1. You’re never going to read that one. Really. Let it go.
2. You’re never going to re-read this one. It’s dead weight. Let it goooo.
3. You’re never going to re-read this one either…but you loved it so much the first time that it’s unimaginably precious anyway. Into the box it goes.
4. Hardcovers are so heavy. Stop buying hardcovers.
5. But this hardcover is so pretty…
6. You forgot you had this one. You remember reading it. You remember that salsa stain and each individual dog-ear. It’s like running into somebody you used to know, the person who makes you realize now just how much you’ve changed. Usually for the better, but maybe a little bit for the worse? You lie on the floor and think about life and death and stuff for awhile.
7. You forgot you had this one, too. You’ve never read it. It was a gift from someone close, someone who’s gone now, someone who shared your love of reading. You love it, but you know you’re never going to read it. You gently place it in the get-rid-of box, trusting that your memory of that kind and thoughtful gift is enough.
8. Or you keep it, even though you’ll never read it. After all, you’ve packed up far less worthy mementos today.
9. The dust and wear on all of these is gnarly. Jesus. You should take better care of your books.
But seriously–you’re never going to take better care of your books. It’s okay! They’ll probably outlive you anyway. (And you find that thought strangely comforting.)