It is beyond my comprehension, why most of the influential well-known people keep books caged in the fancy book rack’s along the wall of their reading room. The literary over the tortured ego wall proudly display’s the collection. The books sourced, owned and hopefully read by them. The books act like trophies, and they pose before them like the hunters.
I am not sure, if they think, they have to display and keep so many books caged to make sure people know them to be well read. They may have read all. Some of the books will certainly be read again. Most of them will only feel the unnerving touch of a duster, cleaning them time to time.
The books have a lot more life and potential to be dying at such graveyards. This collection cage should not be their last resting place. Deprived of maintenance they age fast, the edges turn brown, spots will slowly appear on the pages; the pagers start taking that mellow yellow tone a sure sign of decay, and finally they get brittle enough to be of no use.
Doctors, Lawyers and many such professionals in perpetual learning mode access their books with high frequency. New theories, processes and continued learning necessitate the need for fresh books and updated volumes. Keeping these reference books which are accessed or will be accessed is absolutely desirable. What I don’t understand is the scores of neglected books that have never been flipped for ages, there is no chance that they will be read again, and nevertheless, they remain caged, silently buried in those literary ego walls. I think we must liberate them from the suffocating life…
Why cage them when you can share them? Give them to people who may or may not be able to afford them or people who would want to read them.
Why not un-cage the books you no longer need?
Why not share them with others?
I am sure that we will not find your books from class Xth – XIIth or even Graduations in those book racks. It will also surprise me if the resource books, and help books of the exam are there. I understand; in your view, they have served their purpose, and they should move on. Most likely for some of them, you have searched new readers. They could be your friends, relatives, neighbours or even juniors.
Why do you not use the same filter when it comes to other books? If you did, you will find it easy to give a life-extension to the books currently caged in your home. Do not resell, it is against the contract you unknowingly entered when you bought the book.
Share it. Let the person who wants it to pick it up or pay for the delivery.
Write a personalized message to the new owners. Ask them to part of the chain. Tell them also about this process and your reason of sharing. Ask them too to un-cage the books they no longer need. Keep the burial ground least populated.
Go ahead and buy more books to read and refill that haunting empty space where your un-caged books used to be. Or ask friends if they wanted to un-cage few of their books. Maybe you will inspire them.
I have been doing it for the last three year. In the first year, the act was emotionally draining. I had books that kept me company through ages. Some of them moved stations with me. The second year was easier and now its different. I look forward to this part of the year when I religiously share books.
The first two years saw me sharing some 180 books. I took them to my office at Dainik Bhaskar in Mumbai and freely displayed for colleagues to pick. The books included Stephen King collection. Desmond Bagley set and Ayan Rand. There was a different kind of peace and happiness I felt.
In the third year, I used social media to the advantage. In 2015, I posted picture of the 40 books I wanted to release on Facebook. In just an hour, they were claimed by readers. Someone even picked a few for his office library. Few requested me to send a specific book that they identified from the pictures. I sent volumes of National Geography to my friend in Muketeshwar, who owns Cottage Nirvana resort there. I expect they will find more readers there than anywhere else.
I equally encourage you to It is logical that books you refer or treasure should be kept with you. The books you refer or plan to read. They are anyway not caged. They have a utility. They are not dead. However, I am against hoarding of books you are never going to read. Trust me, you will even find people wanting to pick books by Chetan Bhagat and Sobha De.
This year. I am again sharing few of the books that must be freed. Here are the books I am un-caging this year. I expect they will be picked in no time,
If you are a regular flyer, you could always carry a book and leave it with a surprise note for the next passenger to find it.
Come to think of it. You could be starting a chain reaction. Suddenly and surely, you will contribute to books finding more readers. After an autobiographical self-learning, books are the best teachers…
Move on, share the books, un-cage them from their graveyard.