I once read some humorist’s theory on how no one really owns an umbrella. Umbrellas just sort of float throughout the universe, and we go through life finding and losing them in cabs and restaurant booths. I mean, when was the last time you actually bought an unbrella?
I view a lot of books like that.
Once upon a time, I held onto books I read and enjoyed. But with an endless list of books I want to read, who has time to repeat old ones? And if I’m not going to reread it, why keep it and have it cluttering up the joint? (Books that I love for their inspiration or reference value get to stay indefinitely, however!)
Now, instead of holding onto books once I read them, I pass them on to friends and family who I think might enjoy them. It’s like giving little surprise gifts throughout the year. At least that’s how it feels when someone passes a book on to me.
In just the last two weeks, I’ve given books to two friends. One book was a fun read by a Florida author that I originally bought at a flea market. I gave it to a friend who mentioned liking another Florida author. The other was a novel that had been passed on to me by a former student. I tried for two years to finish that book. Finally I conceded that it just wasn’t doing it for me and passed it on to a friend who most likely will appreciate it more.
In that same time frame, I received an amazing photo book that a friend listened to me gush over at her house, so she sent me home with it. Someone had given it to her, and I guess the idea of someone else getting so much enjoyment from it was reason enough for her to part with it. And enjoying it I am! I love reading about artists and their processes. It’s also inspired me to get my camera out and get shooting again!
What about you? Do you have any books collecting dust that you could send out into the universe? What about doing a book swap with friends?