Book Hungry vs. Book Full

As a book lover, I think I usually have two modes when it comes to book acquisition: book full vs. book hungry. Book full means that I feel like I have way too many books in my TBR pile and I would never be able to read all of them (and that’s okay, I wrote a blog post about that years ago). While book hungry means I feel like I do NOT have enough books or that I need more because I don’t feel like reading the ones that I already own. In another older blog post, I shared this quote which nicely sums up why we keep hoarding books:

β€œOf course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.” – David Quammen

Whenever I’m book hungry, I’d go buy one or two books that I REALLY, REALLY want. Enough to justify a purchase when I already have such a huge TBR pile. Nowadays, I try to control my book buying tendencies by only getting physical copies of either signed books or graphic novels. Those are the only titles I allow myself to get, because I can get the rest in ebook format. I’ve noticed that I don’t really go book hungry that often anymore because I always just one-click Kindle deals or freebies whenever I come across them. πŸ˜›

When I’m feeling extremely book full, that’s when I want to pass on physical copies of my books either to friends, a book drive or a book cafe. I did a somewhat ruthless culling of my bookshelves last year because I hated that my books were sitting unread in my bookshelves in Manila while I was in Singapore. And it’s not like they would stay in good condition forever, foxing and yellowing is a constant problem in a hot and humid country like the Philippines. Some of my friends in real life got a huge TBR pile because of it, and I also donated some books to a book cafe and a book drive.

I thought my pile of books has gone down to a more manageable size after last year’s cull but I was feeling book full again as I unpacked the books that I sent home from Singapore to Manila. If only I could convert these books into ebooks so I can save them in my Kindle! Then I wouldn’t have to worry about the space they occupy or that their pages have foxing and yellowing. So again with the culling, and I tried be ruthless again by telling myself that I need to give up even the books that I haven’t read because if I’ve had them for more than three years and I still haven’t read them, then it’s unlikely that I ever will. It’s not always easy to give up books especially when you don’t have access to good public libraries, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I know that if I want to read something, I’ll find a way to get it (e.g. buy another edition so I can read it on my Kindle or borrow a copy from a friend). Also, I keep thinking that someone else might enjoy these books instead of them sitting ignored in my shelves. So here’s another pile that have gone to a friend’s book cafe in Cebu:

book donation August 2017

And here’s a section of my shelves after the cull, the books are randomly arranged wherever they could fit because I didn’t have the energy to arrange them properly:

Manila bookshelf August 2017

I think it looks pretty. πŸ™‚ I haven’t decided if I’m done with culling or if I should go through the books that I’ve already read and think about passing them on to other friends. For now, I’m glad I was able to pass on a significant number of them. What about you, do you cull your bookshelves on a regular basis or you keep your books forever? Let me know in the comments because it’s interesting to hear what other readers’ habits are.

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Book Drive: #AReaderEveryDay in Manila

bookbed and When In Manila currently have an ongoing book drive to benefit the Suit Elementary School in Dagupan City, Pangasinan through The Storytelling Project (TSP). TSP is a non-government organization that shares the same advocacy of spreading the habit of reading. They implement a three-phase program: 1) month-long storytelling sessions, 2) library project, and 3) reading club formation.

The school, which is now on Phase II, accepts children’s books, young adult books, reference books for kids and teens and activity books, provided they are in good condition. I believe they are accepting donations until the end of June.

Donations may be dropped off at the establishments listed below:

  • Z Hostel at 5660 Don Pedro Street, Makati City
  • The Learning Library at 2F, 41 Esteban Abada Street, Quezon City
  • Tweedle Book Cafe at 106B Sct. Gandia, Quezon City
  • Tambayan Capsule Hostel at 607 Bocobo Street, Malate, Manila
  • Diner on 16th at 16 United St. Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig (Behind Uncle Moe’s)

areadereveryday-in-manila

You can also visit posts from both bookbed and When In Manila. For more information and other inquiries about #AReaderEveryDay, please e-mail sky.wheninmanila@gmail.com or hello@bookbed.org with the campaign project β€œ#AReaderEveryDay” as the subject.

I’m happy to report that I was able to share some of my own books to this book drive before flying back to Singapore. I was worried I wouldn’t have time to do it but I was able to squeeze it in at the last minute. I dropped by Tweedle Book Cafe on my way to the airport and left these books with them (about half for the cafe and half for the book drive):

May 2016 - books donated

If you’re in Manila, I hope you can pass on some of your used books to #AReaderEveryDay.