I spent the last two weekends installing bookshelves so Sharyn and I just spent three hours going through books that have spent the last 6 years in boxes and in many cases have not been seen or used in 10 years. Cockroaches like to eat Nietzsche and Hegel. They stayed away from Bertrand Russel.
We live in a small house in Sydney, a city which is now well up the list as the 21st most expensive in the world.
You start seeing equipment and books in the terms of cubic and square meters which is easily converted into a shockingly high dollar value.
So we find ourselves culling books with the following algorithm.
Fiction – If I’ve read it the only reason I would keep it would be if its a classic. I used to keep books to lend to others or I imagined that I might go back and read it a decade later. Or come the revolution use them for firelighters or an arrow proof jacket. Amazon means that anyone can find any book they want. I just tell them the name and they find it and decide if they really want to read it.
Non Fiction – If I can find the info on Google, then it goes. The exception are those books of high sentimental value. My well loved M68000 assembly handbook. The Dragon compiler book. Signal Processing In Fortran And C. I remember when finding an algorithm or documentation to an API required a trip to a library, a professor, or the bookstore then a months wait for an order to come in. Even then it may not have been exactly what you wanted. Which hurt at $50.00 a book. Now I can look on Google for the info for close to free and find what I want via a fast feedback loop.
Didn’t Make The Cut
And those that didn’t make the cut? Maybe I will sell them on eBay 🙂