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Topic: Do you tend to hang onto your non-fiction histories?

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Subject: Do you tend to hang onto your non-fiction histories?
Date Posted: 2/25/2009 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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I don't seem to have any problem swapping out fiction books here at PBS, whether I got them here, bought them at the used bookstore or the thrift store, or even if I bought them new.

But my non-fiction books are so much harder to let go of! Even though I know that they are harder to come by here and almost every one I read, there's a wishlist for. It's still very hard for me to let go. I don't know why that is--I'm much less likely to re-read a non-fiction book than I ama fiction book. I just get attached. Maybe I want my bookshelves to look smart. :-p

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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Yeah I'm kind of the same, but I try to hang on only to the ones I really loved.  Sometimes I'll keep one for a while but change my mind about it down the road, although two that I'm never giving up are Team of Rivals and Love and Louis XIV.  Also Devil in the White City- but that one I do read about once a year.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 2/25/2009 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I like to keep my non-fictions for referencing. Although I have a hard time giving up fictions as well, but I am getting better. The books I post on here are usally books I get from a grab box and dont want to read or I will post my paperbacks when I get the book in hardback.

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I use some of my non-fictions for reference as well.  I have a well worn copy of The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Allison Weir.  It has a wonderful timeline & a geneology chart that I refer to all the time.

Date Posted: 2/26/2009 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2008
Posts: 456
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Do you tend to hang onto your non-fiction histories?


Yes, yes, YES!!!!  I don't know why that is.  As other people here have said, I can normally let go of a fiction book on here (with the rare exception), but I still haven't been able to bring myself to post non-fictions for the most part.  I'm just starting to let go of some of my college textbooks, but my history books in general I have justified by telling myself I might need them when I teach (nevermind that my students are in grades 6 & 8 and these are way over their heads).  I tell myself that many that I used in college are unpostable so I don't have to post them, and the newer ones I haven't really read yet, but I don't see myself parting with them either!  ACK!

Date Posted: 2/28/2009 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 1,932
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I held on to many of them for many years and am now starting to let go. It's harder to part with the non-fiction than the fiction for me.

Date Posted: 6/24/2009 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2009
Posts: 42
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I always felt the same way. The problem is space! I always dreamed of having my own library. It has been 10 years now and it hasn't happened yet and I don't see it happening in the near future...thus, I have decided to let go of my babies...

Date Posted: 6/24/2009 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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Yes. I teach US History at our local community college, so I like to have my history books around me when I'm preparing for class.

Date Posted: 7/10/2009 12:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2009
Posts: 3,025
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I am at the masters level in college in history.  It is so hard to led my Greek and Roman books go.  It is impossible to retain everything about that period let anytime in history.  Its nice to go to my shelves and pull out a book and find an answer.  I am also interested in modern wars and politics, so there's another subject that I keep.   

Date Posted: 7/16/2009 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 17
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Absolutely.  And since I have unexpectedly ended up teaching Western Civ. and American History at a local university, I'm glad I did.  I pull them constantly to double check things.  College textbooks are full of outdated info and errors, so I can never trust them. 

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,499
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DH and I both held on to our history books until we started sending them to deployed folk.  I've found that it does get easier to let them go the more you do it.

Funny, I never had a problem letting go of the fiction... I have no idea why we both tended to hang on to the history books.

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 12/25/2005
Posts: 1,413
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Yes......these books migrate straight to my keeper shelves.

Date Posted: 9/11/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 2,585
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Yes, yes and yes!  I have this feeling that as soon as I post one of my history books, I'm going to need it to reference something.

Besides, the stacks of non-fiction hide the trashy smut books.  ;)

Date Posted: 9/17/2009 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,632
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I usually don't keep my history books because I like to share them, but one that I am keeping is Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides. The reason that I am keeping this for now is so that my grandkids can read it!!! I think it is that great a book - I want to share it with them first.

Date Posted: 10/1/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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Do I hold onto my historical NF?  Absolutely.  For reference.  I don't think I have even one historical NF on my bookshelf.  The only reason I can imagine letting go of one is if I later determine it's too slanted, so as to undermine its credibility and I no longer value the book.

Actually, I just remembered letting one go a few weeks ago, when I discovered, to my chagrin, that I bought the hardcover, forgot I had it, and then bought it again when it come out in softcover.  I kept the hardcover and posted the softcover.  But that's RARE, that I would wait long enough to read a historical book (NF or fiction) that I could forget I bought it.

Last Edited on: 10/1/09 3:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Hanging on the History Books
Date Posted: 11/2/2009 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 89
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I certainly hang on to many of my history books especially if they are on areas of interest.  And these could be history books about eras or subjects I like to read about, or that I may use in my work.  Lots of these histories help me in my research or I use them for reference when I am writing about certain areas that may pertain to the work I do in my job.  I am a historic archaeologist in the south and part of my job requires me to write sometimes very specific historical background information on a certain area in a southern state that I am working on for a client.  Lots of time this gets down to the county level, but sometimes I write about more regional or national events that maybe tie to my specific project area. Of course I keep all my archaeology books, too.

I love to read history, although I love reading a lot of other things as well--mysteries, literature (fiction or nonficition), science fiction, even romance and a little para-normal. Devil in the White City, by Eric Larsen is one of my recent history favorites.  I liked Larsen's Issac's Storm, too. I also have his book about the laying of the transatlantic cable, but haven't read it yet.  I just finished No Apparent Danger  by Victoria Bruce about the Nevado del Ruiz and Galereas volcanic eruptions in the 1980s in Columbia, which was quite faciniating.  I also fairly recently read Simon Winchester's Krakatoa, which was really good.  Winchester goes into great detail about the natural history of that area in Indonesia.  Barbara Tuckman's Distant Mirror is one of my all time favorites. 

I do turn loose of history books, particularly if they pertain to areas that I have less of an interest in or that I just don't think I will have time to read-- as I am building up quite a collection (and running out of book shelf space!).  I frequent thrift stores and the local libraries and often find books that I think others might be interested in --including history, fiction, cooking health, etc.  I recently sent off a book I picked up in thrift store near my home  about the founding of a fort on the Arkansas River in the 1840s.  It is called Bent's Fort by David Lavender and it was in nearly new condition. I was going to hang on to it because it looked interesting, but I checked it into the PBS database just to see if anyone else had an interest in it and there was someone.  They were very pleased to get the book since they had lived near the historic fort (not sure if it is still standing) at one time.  So, I do turn loose of certain history books.  I always have a few histories on my Posted Bookshelf at any one time. 

So, check out my Bookshelf to see what histories I might have.

Kay W.

Date Posted: 11/4/2009 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
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Yes, I definitely tend to hang on to my nonfiction histories! They are simply harder and more expensive to obtain than your typical fiction book.  I have an inclination to collect books on certain subjects of interest,  and I always have the reference aspect in mind.  I am, however, limited by space considerations to keep my library (ha, ha I wish I could truly justify the use of that word) to roughly 700-800 books. I must always be cycling some books in and out! If a book has lounged on the TBR pile more than a few years it is in danger of being ousted. I HATE it...but I have to be somewhat cruel to my book buddies or I won't have room for anything else in my matchbox size living quarters.

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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I wish I could say I hang on to my non-fiction for reference purposes, but that wouldn't be true.  I hang on to them because, with very rare exceptions, I just value my non-fiction more than fiction.  Most of it I will probably never reread, but I can't bring myself to let it go.  I have a vague feeling that this is a character flaw, but it's one I am rather attached to.

Date Posted: 3/8/2010 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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I especially love old history books. I have Trevelyan's 3-volume History of England and Dickens A Child's History of England. Also an old textbook called A History of Our Country. (U.S. history) I did let go of my 4-volume set of Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. I figured Trevelyan's was enough for me to get around to reading. But I do love history books!