Sunday, January 27, 2008

Books!

I am cleaning my basement, a long and dirty and puzzling job -- keep the old propane camp stove even though I have never once gone camping, have no propane, and don't know how to use the thing? What about that slightly rickety end table? My kids' solid-maple building blocks? They don't make 'em like that anymore, and you never know...even though my kids are now adults.

The biggest problem, though, is remaindered books. My cellar holds thousands of out-of-print books written by both me and my late husband, Charles Sheffield. I can't think why we bought so many. And I really can't think what to do with them now. I don't want the bother of selling them one-by-one on the Internet, even assuming anybody wanted them, and I don't know of any place that would be interested in, say, fifty copies of the same book -- so now what?

Any ideas out there?

On the other hand, cleaning the basement has yielded a few rewards. Just this morning I discovered the original ms. of BEGGARS IN SPAIN, my oldest son's baby book (complete with a lock of hair), and a ballet book I thought I'd lost forever and which is now out of print. Definitely worth every single aching muscle from shoving around furniture and books.

11 comments:

Dolly said...

For the books you don't want, and don't know what to do with anymore, may I suggest donating them to a hospital, retirement home, or prision. Most people do not think to donate items to a prision, and typically any type of reading material is greatly appreciated. Just don't donate "The Great Escape". :-)

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Is space an issue? If not, keep =everything=! Never know when you might need... That propane device could be what Humanity craves to repel the monstrous aliens.

Nancy Kress said...

Dolly, that's a good idea -- thanks.

Mike-- a propane stove is going to repel aliens? What, if they drink the propane???

dwesley said...

See if the Clarion Foundation (or any other worthwhile non-profit organization) would want to take them off your hands and sell them. It's a tax write-off to you and fund raiser for them.

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Not at all, Nancy! Let's riff...

Captain Blaster took stock of the situation. And it was not good. Aliens! Running around like cockroaches on a wedding cake!

But worse. At least the roaches felt shame. The special gift of the creatures of Terra...

"Ha!," cried the alien chieftain. "Your mightiest devices are of no use to you, Captain Blaster! There is nothing our All-Conquering Race fears! Except, of course, that propane stove in Nancy's basement! But you will never reach it in time! BWAAA-HA-HA!"

Captain Blaster slapped himself in the head with the force of a balpeen hammer. "Of course," he raged inwardly. "The propane device!"

Risking all on one final throw of the dice, the Captain ran down the road on the wings of the stratosphere. If only the device were there!

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Serious now, Dolly's got the right idea. Placing your books in appreciative hands is the way to go.

I bring mine down to the Veterans' Hospital on 23rd and First. Always very, very welcome. And I like to take an hour or so to talk with the men who gave so much for us. I always come away humbled. What =fine= men they are.

To paraphrase Heinlein, we can't ever repay them. But we can try to make a dent on the interest.

Dolly said...

Not to take ANYTHING away from our Veteran's as they are the reason we all have the freedom of speech to even be able to write on a blog. I will always support, and appreciate their efforts even today (with absolutely no reference to my standings on the war today).

I believe the prision is the most appreciative way to go. The men and women of the prisions today need help being reformed - not ignored as society has done for so long. If even one of them turns their life around - isn't it worth it?

bluesman miike Lindner said...

It surely is, Dolly. That's a fine cause too.

BuffySquirrel said...

I'd keep the building blocks.

Luke said...

I donated a bunch of books to prison but wonder if the guards screen out all the good stuff. I had The Killer Inside Me by Thompson and The Invisibles graphic novels from Vertigo, but I'm sure some of em were pulled.

grenacia said...

Since you have many multiple copies of out of print books, donating them to a veteran's hospital or prison doesn't seem like the best idea, they probably wouldn't make use of all the copies. Better to donate them somewhere they'll be more widely distributed to people who want to read them.