I will admit it: I am a book hoarder. When I was small, I lived for our weekly trips to the library. I had special permission from the librarian to take three times the allowable limit of books home with me–mostly because she’d quiz me upon their return and quickly realized I really had read all the books I took out. I was a voracious reader and the librarians grew used to seeing me show up with a huge pile of books to check out for this week’s activities. I raced through Encyclopedia Browns, absorbed the entire Nancy Drew series, moved to the Hardy Boys, and then, because I could, took the leap to Agatha Christie. Of course, as I grew up I discovered The Yard Sale and all my spare change went to buying books that I didn’t have to give back to the library.
What a mistake THAT discovery turned out to be.
Most people know I moved a lot. A LOT. I got very good at packing my belongings. As we continued to move across the US and overseas, the possessions I clung to were my books. (Although I must admit that my mother coerced me to sell my COMPLETE Agatha Christie paperback collection before we moved overseas. I have never forgiven her for that, as my therapist will verify. Fortunately, my collection is almost back to it’s former glory.)
Fast forward a generous number of years, and the good news is I now
have a house. With lots of bookshelves. The bad news is those
bookshelves groan in agony because I keep adding to them. You’ll be
happy to know I’ve expanded my interests to include genres of all types
and audiences. Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, secrets of the
universe…. and just to drive my husband nuts, I have a separate
bookshelf for professional development. This is not a small one but is,
by it’s very definition, off limits to my husband’s weak protests. When
I want to learn, I buy a book (yeah, I can actually walk to B & N
from my house. Sad, isn’t it? Even when Mohammed tries to refuse the
mountain, they build another one within walking distance.) Many, many,
MANY books. And they rapidly become extinct as new versions of
applications are released. But still, I stay abreast.
however, I have been thinking of trying to take a different tack here.
Through my twitter feed, and my RSS feeds, and even conference
offerings, I see a number of recommendations on books that I
should/need/would like to read. Some are about social networking, open
communication, new thoughts, and generally expanding my awareness in
new fields of interest. But because I get busy, often times these
suggested readings get lost in the shuffle (see this flickr pic to see just how messy my multitasking gets). So I am suggesting a mashup of my own interests: What if I have found a use for my wiki space
and create a reading list and local bookswap? Suddenly, my wikispace
has a purpose; I have a ready-made space to add these book
recommendations; and best of all, if I can get my social network to buy
into this idea, I can rely on the power of the community to make this
hook up actually work. Not only that, someone might actually read my
blog and decide to comment and (heaven forbid) start a discussion. My
world would reframe in an instant on that one.
So what do you
think? Does this sound like an idea? I would be very willing to offer
up some of my books to help expand other’s reading efforts. Has anyone
done this before? Any suggestions? Thoughts? Anyone?