Book ’em

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I’m a book lover, and keep them all. As a result, we have hundreds. How many of those do you suppose are woodworking books?

My wife and I share a love of books. Both of us are generally reading a book at the house, either print or digital, while simultaneously enjoying another book in audio format in our cars. On occasion, we’ve even been known to have “upstairs” books and “downstairs” books we can read depending on our location.

Although we frequently loan books to friends and family we almost never get rid of them. However, we’re considering moving closer to family and downsizing to a smaller home in the process. The problem is obvious: Too many books to transport, and probably not enough room for them in a new home. Gotta do something about all those books.

She and I would probably have equal amounts if it weren’t for all my woodworking books, of which I’ve acquired a ton over many decades. Some were review copies I kept, some I bought myself, and even more were gifts. Many are duplicates. (I have no idea how or why, but I have four copies of Mark Duginske’s excellent band saw book.) I’ve not actually counted, but I’d guess I have at least 200 woodworking books, minimum.

Now, I will occasionally pull one out for quick reference or a project idea, but largely most go untouched for years. They’re all there for “just in case,” I suppose, but in reality their main purpose is looking beautiful on my shelves and taking up lots and lots of space. Sure, I’d keep some – probably several – but the truth is that most can go.

If this were 40 years ago I could happily distribute them to high schools with woodworking programs, which was pretty much all of them. Today, not so much. So, what to do with them? I don’t just want to box them up and dump them at a local book sale. I’d rather target them where they’ll do the most good.

My daughter will, of course, get many of them; in fact, before I do anything I’ll let her browse the shelves and take as many as she wants. But what of the rest of them?

I’m open to suggestions.

A.J.

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