Thirty years ago, I moved from Hawaii to the East Coast, and because it "was" such a long way, I gave everything to the library. Pretty stupid on my part, because personal libraries are accumulations, and at that point we were so broke we could barely buy groceries, much less books.
During this last move I said, "Never again." Nothing left behind. I didn't care if I'd read it recently, if I was iffy about it. I took it all with me. Over fifty plus 45 lb boxes shipped media mail. When we first moved in, I had no bed, no desk, not even a cooling stand for my laptop, but I had bookshelves.
My husband built my old shelves out of 2x4's and heavy plywood because he said there was no way I could put that kind of weight on normal shelves. He was right. When I went out and bought new ones from OfficeMax, they sure looked good, but I've noticed some have a distinct sag.
I don't think people use them for books, more like show. Like those people who collect literary hardbacks and pretend to read them.
I got my next bookcase from Pier 1. It might not be as "big" as my main bookcase, but it's heavy-duty solid wood and considering the kind of poundage on that thing (I keep my reference books there) it's holding up pretty well. I can't afford the custom stuff from that company out in Ballard. Not yet.
So--with all that space (okay, more like a free shelf or two) I started missing my trips to the Friends of the Library bookstore. Every library in King County has a sorta-bookstore, but they're old tattered up nasty things that nobody wants to buy and Oprah-books.
And sure--I might live near one of the world's biggest number of used and antiquarian bookstores, but they want a lot for their books, and I live out in the sticks so it's not worth the drive.
Garage sales don't cut it. People are pretty random. So I put an ad on Craigslist. Books wanted, I said.
lol--I don't know what the hell I was thinking. I was pretty clear--or I thought I was pretty clear.
Romances in the last fifteen years, no harlequin or Mills and Boon. Sci-fi/fantasy, no hard sci-fi, no high fantasy. I'm not into Tolkien-esque or Ben Bova. No role-playing series, no Eddings, Weis or Jordan. Non-fiction, paper or hardback. Military science, in particular Greenhill and books on military theory, not WW2 or 1. Philosophy, history, not WW2 or 1, prefer Napoleonic, regency, ancient and random stuff. Craft of writing, not writing inspiration. No magazines or cookbooks.
That's clear, right?
I got some damned weird replies.
"Would you like to buy my Navy books. I have boats and naval battles."
I said, "er...no. I'm not into Navy anything. Thanks for asking."
And I went back and edited to say, "NO Navy anything, I am not interested in naval warfare of any type." And I figured that'd be the end of it.
So the next four replies said, "Are you a "collector"? I have some stuff from the eighteen hundreds and signed copies and family bibles. I can sell you this particular thing for 800 dollars."
Of course, I--not having climate control or glass fronted cases, although I do have some stuff from the eighteen hundreds and it flakes/foxes/molds a little more every year--said, "Wow--thanks for asking. But I don't have climate control or glass fronted shelves. I'm a "reader". Not a collector."
And I went back in and edited again, "I DO NOT want your family bibles, rare/antiquarian books that cost over 500 dollars or signed anything because I'm not willing to pay for the author to have touched it"
By the time I got through adding in all the people who wanted me to buy their Oprah-books (NO Oprah-book club books, no DaVinci anything) Sweet Valley High (NO YA), children's (NO children's!!) Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, and Stephen King, my ad looked like a giant NO!!!
I was getting ready to delete the damned thing when this woman said, "My dad asked me to list the books he wants to sell."
And proceeded to list twenty years of military theory. I wanted them all. I couldn't afford them all, but I sure wanted them. Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, Special Operations in US Strategy. I was thrilled. I also filled two shelves with stuff I'd have taken years to find.
Guess it does work. If you're willing to sift through the crazies.