Who needs books anymore?

I have a Kindle that I do all of my reading on. Even my beloved OED has been replaced by its online version, as has my much thumbed medical journal – there are so many more illnesses and exotic diseases on the www. And the giant how to DIY manual never got much use anyway – apart from as a doorstop or a step, or occasionally even a wasp or spider killer – the heavier the book the less likely you are to hear the crunch.

I used to have an enormous bookcase full of books – most of them hardbacks and most of them read only once and then never touched again. I’ve packed them up and hauled them in and out of four houses, now. They get heavier every time, and I began to notice that moving house was the only time they ever got touched. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d pulled a book out to actually look at it.

So I decided that the books had to go, thinking it would be easy to sell them – and it was to begin with. I listed them on Amazon and cleared out quite a few before the glut of second hand books available drove the price down so much that it just wasn’t worth the effort anymore. I’d go to list a book and find a dozen more already listed for 1p each.

I tried taking them to a local second hand book shop but discovered it had closed down a couple of months before. I couldn’t even give them away.

In the end I resorted to shoving a couple of books into the suitcases of people who came to stay with us, but still had a couple of large boxes left. I couldn’t bear the idea of throwing them away but they had to go (catamaran sailors travel light) so I hid them in the back of the attic of a house we were selling.

I hope, when they’re discovered, that they’ll be appreciated – either as a lucky find or for their antiquarian value.

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