When it comes to my books, I am incredibly pedantic. I can’t (or won’t) read books with creased covers, or those that have page corners folded down to mark where someone finished reading. I absolutely detest marking my books in any way – one of my friends always underlines those passages in novels that he especially appreciates, which to my mind is akin to a crime. As a student, whenever I came across an academic work that somebody else had made notes in or highlighted relevant passages, I would sit in the library grimacing and rubbing out their marks in a righteous fury. I also learned the hard way never to lend books out to people; a copy of A Clockwork Orange that I had never read came back to me crumpled, ripped and with paint fingerprints across it. I never picked it up again. In addition to these slightly ridiculous obsessions, I cannot bear to throw anything away, more so when books are concerned. When it reaches the point that some bookshelves are two rows of books deep however, and there is no room for more bookcases, something must be done.
I think either Dorothy or Danielle first introduced me to BookMooch. Initially, I was very sceptical; how could I give up any of my precious books? If I wanted to mooch anything from someone else, I had to list ten. There was no way I could find that many from among the volumes on my shelves; it couldn’t be done. Then I discovered that lured on by the promise of a coveted book for nothing (or for the price of postage), I could bear to make some sacrifices. Luckily for me, the first person to request a book lived in another country, so I got extra points to ‘spend’. (Should that be luckily, or fatally?) All I can be grateful for is that most of the books I want at the moment are obscure enough that they are hard to find even on Amazon, let alone on BookMooch, so the damage I have done has been contained. The plan was to give away more books than I mooched. So far, it isn’t working out. I’ve only received a couple so far but more are in the post. Plus I received an order I made before Christmas in anticipation of book tokens I knew I would be getting. I’m sure I am supposed to be decreasing the number of books I own…my only consolation is that technically I haven’t paid for any of these! Here are my new acquisitions (one day I’ll work out how to upload photos from my camera):