Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Friday, July 28, 2006

I'm so weird...

Sometimes, when I get a notion into my head, I can't let go of it until I've done something about it. I'm impatient that way.

For instance... while lying in bed one day this week (a luxury, during this unexpected time off...!) I was looking at one of the small bookcases in my bedroom that also serves as a nightstand, and noticed how many books I've had in it for years and years that I've not read yet, and probably never will.

"I should get rid of those," I thought. "I should get rid of all the books I'll never read, or have read and will never read again. Even the ones I've started and never finished, because they were boring."

And I decided I needed to do something about it RIGHT AWAY. Several times over the last couple of days, I've perused my various bookcases, taking note of the things I don't want anymore.

But I can't bear to just throw books away. It seems like such a waste. I love books. Even the ones I don't like have some value to someone, right?

But anytime I've taken batches of books to a couple of local used bookstores, they haven't wanted them. Maybe two or three out of 20, at most. And I'm still left shlepping around a bunch of unwanted books that I can't just throw in the trash.

So I often take my neglected books to my local Goodwill store. Yay, charity!

Okay, but here's the thing: whenever I take anything in there to donate, the people who work there look at me with dead eyes and take forever to take charge of what I've brought in. Mind you, I don't expect them to drop to the floor and kiss my feet for bringing in my cast-off clothing or kitchenware or books I won't read. No, just some acknowledgement that I am a human and I have some stuff to donate, that's all.

Mind you, it's not easy to find parking withing a reasonable distance, so there's that, too. I don't need to park four blocks away to haul a stack of books in.

So I don't go there when the store is open anymore. I've taken to leaving my crap -- uh, I mean, DONATIONS -- outside their front door at night, despite all the signage urging me not to. The new sign (that I saw last night, during my latest nocturnal drop-off) even says something about how it's illegal to litter.


Can you imagine being cited for something like that? "Sorry, officer, I didn't mean to leave all those messy BOOKS out there. They just jumped out of my trunk... neatly piled in three grocery bags...."

Luckily, I escaped the scene of the crime without getting caught. And now I feel compelled to reorganize all of my bookcases.

As I said... I'm weird.

At 28 July, 2006 23:02, Blogger Jon said...

I feel for ya. I've always had a hard time donating. We had been forced to either drive across town to a store that had a donation area, or drop off at a mobile trailer in the area which was always manned by some old guy that couldn't help with unloading. Being a home owner I want the write off so I don't drop and dash.

They opened a new Goodwill store just a mile down the road from me. They were smart and made a 2 lane drive thru drop off area. We're in and out with an entire truck load in no time. Plus they offer a free soda to me and my kids ane have young guys there to help unload. What a treat!

Geez, this comment sounds like I'm bragging. I hope they do something like this for you soon.

At 29 July, 2006 01:00, Blogger cadbury_vw said...


why's it always hard to give stuff away?

At 29 July, 2006 10:26, Blogger terry said...

jon, i'm coming to your goodwill next time!!

cad, i know! i don't take them crappy stuff. i throw that away.

At 29 July, 2006 11:05, Blogger buddha_girl said...

I was dry heaving when I read that you had a fleeting thought of tossing the books. (This coming from the book whore.)

When all else fails, post those suckers on ebay. Hell, I'LL post them for you. All you'll have to do is ship 'em when they sell. You might even be able to establish a little Visit the Easy Coast nest egg. (I'm selfish like that.)

Let me also say that I wish your Goodwill people were like mine. They meet me AT THE CURB, offer to unload my car, and ask if I'd like a receipt for the donation. Manners, respect, and personality. Imagine that!

At 29 July, 2006 11:08, Blogger Reg said...

You might try a local coffee shop for your books. Most have some sort of book exchange or corner where you can drop off some books and pick a few that interest you. No Goodwill, police or garbage men to deal with! Even some Starbucks stores do it.

At 29 July, 2006 11:11, Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

There's a diner just down the street from my old house who takes books.

They put a bookshelf up right at the door, with a sign saying 'help yourself.' Some folks just read while they're eating; others take the books with them. I've dropped off several boxes of books to them. Kid's books, too. It's fun to go in there and see a mommy reading a Blues Clues book to a child, and know that I was the one who put it there.

Don't always look in the usual places.

ps: please make the Bush Countdown thing go faster.

At 29 July, 2006 12:11, Blogger factory_peasant said...

for future reference skip the goodwill experience next time you want to ditch a bunch of books and go to your local library instead. after hitting used book stores and selling what you can, take the leftovers to a library and leave them in boxes at their drop off. most of them have a designated drop off spot near an entrance or at a loading area out back. they'll take 'em all and either use them in their collection or save them for a book drive and sell 'em used real cheap. either way they will be out of yer hair, y0.

At 29 July, 2006 12:46, Blogger terry said...

buddhagirl, i hadn't even thought about ebay. though i'm not sure anyone would want these books, since the damned used bookstores don't want them...!

reg and balloon pirate, you just gave me an idea: my laundromat. it has a little stand with very old magazines in it (it's entertaining to see what was big news in 'people' five years ago....). i'll bet it could use some books, too.

fp, the library's another great idea. i didn't realize they'd take my castoffs!

At 29 July, 2006 17:13, Blogger Queen of Cheese said...

Also, for future reference --there's a certain person in the Mission who always likes to take used books!!!!!!!!!!!!


Now that is first rate service!

At 29 July, 2006 18:08, Blogger terry said...

cheese, i actually thought of you...but there wasn't anything in the pile that i thought would interest you. but next time, i'll let YOU make that call!

At 29 July, 2006 22:18, Blogger Cherrie said...

I just can't bear to part with any books, even if I haven't read them and know I'm not likely to . . .

I envision my retirement being equal parts of book reading, travel and sex, not necessarily in that order!

At 30 July, 2006 05:01, Blogger DZER said...

you also might want to check with a local library or schools ... both are always looking for more books :)

At 30 July, 2006 19:18, Blogger JMai said...

You can't throw out books... you just can't! So I'm glad you decided to "litter" instead. Out of curiosity, do you remember any of the ones that were boring and you didn't like? I'm wondering because I've found myself unable to finish SOOO many books lately and that's really unlike me!

At 31 July, 2006 07:37, Blogger Suze said...

Terri, you never noticed the cctv over the street did you. They now have images of you littering on Crime Watch. LOL.

At 31 July, 2006 09:08, Blogger Natalia said...

I love books. I have loads of them. I tend to get rid of non-classic novels... like, let's say, The Devil Wears Prada...right...I read it...I am not gonna read it again. Some books I might keep cause I liked the author's voice or style and as a writer I want to revisit that. Classics I keep cause...well... they are classics. But then there's my theory books, my pedagogy books, etc. Those stay put. And I am always getting new ones. It's ongoing and I have made peace with the fact that will be all over the place at times. That said...the best thing for me is to go to the used books shop and turn in my books for credit to buy more books. You don't get money but you get credit in a bookstore...which to me is the same. :)


At 31 July, 2006 09:14, Blogger terry said...

cherrie, i feel the same way about books... but there were so many that have sat in my bookcases for more than a decade, so i thought i should do something about them.

dzer, i'm not sure there's any school that would have taken these books, but i should check next time.

jmai, the only one i can clearly remember is "interview with the vampire," which i've started many times since it first came out a thousand years ago, and i just...can't... what have you been reading and discarding?

suze, those cameras haven't invaded my neighborhood yet...then again, i didn't check! eeeek!

nat, that's funny... i have similar book standards. there are plenty on my shelves i'll probably never read again, but i'm keeping them. but something like "interview with the vampire," or some lame chick-lit book i bought? no problem passing those along.
and if i could interest my damned local used bookstores, i'd definitely take store credit!

At 31 July, 2006 18:51, Blogger JMai said...

Terry -- I'm not into Anne Rice or Stephen King, etc. The last several books I haven't been able to get into (that I can recall off the top of my head) were:

The Dante Club (uhh I forget)
Saving Fish from Drowning (Amy Tan)
Cause Celeb (Helen Fielding)

and one called Dear First Love which is by some fledgling Cuban novelist. And I'm reading one called Strand of a Thousand Pearls which is good but I find I don't have enough time to get through it. Then there were the good ones I finished, but now cannot recall but a few details -- The Rule of Four, Monkey Hunting. Maybe I'm just not in a very bookish state of mind lately?

At 31 July, 2006 22:34, Blogger terry said...

oh, amy tan... love her. well, i loved the joy luck club, anyway.

maybe you're not just in a bookish state of mind. or you haven't happened on the right books.

i tend to read a lot of non-fiction, so a novel has to be REALLY good these days to grab me.

At 01 August, 2006 18:38, Blogger Chrissie said...

LOL I did this same thing, well almost... i am a pack rat so even if i haven’t read it in years i WANT to keep it... but every so often a bug will crawl up there and I can actually get rid of things... I did this with my bookcase which was so jammed with books I couldnt fit one single comic thin book on there... and there were 3 or 4 stacks NEXT to the bookcase also... it took me about 6 hours *L* I got rid of three boxes of books (yep BIG shelf) and they are all grouped by genre and author! YAAAY! Organized!

Our local bookstore lady will take ALL your books. She goes through them and then if she doesn’t want them SHE will take them to goodwill for you. It’s a nice arrangement! So if you wanna drive a couple hours next time… ? I’ll give ya the address! ;)

At 01 August, 2006 19:02, Blogger terry said...

yeah yeah, chrissie... my bookcases were the same way! no room for anything new.

hey, maybe i should take a road trip next time...!


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