October 19th, 2012

Weeding the pLibrary

Some months -- possibly years -- ago, I went through my LibraryThing catalog and marked a bunch of books weed. I then slowly added more over time. More recently, I added another few dozen -- okay, more like a hundred -- and actually started weeding. What made the difference between hypothetical weeding and actually getting books in boxes and out the door?

Step 1 was deciding to return some particularly sticky loaned books to their owners. One of those owners was a formerly-related person. Awkward. What the postal service was invented for, imo. But before I could do that, I needed mailers. While I was at Staples buying mailers and some other things (including the For Her pens that people so love to mock and actually which are quite good pens and I really like purple and don't mind sparkly swirly stuff), I also bought medium boxes (the cubic foot boxes) and packing tape.

That was enough to push me over the edge. It seems so pointless to make stacks of books off the shelves if there is no process to then get them out of the house. Alas, because we use re-usable bags at the grocery store, we don't have paper grocery bags, otherwise the Option of Choice for moving books around (especially mass market paperbacks). But with boxes and tape, all I needed was a destination. And then I ran up against a bit of a wall: where should the boxes be sent?

I checked out online donation, but decided that was a last resort. The ReadingTree box down the road is chronically overflowing. The GotBooks box is okay, but it's a feed-it-one-book-at-a-time box, and that seemed onerous, given I'm trying to dispose of 200+ books (realistically, 300+). I had already investigated the main library's donation policy, and knew they weren't going to be happy if I showed up with more than one box at once, or with daily maximum donations for the number of days involved in the project. So I tried the other library, and completely failed to get an answer out of them about how much I could donate to them.

Despite their fairly public complaints in the local patch and newspaper about donation boxes interfering with their donation stream, I decided that if the library needed money, I'd much rather write them a check for a few hundred dollars than argue with them about accepting my donated books. From there, it was a brief google to the GotBooks we'll-pick-up-your-books page. I blinked, tho, at filling it out and instead called the number so I could make sure the pickup appointment would be at least mostly compatible with the rest of our plans.

Long story short: my boxes and bags have to be ready to go on November 9, and someone has to be here from 9 a.m. on to let them at the boxes and bags. But that we can do. My current calculations suggest this will reduce my pbooks to under a thousand, and will probably push the total pbooks in the house under 1500. Quite amazing, by my standards!