Posted by September Blue Friday, 4 January 2008

Because January pay is bad pay, I am gathering together books to sell.

This makes the situation sound a bit on the melodramatic side. I will start again.

Because January pay is bad pay, and because I'm still at my parents' house along with all of my books that don't live in mine, and because it's occurred to me that books I have lived without for five years are probably books I don't need, I am gathering together books to sell. Most of them are Philosophy textbooks from my undergrad years, and I can't justify hanging onto them for any reason beyond liking the subject. When I can get around £15 per book for six books on Amazon Marketplace, I can't afford to like the subject.

However. However. Can I justify holding on to my best secondhand bookshop find ever? It cost me £12 for the set, nearly new, and £12 is a lot, really, but I picked it up because I thought that Lives of Victorian Literary Figures looked like the kind of thing I'd appreciate having on my bookshelf in years to come. Plus, there's a lot of rare material here. Plus, I love this series. So I bought it, and then I idly Googled it a few days later to find out if Part II would ever be within my financial reach, and then I blinked at the screen in silence for a while, and then I carefully moved the books to a less precarious shelf.

I mean, I'm broke. Very broke. I have no guaranteed teaching for next semester, and no guaranteed work of any sort for the summer. I can just about afford the rent on my flat. Can any academic investment justify keeping hold of a three-book set I could get £200 for on Amazon or AbeBooks?

But maybe, by letting me find them as I did, the whimsical fates of academia were giving me a chance to own books I couldn't have afforded new. It's probably bad luck to turn down good luck like that.

And maybe, by letting me find them as I did, the whimsical fates of academia were giving me £200.

The debate rages on inside my head. For now, they stay on the bookcase.


  1. francofou Says:
  2. Wow. What a shame. Selling a book you like is painful. Don't you have anything else to sell? Like brownies or your brother?

  3. Laz Says:
  4. You should keep the expensive books. The Fates gave them to you for £12 for a reason and one day they will make it clear...