Books Books Books: What to do with the books?

I love books. I mean REALLY love books. My favorite gift is a book. My second favorite gift is a gift certificate to buy a book. I have books from college, from childhood, and from yesterday all on my bookshelves. My bookshelves are handcrafted and were designed to fit perfectly in my 10 foot ceilings of my old apartment in NYC. However, here in Kansas people don’t really know what a 10 foot ceiling is so my bookshelves have been modified to fit my 8 foot rooms. Theanimalvegetablemiracley are chock full of books books books. In fact, they are overflowing with books.

There’s something about books that has become intertwined with my understanding of self and on some level my own self worth. I was having a discussion about this with my mom the other day. We were talking about getting rid of books *gasp*. I realized it comes down to “hey look how smart I am ~ look at all these books I have” and “look what a great cook I am ~ look at all these cookbooks I have!”.

The problem with this whole theory is this: I haven’t touched most of those books in years. I haven’t cooked anything out of those cookbooks ~ EVER. (well some of them). Once I started to realize why I was keeping all my books and really how silly it all was it got much easier to give away books.

I started culling my book empire with the same rule I use for my closet.

If I haven’t worn it in a year out it goes. Now that goes for books too.

If I haven’t read it or referenced it in a year ~ out it goes.

My bookshelves are looking much more organized and there’s actually space for more books should they find their way into our house.

So am I just not reading anymore?

Heck NO!! I love to read. I will never give that up. What I found is Bookswim. WOO HOO for Bookswim. Much like Netflix is to movies Bookswim is to books.

You sign up, pay a monthly fee and read all the books you want during the month. The books are shipped to you (free of charge) and when you’re done you ship the books back (free of charge).

I hit  a little snag last month as they moved their entire book warehouse, and it happened to be the weekend the entire Northeast was snowed in. With the changing address and the snow delay there was a substantial delay in receiving my books.

I called customer service (which I’ve done a few times to ask about book availability as well as to ask about different plans etc) and as always customer service was awesome. There’s a real person that answers the phone and talks to you in a friendly voice. This nice fella even upped my shipping to priority mail to get my books here quicker (at no charge). After the snow delay I received an email asking if I’d experienced delays and was given a discount on my next months fees for having to wait.

That’s called great customer service.

I have also found myself reading books I probably wouldn’t have if I had had to buy them outright. But because I’m already paid up it’s much easier to risk a book I don’t totally enjoy ~ which hasn’t been the case yet. I’ve tried new authors, new genres and I’m having a blast reading!

If you love to read, and don’t want all the books stacking up around your house Bookswim is a must!

The three books I just finished reading and sent back (and loved them all) are:

Animal Vegetable Miracle
Farm City
The Double Bind

The books I’ll be receiving next are:

Good to Great
Forget About It
Nothing to Envy

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