If there is one event by which I can measure the passing of the years its the book purge. I don’t engage in them frequently. I like books, and having them sitting in piles around my (and other peoples) abode(s) makes me happy. It can’t go on though. Eventualy you realise that without intervention you will soon be replacing the IKEA sofa unit with paperback editions of Penguin classics. That you haven’t even read. And never will.
So you start shuffling through the shelves, dislodging the dust where neccesary. Most titles are, of course, indespensable. The dog eared ‘Neuromancer’ is going nowhere, neither is the coverless mess of random pages that was once Iain M Banks ‘Excession’ until *someone* took it hiking in their handbag (you know who you are). Yes, I do still need two copies of all eleven volumes of The Sandman, get your hands off them!!!
But after a few hours of ruthless decision making I now have a few feet of vacant shelf space. Not that it will last, as my spending spree on Amazon proves…
…just added to the book pile. Kelly Links ‘Magic for Beginners’, Editor Ellen Datlows ‘Years Best Fantasy 2006’ and K J Bishops ‘The Etched City’. I have high hopes they will all make it through future book purges untouched.