Help us play publisher:
We’re thinking about organizing another Books on the Nightstand book for 2014, and we’d love your ideas. We had such fun putting together Two Books I Can’t Wait For You To Read and Two Books I Can’t Wait For You To Read, Volume Two. Your book recommendations have given us two great books that we look at often. Should we publish a volume 3? We will need your participation, so if you think we should go a different direction, we’d love to hear your ideas.
You may also consider this a reminder that our previous books are still available. You can order copies via links on our Shop BOTNS page.
Please leave your ideas for our next book in the comments of the show notes (use this link if you get this via email) by the end of December. Thanks!
Havisham by Ronald Frame, narrated by Anne Flosnick is my pick for this week’s Audiobooks.com Audiobook of the Week.
Special thanks to Audiobooks.com for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand.
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How to cull a library (10:26)
Listener Colleen, an avid book collector for most of her life, asks how to begin culling her library. Michael and I are faced with this problem quite often, and we’ve put together a few tips:
- Start with your ‘”impulse” purchases. If you can’t remember why you bought a particular book, or if you can’t remember ever buying it in the first place, get rid of it.
- When possible, donate to an organization that will make you feel good about the donation.
- If you are not a habitual re-reader, keep only your very, very favorites to re-read.
- Incentivize your culling: for every x books you donate, allow yourself to buy one new book. Note: this should not be a 1:1 ratio.
- Or do the reverse: tell yourself that for every book you keep, you have to donate a certain number. Once you’ve donated your target number, allow yourself a new book.
- Don’t take a job in publishing, bookselling, or book blogging. The books replicate faster than you can cull.
Do you have any tips? Let us know in the comments.
Two books we can’t wait for you to read (22:38)
Michael’s recommendation this week is called The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness, 751 Books to Cure wWhat Ails You. This is a collection of reading “prescriptions” –all novels, from classic to contemporary — to get you out of a funk and make you feel better, no matter what your ailment. Lack of seduction skills? Try Richard Mason’s History of a Pleasure Seeker. There are also several great lists of books: the 10 Best Break Up Novels, for example. There are also recommendations for “reading ailments” — one of which is “Overwhelmed by the number of books in your house.” The prescription: cull your library.
I am currently reading (and definitely recommend) Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang, who you may know from her brilliant Wild Swans. Cixi was a Chinese ruler who had a reputation for being ruthless and vengeful, but Jung Chang has tapped an array of original sources to turn that perception on its head. Instead, the author says, Cixi was a smart ruler who was responsible for bringing China into the modern century. After launching a coup against the men who were installed to guide the 5-year-old Emperor in ruling China, she took command, ruling mostly from behind a silk screen. Cixi was responsible for the end of foot binding; she brought current technology to the military weapons, brought the railroads to China, and was very involved in domestic and foreign affairs.