Sunday, March 15, 2009

How Much is a Book Worth?

Tomorrow we're leaving for a trip to Arkansas to see a new baby and an old friend and aunts and uncles and cousins.

Tonight as a little break from the frantic packing and cleaning I will be a little philosophical.

How much is a book worth?

I am cleaning our bookshelf dedicated to chapter books. Books for children ages 8-16. Which I don't have any of yet.

The bookcase is overflowing and part of my personal organizing philosophy states that you dedicate a certain amount of real estate to something, and then you stick to that space. So too many books.

I glance through the books. Some of them I have read over and over and over. Some of them were gifts from special people. Some of them I bought at bookfair prices (read: overpriced). Some of them I purchased for a quick read and thought they were worth keeping.

But how much is a book worth? Is it the price of the real estate it takes up on my bookshelf? Do I need to listen to my hoarder heart telling me "this is a classic. what if the apocalypse comes and there are no more libraries and you want some good material to read?"

Did I enjoy reading it? Is the story so vivid I can tell it to you?

Did I keep it because it was by a favorite author but maybe not as good as others by that author?

Did I keep it because it's a multicultural book and if I ever teach 7th grade I will need multicultural books on hand?

Does it have good morals?

Do I regret spending so much on a book that was so stupid and that's why I keep it?

Is this a treasure?

Is it a book my children will love?

How much is a book worth?

3 comments:

bp said...

I was shaking my head along with your questions. I know exactly what you mean. I don't know the answer though.

Angela O. said...

You made me laugh with the no libraries thing. I went through this a few years ago with the one bookshelf in our den. I finally decided on only those few novels we REALLY loved and compromised with Trey on the college textbooks on the bottom shelf.

Kar said...

"this is a classic. what if the apocalypse comes and there are no more libraries and you want some good material to read?"

Ok, I can totally see this as part of the setting of a story... :) Too hilarious--and too true. I have been dealing with the same thing w/my own books.