On reading your own books and moving: 01/30/17
As the first month of 2017 comes to a close I am still waiting for the specifics of our planned move to Canada. As I wait, I have been busy reading through my personal collection in preparation to weed as many of them as I can.
Our last move in 2004 was only across the San Francisco Bay but it was a rough move. The biggest set back in moving was our book collection. Our library had exploded for two reasons: first our toddler son had his own collection of books (a good thing) and I had taken on five vegetable crates of vintage books from a man downsizing to move into an assisted living apartment. I should have weeded then but I was still naively attached to all my books.
Now thirteen years later we are facing our longest move, surpassing our South Pasadena to Pacifica move by 2206 miles (3500 km). Granted we will have access to a professional moving company who will be packing and inventorying everything (due to the international aspect of this move) but there's still the unpacking at the other end of things. There's also the reality of all my husband's professional books that are currently sitting in storage that will no longer be sitting in storage.
Inspired then by this need to pare down our home collection (meaning pleasure reading for me, my husband, and our two children), I have moved the "ROOB" graphs from the monthly review page (see January) to it's own monthly feature. By separating it out, I can concentrate more on the process of reading through my collection, rather than just crunching some numbers for interest's sake at the end of the month.
In case you're wondering why the graphs are all called "ROOB" it dates back to a reading challenge I participated in back in April 2010 — read our own books. The idea was to read as many of our own books without buying new ones, spending too much time on ARCs, or taking too many books out from the library.
Although I wasn't the winner of the reading challenge, I have been enamored with the metrics it generates by weighing difference sources of books. A "perfect" score for a month would be a -5. A complete failure (meaning all new books) would be a 5.
Although January I read seventeen of my own books, five of these books were published in January. I suspect my ROOB score will suffer even with reading so many more of my own books (and so few library books) because I am also striving to read more currently published books. These new books are primarily ebooks, although CatStronauts: Mission Moon and CatStronauts: Race to Mars were paperbacks.
Looking at the running ROOB graphs by year, this January's uptick is not as high as last year's despite reading more current books. The offset is due to the fewer library books and the in flux of older books on my TBR list.
Finally there is the running average by month. Interestingly, most months come out about the same, being a mixture of library and to be read books. My "worst" months are March and October. March seems to be a popular release month for graphic novels and October usually means I'm buying things for CYBILs.