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In which Hank gives advice on what to do with too many books, and wonders about Authors and whether they should get paid more.


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A Bunny
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((') (')
Good morning, John. It's Thursday, February 22nd, (echoing voice) and this is the sound that my MacBook makes when I've got the speakers on while I'm recording. blaargaaahhaablaa. That's, that's enough of that. (echoes end) Yesterday, a commenter, Julia, brought up a problem that I think a lot of us deal with. Now, because you're a semi-famous author, I think that a large percentage of our fan base are book readers. The problem with books is that they're kinda big. I mean, not one book, but when you have a couple hundred they can become kind of unwieldy. And it can become kind of difficult to find places to put all of them. I have this problem, and so does Julia, and I would like to show Julia and the rest of our viewers how I deal with this problem. (shot of large bookshelf, chipmunk voice) We have this bookshelf, which not only has books but also DVDs and some random stuff and more books...and more books. (Books with no shelf on wall) It looks as if these are just affixed to the wall, as if there's some kind of anti-gravity device. How does it work? (Hank removes book, metal piece is sticking out of wall) The thing's screwed into the wall. It's got a little clasp down there. (slides book on) It goes on, and it holds up the cover. (another bookshelf) Over here, we have a less innovative method for storing books. (Stack of books) Another method for storing books is to put embarrassing books in the closet. What? What Star Trek novels? I don't have any Star Trek novels! (more floating books) And up here we have two more of the amazing floating book stacks. They also double nicely as picture holders. (table) Katherine and I are also fans of the random stacks in random places. This one is on our kitchen table. (Shelving with bookshelves on top) So, yeah, we have a lot of built-in shelving, which helps us with the book problem. (bed side table) More random stacks in random places. (On top of a dresser) There's my underwear drawer. (giggles, closes drawer with foot) This one's on our dresser. (Shelf above bed) And, of course, there is the bed stand stack, which, you will notice includes Philip Gourevitch's We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Our Families. These are the books that we are supposedly reading right now, though, I have to say that I haven't been reading that book very much lately. (kitchen counter) Sometimes, we find books in completely random places, like on top of this bowl. (bathroom) Toilet-side magazine stack. (small table) Another random stack. (some picture frames on a shelf) My chemistry books are hiding behind pictures of Italy and the three-volume complete Calvin and Hobbes. But, most importantly, we have the places where the books go when we can't fit anymore books, because we will always have this problem. The place that Katherine and I most commonly go is called the Book Exchange (a sign that says The BOOK EXCHANGE) The Book Exchange is awesome because you can buy books from the Book Exchange and then exchange them for the exact amount that you paid for them. So, say that Katherine bought an Agatha Christie book from the Book Exchange for a dollar fifty. She can take it back and get a dollar fifty in used paperback credit. Just today, Katherine and I took back a giant stack of books to the Book Exchange, where they gave us $40 so we could buy more books at the Book Exchange, which is a pretty good deal because they have a lot more shelf space than we do and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying books at Barnes and Noble. How do authors feel about used bookstores? Other authors here are, of course, invited to answer this question, as well. What about libraries? And what about downloaded books? I mean, I, personally, have to admit that I have, in fact, downloaded books before and read them on the internet. I don't really feel bad about it because they're not the kind of books where the authors are, are really trying to make a living. Like Alexander Dumas, he's not saying, “Oh, I wish those people wouldn't download my books!” The question becomes, when we buy a book, what are we paying for? In all of these cases, libraries, used bookstores, and downloaded books, people are reading your books, but you're not getting credit for it. You're not getting money for it. So how does that make you feel? One thing I know for sure is that it'd be a heck of a lot easier to put all these books someplace if they were on my hard drive instead of on my wall. I'll see you tomorrow.