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General > Dear Abby letter

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message 1: by Joseph (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 1864 comments Mod
I like to read Dear Abby and came across a letter to her this morning that I thought would be interesting to get your opinions on. What do you think of Abby's response? How would you have responded?

DEAR ABBY: I love to read. I have kept every book I have read, so I probably have close to 600 books in my library, which is actually a small room, overflowing with books and nothing else.

Why do you think I can't let go of them? I lend them out to only a select few, and I always make sure they are returned. I could do lovely things with this room if my books weren't in the way, but I can't seem to part with them. -- BOOKWORM IN NEW YORK

DEAR BOOKWORM: It's probably because your books have become an extension of yourself. Because you would like to do something else with the space they occupy, sort through them and keep only the most precious ones. If there are titles you would like to read again one day, do as many others are doing -- read them on an e-reader.

message 2: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 363 comments I'm not sure Dear Abbey quite understands Bookworm In New York.

message 3: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments Melissa wrote: "I'm not sure Dear Abbey quite understands Bookworm In New York."

That's what I was thinking too. I don't know if its a matter of switching over to an e-reader, and getting rid of the dead tree books.

message 4: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments I sometimes get pressure from "outsiders" to thin out my book collection. I wonder if Bookworm is dealing with the same thing, because he/she struggles with the decision to get rid of them. I consider my books part of the decoration in my apartment.

message 5: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 363 comments I do occasionally give away some of my books, usually to the library because then they are still available to check out, but only when I am ready to not when other people think I should.

message 6: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 510 comments It's funny. My family always talks about the amount of books I have- which is nothing compared to many of the people in this group. My dad just called me to discuss this Dear Abby letter. I think he was trying to gauge my reaction to it. He's anti-ereader though, so he didn't agree with her advice.

message 7: by Thom (new)

Thom Swennes (Yorrick) | 592 comments I Think Dear Abbey give a very practical solution to a problem but does Bookworm in New York actually perceive his obsession of book collecting as a problem? My opinion is no. I’ve read enough books and known enough women to know that Bookworm in New York is of the fairer sex and isn’t actually asking for a solution. She is asking for sympathy and support…….she wants to hear “you’re an extraordinary individual with a unique mania; Dear Abbey is obviously not a Goodreads member. If you want a solution, build a larger room for your books and if that is impractical or impossible, move your living room furniture into the library and the library into the living room. I’m a man and men are known for providing practical solutions; no matter how impractical and ridicules. I say BULLY to Bookworm in New York, may all your problems be so small!

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Dear Abbey was clueless this time.

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) Yeah, she probably just viewed her as a type of hoarder. People who aren't bibliophiles usually just can't get it. There are many readers like this too who can't understand what she's speaking of in the letter.

But then again, the woman approached Abby pointing out that she finds this a problem and needs help with it. A bibliophile likely wouldn't do that as it wouldn't bother them so much. Maybe there is something with this woman where she can't part with the books, but it sounds like she wants to?

message 10: by Laurel (new)

Laurel (goodreadscomboddy_l) | 125 comments I am guessing that the letter writer is like many of us on GR. I certainly don't get rid of books, and have trouble parting with any of my collection. Besides having the intrinsic value of their contents, many of my books represent memories of where I bought them, when I was reading them at a particular point in my life, memories of friends who suggested an author or a series etc. I think Thom is correct in saying that the letter writer was looking for empathy. Dear Abbie doesn't get it. Too bad she didn't suggest GR as a place to seek support and understanding, rather than suggesting the e reader route, which many bibliophiles abhor. I used to be one of them. Now, I have developed a workable system for using both. My collection continues to grow, but is generally taking up less room.

message 11: by Jocelin (new)

Jocelin | 151 comments I guess my opinion would be: what's the problem? I think Bookworm is over thinking the issue about their books. If BW wants to make this small room into something else, then some serious planning and restructuring of the books needs to happen. This is what happens when you want two things at once and aren't willing to make a decision about one of those things. For BW I will give this advice; if you love the books keep the books. Stop wondering what the room could be and love and appreciate it for what it is.

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