Last weekend I randomly decided to give away a bunch of books to whoever wanted them, even volunteering to take care of the shipping to get the books to their new homes. More than one person wondered why I was doing it and/or what the catch was. Fair enough.
The first reason I did it was to clear off space on my bookshelves and to get rid of boxes I’ve got around the house. I’ve been publishing books for more than ten years. I’m very proud of those books. I love the way they look, I love the memories associated with them. I love their essence.
And I think that’s why I’ve hoarded them for so long. For no discernible reason, I’ve kept multiple copies of different books around the house. Some of them were old Bleak House titles (R.I.P. 2001-2009), some of them were early Tyrus titles. Some of them were cool limited editions. Some were review copies. I had a big ol’ collection of these books.
Ostensibly, I kept copies around because every now and then I’ll make contact with movie people or influential folks of the world and I will think, “Ah ha! This person desperately needs a copy of This Book!” and I never wanted to be caught empty handed.
Anyway, last weekend I looked at all of those books and I felt like telling them, “Listen, it’s not you, it’s me. I need some space.”
So I did what any 21st century problem solver would do–I turned to the internet and begged for help.
I made an announcement on Twitter that people should put together their list of titles from the Bleak House and Tyrus collections, and if I had the books in my personal collection, I’d ship them off right away. Lots of people came through for me on Twitter (because they are awesome people). It was fascinating for me to see, of all the books I’ve ever published, the titles that generated the most interest.
I ran out of some titles right away. I didn’t have copies of others from the very start. I filled some orders completely. Others went out pathetically incomplete. I’ve got a few more to process today and then they will be gone.
I’ve now got the space I needed–both mentally and spatially–but more than that, I got a sense of satisfaction knowing that these millions of words I’d been hoarding, would now be out in the world with the power to mesmerize others like they’d done for me over the last decade. Suddenly, the world felt like it just got a bit lighter.
Thank you, authors. Thank you, books.
Thank you, readers.
Love to you all,
p.s. The photograph above is of my special bookcase that holds a copy of everything I’ve ever published (one copy only). Not including reprints of books other houses originally published, there are 103 titles in that collection.