So yesterday, I posted on Goodreads (that’s me, here) that I keep multiple copies of certain books for the express purpose of sharing.  In an emergency, I know I can put my hands on extra Pratchett, Gibson, Calvino, Moore, Atwood, Borges, Tolkien, Mieville, and plenty more.  This is primarily for shoring up dinner conversations about genre, but sometimes it’s just about being a pushy book-pusher, which I am.  Entirely.

Booksellers, take note: I am not alone in having lots of double copies.  I have a few triples. These are increasing due to the fact that I often keep electronic copies too, especially of the heavy ones (Anathem, looking right at you, hon.)

And then there’s the quad: The Phantom Tollbooth.  One for reading with the family, one so dog-eared I’ve glued it back together yet again, one hardback on hand for gift-giving when I meet a child who should really have it but doesn’t know it yet, and one for the aforementioned emergencies.

It’s late in the year, but since it’s the 50th anniversary, I think I’ll say thanks again to Norton Juster, and to the wise adult who left this book for me to find.

What books do you share?


  1. I used to do much more book sharing (pre-kids); lately the house is too much of a tiny plastic pieces minefield to invite people over too without days of cleaning beforehand. The titles I’ve tended to give away most are:
    1. The Quincunx by Charles Palliser, a book too long to ever loan someone, so I’d pick up used copies to share.
    2. Civilization and the Limpet. Amazing book of essays by Martin Wells. I bought 5 remainders once and gave them all away eventually.
    3. The Exile by William Kotizwinkle. Great satire of a hollywood actor who switches bodies with a Nazi black-marketer.
    4. The Earthsea trilogy
    5. The Foundation trilogy

    • Oh good ones! A couple I haven’t read too…hmmm

      Just wait until your kids start raiding your shelves, Scott. And leaving jelly-stained paw prints behind.

      I have to admit, I like the virtual sharing that Goodreads and Library Thing allows, very much. It’s fun to see someone pick up something off my shelves – and even more fun to find new things on theirs.

  2. We are a multi-copy household, too, since I refuse to embrace the e-reader revolution. I’ve now gifted multiple people with Caitlin Kiernan’s The Red Tree. I’ve also been known to foist copies (through loan or gifting) of the Chronicles of Narnia, The Halloween Tree, and various works by Michael Swanwick, Laird Barron, China Mieville, Caitlin Kiernan, Catherynne Valente, Elizabeth Bear, and Ray Bradbury, among others on unsuspecting folks. I, too, am a pushy pusher.

    • I haven’t read the The Red Tree yet, so count one more foisted (virtually).

      Not even counting books, the number of times I’ve wanted to print out a short story, Swanwick and Bear in particular of late, for someone is ridiculous.

      Could make for an interesting +1 party – with the +1s being books to swap. Hmm. Thinking cap.

      • I like the way you think! I tried to organize an All Hallows Read book exchange two years ago (on Neil Gaiman’s model), but it didn’t work ideally. I still love the idea, though, and might try to do it again this Halloween.

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