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Random Thoughts: It all started with Cryer’s Cross

Once upon a time there was a girl who honestly believed that books should never sit and collect dust, that once she was done reading them they should be released into the world for others to read. And so the hundreds and hundreds of books she owned she gave away to friends or donated to various libraries until she had less than ten books to her name.

It was all very freeing until she realized she donated a Stephen King book worth hundreds of dollars to a library who sold it for a quarter. But, nonetheless, it was still nicer knowing that all those lovely books would get read by others. None of this lending business where books come back tattered, torn and dog-eared.

Then came the invention of the eReader and this girl was totally stoked. Here was a way to own all the content of those books, to have forever and always (hopefully), but not be required to see them sit on the shelf, unread even if never unloved.

So, this girl read all her remaining books and gave them away to friends and picked up her eReader for the first time happily having only five books to her name – three photo books and two Stephen King’s. (Yes, she did go out and buy a new copy of that book she accidentally donated.)

In November of last year, this girl decided to start blogging. And suddenly more books than she could imagine started creeping into her home. Books that couldn’t be found electronically, books she won in contests, and one or two review books. But she stood firm.

After she read each book, she would pass it along to friends and family – not knowing any bloggers at the time to give them to. This worked well until February of this year. Then all heck broke loose.

This poor, sad girl, who normally kept to herself, decided she would be a brave girl and attend a book signing alone. Fearful that she would be ridiculed for going by herself, thus appearing friendless, or that she was older than a teenager, she figured she would just hide in the back and leave quickly if things got ugly.

Much to her surprise, it was an amazing event. She was not the only one above the teenage years and wasn’t the only one going it alone. She met the author and two other authors in the process. But here’s where the trouble began for this poor, poor girl.

You see, she couldn’t attend a signing and not get a book signed. And when she saw there were two other authors she wanted their books signed as well. So, one book became three, very quickly.

As this girl has a slight problem with restraint (cough, cough) and also is slightly OCD about collections, the three books became twenty as she discovered online auctions for charity. And that twenty became closer to one hundred after the RT Convention in April.

So you see, this girl who once stood firm about not owning books for keeps, has managed to accumulate over one hundred permanent new members to her bookish family and has seventy-five books still to read and pass along.

And since the hundred books are all personally signed to her, she can’t very well give them away, and so they live, not always so happily in bins, only allowed out for air when they are planning to be read. What’s worse is that she still searches each day for new books to add to this growing collection, going against all her former beliefs.

But all it took was one little book, a “one sit read” entitled Cryer’s Cross by the very amazing Lisa McMann.

***

* This post is just about the printed books shown in the photo above. The eBook collection is more in the range of six to seven hundred.

** And yes, those are all the books minus the pile of about ten ARCs that were sitting on the coffee table and got missed when this picture was taken. The ones on the tower bookshelf are transients and the ones on the floor are all permanent members of the family.

*** And finally, yes, those stacks did fall over three times while attempting to take that picture.

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