Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Book Drop

Since mid-November, my writing room has been stuffed with presents, wrapping paper, luggage, and furniture (temporarily stored here to accommodate a tree in the living room). But all of that stuff is finally gone!

So why does it still look so messy in here?

As many people have told me, "It's the books!"

On my desk, I've got my inspirational writing books, like Stephen King's On Writing and Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing, as well as the foreign editions of Thirteen Reasons Why. On a stand to the right of my desk are my Harry Potters. On a shelf beside the stand are a whole bunch of advance reader copies for upcoming teen novels (a few of which are going to be huge hits).

On the floor to the left are our yearbooks. Beside the yearbooks is a bookcase with five shelves packed tight with autographed children's books. It's hard to pull out one book without a few more falling to the floor. The top shelf has pop-up and picture books. The next two shelves are hardcover novels, followed by two shelves of paperbacks.

The bookcase on the opposite wall has eight shelves. Four shelves contain unsigned children's books, and the rest hold various adult fiction and non-fiction titles.

And then there's the closet. Inside, two shelves hold books two layers deep.

And then there are the scattered piles in front of the bookcases, near the desk, and beside the guest bed. Those piles are made up of books I've read parts of and plan to get back to, just bought and haven't had time to crack open, or need to return to the library. I'm pretty sure it's the piles on the floor that are causing the problem, but I simply have nowhere to put them!


I've decided it's time to do something drastic. It's time to get rid of some of them. I'll donate some to the library, some to the homeless shelter, and take some to a used book store. Getting rid of books is something I've never done before.

What if I suddenly find time to read The Historian?

What if I want to read All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten again?

What if someone comes over who's never read Growing Up Brady?

But it's time. Yes, it's time. It's time! (Sorry, sometimes I have to say it over and over because I start to rationalize why I need to keep every single one.)

It'll probably take me the rest of the month to slowly weed through the books. I'm guessing thirty minutes a day is all I'll be able to handle emotionally. How do you tell a book that it's wisdom will never be needed again...ever!

So wish me luck.

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you about the six boxes of books my mom and dad were storing in their attic. Yep, I'm going through those, too.


AmandaHewer said...

Wow. That's a lot of books. Lol. I enjoy reading, but I only have 3 shelves of books.

Good luck on your emotional journey!

Slow and steady, sir. =)

Aaron said...

Ah Ha - a New Year's Resolution ! !

I know what you mean - you are getting an early start on your later years, when you seem to collect EVERYTHING . . . and don't want to throw anything out - they have memories that are hard to let go - you might use them again

Oh Well - Progress . . .

Anonymous said...

Okay. So I'm half way trough "Thirteen Reason..." I just needed to air my thoughts a little. I started reading this afternoon and have not been able to put it down since, but now I have had to because it is SO intense. I'm afraid I can't sleep tonight if I don't take a break. That is an enormous compliment, it has been awhile since I've read a book that has had such an impact on me. So cudos. And thank you.

- Sidsel (DK)

Jay Asher said...

Thank you, Sidsel.

Should you ever need to get rid of a whole bunch of books, hopefully Thirteen Reasons Why is one that you'll hold on to!

Anis Filza said...


i just finished your book and it's AMAZING. i couldn't put it down and stayed up late just to finish it. I read at amazon.com your book received great reviews and i searched for it at the bookstore and thinking they probably don't sell it. and when i see your book, my face lit up like a christmas tree. haha. i will totally recommend your book to my friends!

Anis Filza, 17
Malaysia <--come here some time! :)

Caprica-Lex said...

I never was a big reader, I read about 5-6 books a year. But still, I don't know why, books are something special for me. I'd never ever throw away a book. There's always someone you can give it to. I'm so glad to read that you seem to think like me and give those old ones to the library or the shelter and won't throw them away.

Hey, why don't you sign them all and give them away at book signings or school visits? I'm sure your readers/fans would love to have a book with the inscription "From the personal collection of Jay Asher" *g*

Molly O'Neill said...

Living in an NYC studio and working in publishing, all I can say is...man, I feel your pain. Every six months or so I realize that the books are winning again, and they soon may decide that *I* am taking up to much space and should be taken down to the curb and left for passers-by!

Jay Asher said...

My writing room's a dusty mess right now, but I've already found homes outside of my home for two grocery bags full of books.

Hopefully they'll make someone else happy!

(But I miss those books already...)

Sabriina said...

gee, I have a whole bunch of books to read, but I also have to study, so I don't havemuch time to read. Anyway, the second I got 13reasons (which, btw, doesn't even exist here in my country -Uruguay- so I got it via amazon.com, along with another four books)I started reading, and didn't stop until I finished, but for a couple of walks, because I needed to clear my mind So bad.. It's quite a book to read it all at once.. It's just too hard.
It really touched me deep inside,and I need to say congrats!!!! And I really mean it.
Just so you know, I'm going to put it onmy bookshelf next to Harry Potter, so you should feel REALLY honoured lol
(I'll have to find a place for the book which is currently there, and for the other books i got from amazon.com)

Anonymous said...


i'm feeling like a Jenny. i couldn't wait to let you know, i'm so excite about tomorrow and every day after that. i hope things are well, can't wait to pick up another one of your books one day (hopefully soon!).

hannah baker II

LSkeers said...

Hmmm, I've read one of those books and loved it but can't wait to read the other two! And I just cleaned bookshelves so I have a bit of room for MORE books! Seriously, is it ever possible to have too many books? ; )