I have a confession. And it’s a two-parter.
*deep breath* I don’t reread books. Well, that’s not entirely true, but it’s mostly true. I reread only about three books normally. I reread Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary because I’ve loved that book since I first read it as a child and makes me want to be a writer. It’s honestly why I will email authors to this day just to let them know how much I loved their work. I reread The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin because I love Turtle Wexler and I discover something new each time I read it. And I reread The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd because it was the first Queer Fiction book I’d ever read. It still holds a special place in my heart and always will. But other than that, I don’t reread books. I may reread a book if a new one in the series came out. Sometimes I’ll reread a book if the author came out with a new one and I’m feeling nostalgic. But generally, I read a book, I sit with it for a minute, and then I move on. It’s not because they aren’t wonderful books. It’s just that my list of books to be read is so high, I’d rather read a new thing than something I’ve already experienced.
Not such a big deal, right? Well, here’s part two: I don’t keep most of my books. Judging from the Facebook pages I follow and the blogs I read, this is sacrilege. But I just don’t see the point of keeping the book if I’m not gonna read it again. Now, I do agree that a house filled with books looks like a home, but seeing as I have 577 books in my house (that’s a literal number as I keep track with Libib) and have only read about 20 of them, I think my house is looking quite nicely like a home. I do keep copies of the three books I read again and again. And I keep a lot of my queer books, but that’s because I have a secret dream of one day running a Queer Bookstore.
But even that is slowing changing. After seeing a request to loan queer books out to those without access on Libib, I jumped at the chance. Because, here’s my thing, books deserve to be loved. By anyone and everyone who can. So why should I limit by books to a life on the shelf where they will probably never be picked up again, when I can pass them on. Sometimes I take them to used bookstores. Occasionally I take them to the local Goodwill. When I’m passing by I’ll stop off at one of the Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood (seriously, whoever invented that deserves every award imaginable). If I know someone who will enjoy it, I’ll just mail it straight to them. And everyone once and a while, I’ll just hand a book to a stranger. Just two weeks ago, someone commented on a book I had brought with me to the beach (I was on vacation from work, my first in the four years since I started my job) and I just told her to take it. There will always be books out there and there will always be readers. So why shouldn’t I share those books with any reader who wants them?
But that’s just me. What about you?