Stephanie Shaver

Sometimes Writer Always Extremely Online

About Me

Hello, my name is Steph. I’ve been writing and publishing since 1988 and I’ve been in the games industry since 1996. I wrote a little bit more on the About Me page. This is my sometimes-updated website. Enjoy.

The Purge: Reader’s Digest Edition

Speaking as a book lover, I have no problem getting rid of books.

This appears to be a bit of a scandal in the wider world at the moment ever since Marie Kondo told you all to burn your tomes and paint your naked bodies with the ashes*.

We have two (adult) bookshelves left in our home. One holds mostly entertainment-style fiction (s-f, fantasy, literature) and research (history, programming, science) and one holds informative non-fiction (cookbooks, knitting, other instruction manuals, etc.).

We’re actually due a purge. The books I can’t bear to part with are either required for my anthology writing (I have every Valdemar book ever, some of them from when I was in elementary school) and sentimental value.

But it’s unlikely Mike or I will ever reference our Rails, PHP, and Java manuals again (and there are better references online anyway), and I don’t think I’ll ever cook from the Better Homes & Gardens book again (sorry, Mom), so they’ll be going.

I loved these things once, but they are from a before-time, and it’s good to recognize that they had a place but they don’t apply anymore.

I am not without sympathy. If you haven’t moved a lot, it can be hard to make these choices. If you grew up with little, it can feel scary or overwhelming to let go. It can even feel wasteful or, I don’t know, ungrateful.

But you know what I hate more than guilt? Clutter. Cleaning up stacks of books. Piles and piles of books I will never read or reference again. Books grimy with dust. Books that could be loved and used by someone else.

Because I’m not going to trash these books. Unless they have met some hideous demise or contain bad information, I’ll donate them. Find new homes. Fresh eyes. Hands to hold them once more.

And if you think my bookshelves are bare, let this warm your heart: my ebook collection is massive.

Just waiting for someone to release a book about the life-changing magic of tidying up the clutter on your PC desktop.

* Yeah okay she didn’t say that. But the way some people are acting, you’d think she did.