344 Books Must Go «

Life: ,

Over the last couple years I’ve been reducing the amount of stuff I own*, and now it’s time for most of the books to go. I’m giving away 344 books, three-quarters of my book collection, free to any family, friend, or acquaintance for the asking. Really. If we’ve met or traded mail before now and we got along decently, I’ll give you free books for the asking, just click that link to see the books I’ve tagged “giveaway”.

* I know it’s odd, but I just don’t like lots of things around to keep track of. I don’t feel like a happy consumer to be surrounded by posessions, it’s just more and more stuff to keep track of.

Just mail me to say what books you’d like. If you’re in Chicago this could be an excellent excuse to drop by for dinner, or if we just know each other from a local user group I’ll bring ’em there for you. If you’re outside of Chicago and not dropping in anytime soon, send your current mailing address and I’ll ship them to you.

Blue Bookshelf
Five years ago I donated about 200 books I didn’t really care for to my to my then-local library. I got the idea for this giveaway when I realized that I only reread a few of my books on any regular basis. As soon as it occurred to me that I might be able to fit them all on my little blue bookshelf, I had to try. I’d have made it if I could give up my dream that someday I’ll write a comic, so I have another shelf with 50 or so books I’ve promised myself are “reference”.

One last note: I received some of the books I’m giving away as gifts. If you see a book you gave me on the list it’s not there because I don’t like you/it or didn’t appreciate the gift, it’s only that I want to reduce how much I own and I deliberately picked a difficult constraint.

2007-05-10: All of the books have been given away.


  1. I did the same thing about two years ago. I gathered up all my dBase III and Lotus 123 books – put them in the hallway by the front door – and they sat there for 18 months. Finally, I convinced a buddy that he could “sell” them on eBay. He snatched them up like they were gold. I think his wife is still mad at me!

  2. I really can relate to your desire to remove extraneous possessions. I moved somewhere between 8 and 12 times between entering college (Purdue) and now moving to Chicago.

    I can’t stand extra, unused, stuff. You’ve planted an idea in my head next time I clean out my bookshelf.

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