Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Build a Better Bookshelf

What do you put on your virtual bookshelf? It’s a fair question. A lot of what is sitting on my real bookshelf is collecting dust. Some books, I’m embarrassed to admit, have gone unread. I have this terrible habit of taking stuff out of the library. I also like to read at bookstores. If I bought all the books I intended to read I’d put myself into a deeper financial hole than I’m already in. But, buying books is not like buying outfits. If you don’t wear that cerulean blue Johnny collar top this season you better give away the next.

You might have heard of Shelfari. It’s an online book lover’s paradise where you flaunt the virtual libraries you’ve put together for yourself. Some are mega eclectic. Some aren’t, but if you look around you will find others who share similar book tastes. You will also stumble upon things you’ve never heard of. You’ll find those who have anointed themselves with a qualified opinion on good reads. Take it with a grain of salt, tune in with keen ears, do what works best for you.

I look at it as another kind of burden for myself because I can’t seem to get my real-life bookcase into respectable order. Actually, I have a section of books I’ve traded with friends and colleagues. For some reason this keeps growing. It’s almost as bad as abusing the library except I don’t get hit with any fees unless you consider threats of bodily harm.

This year I really don’t want any physical presents for the holidays. I don’t even want books. I want somebody to help me organize what I already have and find out the most efficient way to give back all my loaner materials.

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