Banks sci-fi novels. (The Iain Banks genre novels I could probably live without...but I wouldn't want to take that chance.)

3. From Hell, by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell.
the_monkey_king
Feb. 21st, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
GGK! I wish mine were signed, but I was busy the night he came through town recently...
godeater_sw
Feb. 20th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
My complete run of Gibson, GGK, and Bujold would have to rank pretty high on such a list.
godeater_sw
Feb. 20th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
Just like the person above, my Kay books are all signed. I wrote my Honours thesis on Kay. One might say I have a thing for Kay. I can't remember being more disappointed in a book than Kay's Last Light of the Sun . . .
the_monkey_king
Feb. 21st, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
Oh, I've got that one kicking around the house. It's got Vikings, so naturally that drew my attention.

Why was it a disappointment?
(no subject) - godeater_sw - Feb. 21st, 2007 01:43 am (UTC) - Expand
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