Ok, it’s not really a movement, it’s just me, to my knowledge. But I’ve been harboring feelings of anti-bookshelves for a while and wanted to get my thoughts out in the open. Thanks to Indiependent books’ post (http://www.indiependentbooks.com/blog/2010/07/home-libraries/) inquiring about readers’ bookshelving processes, I offered a contrarian opinion (go figure). Here it is.
when i released my first book, i released it for free online and in all electronic versions, and priced it at a very cute, ironic price in print, and event that was still a little steep for a first time author releasing an independent book that was uncategorizable (read: not a genre novel). so all i asked as i started giving it away to everyone on the street i could find who would take a copy was that their payment was to pass it on to someone else to read.
i cringe every time i hear someone say that my book is sitting on their coffee table, or on their nightstand, or proudly in their stack of unread or read books. I DON’T WANT MY BOOK TO SIT ANYWHERE. i want it to be read and read and read again. why would i have written a book, then, to have it sit on a shelf somewhere?
and that’s when i realized that all of the books i own and sit on my own shelves have authors, too, who have poured their guts and passion into writing them and want the same for their own works. so i’ve started to pass on my books on the condition that people do the same.
books should be an ever revolving product that can be used and re-used and re-re-used. ban bookshelves. bookshelves should be re-named thingshelves, so that they don’t carry books. they should be re-sized so that they can’t carry books. they should be a deterrent to holding books. books should have timers and alarms on them to remind the owner to pass it on.
the problem with book pricing is that when someone pays $24.95 plus tax and shipping, you want to get some bang for your buck. so you read it, you gingerly protect the cover, and you place it proudly on your shelf for all to see.
ew. we must get away from that mentality and pass books around because it faciliates more discussion about the book itself when you suggest someone read it and then you actually give them the thing. it makes recommendations real and that is what all authors want. and i do suppose readers do, too.