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Purge Thursday: I hated your book.

This post is manually crossposted because the Livejournal Crossposter has decided to stop working. It's really irritating me. Anyways. I originally posted this on the actual Thursday on Wordpress.

This week I decided to hit the books. This is something that will undoubtedly happen again as the weeks wear on and I find myself desperate for things to get rid of. In this particular case, if you don't know, I've been in a book club for 8 years now in which we read about ten books a year. Since I started the whole book club thing, I have felt obligated to maintain the physical artifacts of our legacy of reading.

Well, that ends now.

Some of the books I outright hated. Some of the books I just didn't like enough to finish. I wasn't able to bring myself to get rid of the ones that I liked but won't ever read again... maybe later this year when I'm better at non-attachment. The infamous Patricia Cornwell "worst book we ever read" Portrait of a Killer goes! V.S. Naipaul, who I thought was a dick even before I read his shitty book, goes! The high-school lit classic The Catcher in the Rye? Hated it. Past that it gets less vitriolic, but their presence in my house does not stand up to scrutiny.

So if you see anything in that stack you want, let me know. I think I may try to become an amazon seller for the remaining books. Can anyone tell me about their experiences using amazon to sell books? Anyone have a better idea? Is it worth the hassle?

I also need advice on taking 360° photos of a room. I want to take before and after pictures of our office for a total overhaul, but it's a really cramped space and I am not sure how to do it - do I need a fisheye lens filter? Do I simply need to use photo stitching?


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 27th, 2009 05:52 am (UTC)
I'd totally take a sampler of anything but Zero and the #1 Ladies Detective Agency - I have both of those.

I'd pay you whatever - $10 or something?
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)
I'll have to see what hasn't been explicitly claimed and hand some stuff off that I think you like! Can you send me an email with your address?
Feb. 27th, 2009 05:53 am (UTC)
Is that Baltimore book by Mike Mignola? I would love to give it a second home, as I have wanted to read it for a while but not ordered it or seen it at the library.

I might also be up for the Gordimer, if there are no other takers, but I am much more lukewarm on her.
Feb. 27th, 2009 05:55 am (UTC)
Also, selling random stuff on Amazon marketplace is hit or miss, but extremely easy. I prefer it to eBay, by a lot. If you price your stuff reasonably, it goes pretty quickly.
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
The Baltimore got claimed by someone over on the Wordpress blog, I am sorry to say!

I would be happy to give you the Gordimer book!
Feb. 27th, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC)
I sold a lot of school books on Amazon- but that was several years ago (I sold enough to pay for a birthday party for Kiddo at the local swimming pool). At the time, there was a fixed shipping and handling rate- and for heavy books, the actual shipping cost far exceeded the set rate. The only way I could even come close to affording to ship some of the heavier ones was through using media mail- then some of the students got their undies in a bunch waiting for the book ot arrive. Make sure you use tracking numbers. Not sure whether the shipping wieght's still set like that- but it's something to keep in mind when you sell.
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
Yeah, it really seems like the shipping mess is what might make it more hassle than it was worth.
Feb. 27th, 2009 12:39 pm (UTC)
A fisheye will work with wacky fisheye distortion. A wide lens like a 12mm will also work, with different distortion. Or you could photo stitch.

We have both a fisheye and a 12-24mm zoom; you're welcome to play.
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
When can you come over!! :)
Feb. 27th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC)
I have sold a fair number of books on half.com (which is in ebay's world now). Sometimes they linger - sometimes they go fast.

I also list books on bookmooch.com - and that has been fun. If you aren't familiar with it, you pay postage to send books to people who want them - then someone else pays postage to send you books you want from the books available. I will say that right now I have an issue of too many points (1 point = 1 book sent from within your country) -- but I have a new plot that involves getting my son's school to sign up for bookmooch so I can give those points to them. His librarian is reading up on it now. You can also donate points to an assortment of charities.

My formula is that if a books sells for less than about $3 on Amazon or Half that it isn't worth the hassle to sell it and I put it up on bookmooch instead.
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
The bookmooch idea would be good... for someone who wants more books. I want no more books! Kind of... I need to be less acquisitive and use the library as much as possible. Although I guess in theory you could just rotate them back out at will.
Feb. 27th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
I would gladly take Un Lun Dun off your hands, as I haven't read it yet, and I totally wanted to.
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
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Feb. 28th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
Yes! This is my plan! In some ways I hope never to move again but realistically who knows. At the moment I have no space for new books. I just really want to pare down.

I have some other stuff that is going to be really hard to part with... I think books will be the least of my worries. There will be crying.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
I live smack in between the two! :)

Do they only take kids/YA books?
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 27th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
Used Books
I'm fond of the The Book Alcove near Gaithersburg. This website will give you a little insight as to what they will and won't take. I've been going there since I was in the 8th or 9th grade. You'll get more in store credit, but it's a great place.

Also highly recommended is Wonder Book and Video. Yes, it's a schlep to Frederick, but it may be worth it. The Washington Post recently did an article on the place.

I'm planning my own book purge soon. Maybe we can pool our forces.
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
Re: Used Books
Awesome! All the used book places I could think of have gone away. I was thinking about Second Story but last time I was in there it was a mess.

There are more books to be purged - I would be glad to pool energies.
Feb. 27th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
Weighing in a bit late on the 360 photograph part, still.

Depending on how anal precise you want or need to be, you might not need to go to the extent of determining where is the Optic Center for the focal length lens you use. The Optic Center is where the image upon which you are focused does it's thing in the lenses of flipping/inverting to be 'written' on the film/sensor. For very precise 360, the camera needs to be mounted on a tripod so that the Optic Center is located over the axis of rotation of the tripod head. Means the camera sort of 'sticks out' behind the pan head, and also means there is absolutely no distortion between frames when knit together.

Or, if that level of precision isn't needed, just mount the camera to the tripod, and make visual notes in the viewfinder to ensure there is overlap between each frame. That overlap is what either you, or panoramic 'knitting' software will use to assemble the final image.

In either event, use a tripod or monopod located as close to the center of the room to be photographed as possible. If the room is very cramped, the monopod may be what you need. Also, being indoors, go with a wide angle lens at the least. I'm not sure I'd go to a fisheye; depends on the needs for the final image, and whether or not the fisheye distortion will meet those needs.

Edited at 2009-02-27 08:58 pm (UTC)
Feb. 28th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for these tips. The room is definitely small, so I might have to borrow a monopod for this operation. My tripod has a ball head so it's very hard to keep the camera level. This is great stuff, thank you!
Feb. 27th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
If you ever want to get rid of books and don't need money for them, I highly recommend The Book Thing of Baltimore. All books are free. Drop off 100 and take one, or drop off none and take 10,000. They're happy either way.
Feb. 28th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
I have been meaning to go there for YEARS AND YEARS.
Feb. 27th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
I've sold a LOT of books on amazon. It's easy to set up; then you just have to renew your listings when they expire (they send you emails). They usually give you enough postage credit that you can even sell a cheap book without taking a loss. (Hint: mailing paperbacks First Class is cheaper than Media Mail for very small books!)
Feb. 28th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
Interesting! Thanks for the tips!
Mar. 2nd, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
I hate Catcher in the Rye with the burning passion of a thousand suns.
Mar. 8th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
You are not alone. Loathing is an entirely appropriate word for how I feel about that book.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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