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I've lived most of my life houses crammed with books. You could not see the walls, because every available wall space (even over the doors) had shelves for books and the shelves were full. Top of the kitchen cupboard was side to side with cookbooks. Everywhere, even stacked to the side on the bathroom counter, crowding the toothpaste and kleenex, were more books.

When I finally ran out of space, I decided to cull; though it was one of the hardest things to start doing, once I got into it, it was easy.

First category--that pile over there--books I will never, ever read. They were gifts or trash retrievals or garage sale items that I picked up.

Second category--huge pile in the middle--books that I have read once, and will never read again, because life is too short and the books were not good enough to spend time re-reading them.

Third category--keepers that went right back on the shelves--books I've loved; books that have changed my life; books that I read when I want to visit an old friend.

Fourth category--to be read pile(s).

After sorting, books were disposed of, or re-shelved, accordingly.

Now when I buy books, I triage them the same way. A book that's really good--a keeper--I'll buy in paper form. I've acquired splendid library surplus copies to add to my personal physical library.

The ones I'm sure I'll read only once, I buy for the Kindle, and delete once I'm done with them. Occasionally I'm pleasantly surprised at the fine quality of a book and purchase it again in hard copy to keep. I've even bought extra copies to give away to friends when a book has truly moved me.

And the really bad ones downloaded on Kindle? You can download a free sample of the first few chapters; reading the sample is enough to let me know if I want to buy it or if I have no interest in finishing it.

My husband bought my first Kindle for me and it was one of the best presents ever. I now have close to 600 books loaded into a device smaller and lighter than an iPad. An embarrassment of riches, I do believe.

The iPad? It's still under advisement, as they say. I do use it, read with it, but not to the same extent as when I fondle my Kindle.

Perhaps it's all in getting accustomed to it.

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