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30 August 2010 @ 02:28 pm
existentially important question  

And lo, so came the day when she faced the question that in time must come to all who walk these halls:

What should I do with the signed & personalized books I don’t expect to re-read? I’ve gotten very hard-hearted about keeping books, because they take up so much space and are so much of a pain to move, and because I don’t read, much less re-read, very much anymore. (*snivel* Also, this is why I want an e-reader.) But the question of signed copies, well. That becomes a difficult one. *frowns thoughtfully at the shelves*

(Don’t be silly, I’m keeping *yours*, of course.)

(x-posted from the essential kit)
mikaela_lmikaela_l on August 30th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
I have some signed books, and I have decided to keep them. See, most of them are from contests, and I know that I wont be able to go to signings.
-peartreealley on August 30th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)
(This is one of the things that sold me on e-readers as well >_>;;)

I suspect I have significantly less signed/personalized books than you do, but I've tried to foist them on people who I think would enjoy owning them (fans of the author, etc.).
Alix (Tersa): Arwen Reading (tersa)tersa on August 30th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
OK, I started typing up my personal experience and realized it was completely useless to you. :)

As much as it will likely pain you, I would either do what your 2nd commenter suggested, and re-home them to people who would like them because of or despite the signed personalization to yourself. Personally, I kid of get tickled on the rare occasions I find a signed copy of a book I want to pick up at a used book store or when I was shopping on eBay. :)

But, honestly, unless you're going to re-read them or have some kind of personal attachment to possessing the book, the customized signature isn't doing anything for you other than being a kind of badge of status symbol...and if you're trying to purge yourself of Crap, ask yourself if that badge is worth the baggage?

Probably in many cases, not. And unless you're good personal friends with the author who will be crushed to find out you'd given away your book, they're likely never going to know you did it. :)

(FWIW, I knowingly have/had books signed by three authors:

1) MZB - 'The Darkover Concordance'. I bought it signed, she didn't sign it for me, but I bought it because it's a limited run and I'm an insane Darkover completist.

2) 5 of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels, which he signed at Writer's Weekend. But, duh, it's Dresden. I <3 them and re-read them and loan them out.

3) Jess Hartley's first novel. Which I was debating sending to the used bookstore, under the same consideration you're now giving to your books, until serendipitously seeing her muse on Twitter about how the book is OOP and wondering how she could obtain more copies. So I offered to send her mine. Win-win. :)

Edited at 2010-08-30 05:54 pm (UTC)
cainle_bean on August 30th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
I keep most books. I do tend to have up to 3 copies of books or series I enjoy so I can hand them out to friends. *chuckle* one reason we tend to have a library room wherever we live, as well as bookshelves in EVERY room of the house.

Signed books are kept in one shelf.

It does make it a pain to move, but then I have done it so much now that I am used to it.

If you are low on space or tired of having the books around (shudder) then why not keep the few that mean a lot to you and sell or give away the others?
Galdrin ap Morgangaldrin on August 30th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
If the library doesn't have copies, donate them there. Otherwise, look for youth reading programs or retirement homes and such who would probably love to have fresh additions to their stock.
starfall: booksstarfallz on August 30th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
I haven't figured that one out myself. Good luck!
Lady Doomlithera on August 30th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
Personalized stuff goes to friends who I know will treat it well. Just autographed stuff, I usually just sell. It doesn't happen often that I let go of either, though.

And, "Oooooh. E-reader," she says.
Brianlogrusboy on August 30th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
existentially important question
Charity auction?
Pádraig Ó Méalóidslovobooks on August 30th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Keep the ones that mean something to you, and the ones signed by authors you hold in especial awe (which probably both mean the same thing).

Otherwise, if you're not going to read them again, and you've either
A) got no particular attachment to the author, but just ran into them at a con and bought the book out of politeness;
B) You see said author on a very regular basis, so, to put it bluntly, geting an autographed book by them will never be difficult,
C) the author forced the book on you, even though you hadn't really wanted it, but were too polite to say no.

Once you've kept the ones you really want, then let your head rule your heart, and move the rest on. After all, you really only want the ones that mean something to you, and keeping ones that don't kind of dilutes that. And living space these days isn't getting any bigger, that's for sure.

Callous, I know. Actually, I think it's this kind of blunt honesty that gets me into trouble!
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on August 30th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
If the signatures mean something to you but the books don't, you could take out the pages with the signatures and keep them in a scrapbook and then donate the rest of the book (if said pages aren't such as to keep them from being donateable).

I love my nook. Just sayin'. :)
blitheringpooksblitheringpooks on August 31st, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
Going to so many autographing with several (or many) authors, I ended up with tons of them. Those from close friends ended up in a box in the attic and have been there for so many years they are probably brittle and falling apart and ready for the bin, anyway.

The others, I tore the autographed page out of them and gave them to charity. I couldn't stand the thought that the authors would run across them and realize I had given them away (from the autograph) so I just took them out.
so_mercurial: reading = loveso_mercurial on August 31st, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
hmmm, i vote charity auction. :)

Trent the Uncatchableknappenp on August 31st, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
Find someone else named 'Kit' or 'Catie', or have another child and name her appropriately, and pass them along.
irishkateirishkate on September 3rd, 2010 11:19 am (UTC)
Well, there is the "finding someone with a similar name" idea but also I think possibly the charity auction...Perhaps you could also sign the book so that they have you and authors signature to show.... provenance? *evil grin*

Sell them on ebay under an assumed name or names?

Birthdays, Christmas etc? Housewarming gifts for people who come visit (which reminds me I need more books of yours......)