Discussion: The Signed Book Conundrum

January 27, 2016     erinthebooknut     Discussion


Today I went through my massive collection and pulled out a bunch of books that are going to go to the used bookstore. Now that I live in a small apartment I have much less room for books. Unfortunately I came across a dilemma, a pretty big dilemma.

I’ve been to a bunch of author events over the last two or 3 years and so I’ve accumulated a great number of signed books. The problem is I read them and discover that:

a) the book is not for me.


b) the book was good but I’ll probably never read it again and it doesn’t hold any sentimental value.


c) the book doesn’t interest me anymore.

Either way I really can’t keep them.

Part of me feels really guilty about it, at least for some of them. A few I bought signed so I don’t feel so bad about giving those up. The ones I got at events, met the author, and got them signed are the ones I’m having trouble parting with.

I feel like I shouldn’t be giving away these books, like I might offend someone by getting rid of a book they signed to me. And it’s not meant with any disrespect, not at all! I just lack the storage space and they didn’t make the cut. But should I feel so guilty about it? No, not really. Does it really matter to an author if I give away their book? Probably not. I’ve just got a weird attachment to my collection.

Is it that I met the author? That they signed the book to me specifically that makes me feel so guilty about it? I guess. They’re also pieces of the trips I’ve made to events all over, experiences I hold close to my heart. But in the end it’s the experience that matters, not the book.

So I went to Twitter, and found I’m not the only one who feels this way! Many of you guys said you experienced something similar. A bunch of authors replied too, saying they’d rather the books go where they’re needed and appreciated. So I’m resolving to no longer feel guilty and taking these books where they’re wanted.


Does giving up signed books make you feel guilty? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

From my shelf to yours,


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