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A lady who helps people de-clutter suggested getting rid of books we do not love (with a concession writers and researchers may be more lax). And book social media is losing its dang mind and calling books magic objects that come into our lives for a reason and and and....

Book culture on social media is like this. It's the performance of books as magic objects, and elevating consuming them into this unique act.

Here is the thing: Books are not a special object that transcend being consumer goods. Often elevating them to such renders invisible the labor behind them and that it should be compensated.

There are bad books!

Books as an identity is not more healthy than "gamer" as an identity. You may love books or games! You may devote yourself to them! But they are a consumer good. Not an identity.

Absolutely, get rid of the books you do not love. You own your possessions. They do not own you.

It's sort of a problem because people who identify with books in an unhealthy way, who insist books are not consumer goods, are like, one of the few marketing channels available.

The way to sell books as consumer goods is to say your book is more than a consumer good and give it to people who believe that who agree your book is more than a consumer good, who will the help you become bestseller.

Head asplode.

@some_qualia some books (the content) are more than just consumer goods. I can think of at least one that changed my life irrevocably. But I don't own a copy of that book, because the objects are just consumer goods, and one of the changes involved a few transitions where I could only own what I could carry.

I remember an essay about reading a book and even forgetting that you read it, and how all the same it changes your trajectory. Rarely kept a book after.

@some_qualia "Books as an identity is not more healthy than "gamer" as an identity." This applies to almost anything, tbh, irregardless of whether these are consumer objects or not.

@some_qualia
That's what I love about e-books

My hard disk has way more space than my room

@some_qualia
Although I still have tons of pages I have yet to read

@some_qualia @OldBrushNewPaper Adding to this: It’s totally okay to be a book snob. I call it “curating my media for the sake of my mental health.”

If a book makes you uncomfortable, you may (and probably should) stop reading it.

Case in point: I found a novel last week whose epigraph suggested it was a lighthearted romp through cyberpunk patent piracy. 3/4 or the way in, an incidental scene was so gory it triggered a panic attack. I stopped then and there and returned it to the library asap.

@some_qualia Books are a cheap and easy identity/consumer habit to get into as a young adult; between used bookstores and the $5 table at B&N or Borders (RIP) you can buy a lot of them even when you're a broke twenty-something. It's a habit that lasted well into my 30s, by which time I'd bought far more books than I'll ever realistically read, much less consult frequently, in my lifetime. I have some books that are very special to me, but so many others are just objects taking up space.

@some_qualia
I'm going through Marie Kondo's Spark Joy process.

Earlier this week, I went through all my books. Novels, non-fiction, academic textbooks, graphic novels and TPBs...

I filled 12 boxes with books I'll be giving to charity. 12 boxes.

And I feel better for it, because the books that I kept are ones I really care about and re-read.

But I dumped all my Harry Potter novels, Dark Materials, Discworld and LoTR, because they did once brig me joy. No longer.

@hit_the_books And that’s good! You wouldn’t be doing the de-cluttering thing if clutter didn’t make you kind of unhappy. Twelve boxes is a LOT of room in your house. And it’s much harder to find the books that do bring you joy if you have 12 boxes worth of books that do not!

@some_qualia
So true. I'm lso going to be getting rid of mu current bookshelves once the decluttering is over. The shelves are built in and way too deep. Hiding books and sucking all the energy out of the living room.

@some_qualia
I'm a published author. Books are not inherently magical, nor are they meant to be hoarded. If you're not going to read it again or use it for reference, pass it on to someone else. What I created was meant to be experienced, not enshrined.

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Guillotines Inc.

General Communism, writing, and shitposts.