Moving Again - How to get rid of 1000 Books?
November 19th, 2016
I have a lot of books.
You might think, "Yeah, I know what you mean. After all, there's no such thing as too many books! Just too few shelves. Ha ha!"
How do I put this...
Unless you run a comic shop or a book store, (or a publishing company), then you're probably in a different weight class from me. Literally.
When I moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia 13 years ago, I was worried about being pulled out of traffic by the Truck Cops to weigh my big rental moving vehicle. I was fairly certain that I was over the limit since the wheel well frames were weighted down so that they were almost scraping the tops of the tires. The limits are measured in tons. And come to think of it.., I don't really understand where this practice came from or why. They actually have giant scales on the side of the road and you roll your truck right onto them and the border people weigh you. Until I was worried about breaking Truck Law, these weigh sites had always been invisible to me.
But there I was, idling in a line of other trucks beside a giant truck scale wondering if the man with the reflective jacket and authority hat was going to signal me over for a friendly freight-weighing. (He didn't. I guess having the words "Budget Rental" on the side of your ride puts you beneath their concern. It's not like I had 18 wheels under me.)
I have to move soon because.., rent hikes are a reality. Mine is about to double, bringing it into line with the rest of the town. I've been living on borrowed time, it seems, and Wolfville has in the years since I moved here become a rising star, its shine attracting money and people with money to limited housing options so that rents are now about the same as one would find in a major metropolitan center. I can't afford this town anymore.
I don't know yet how far away I'll be going, but my options are severely limited by the raw tonnage of books I have in my life.
Oh...! If I could only walk away from them all, then these sorts of challenges would be easy!
-Well, *easier*, anyway. I'm not quite duffel bag guy, (I'd LOVE to be duffel bag guy!!! I could go anywhere! I could use my new passport and go somewhere else entirely! I want to do that!) but I'm not duffel bag guy. I could probably get by with just a large car trunk and back seat. The only things I'd really need to take with me are some clothes, some bits of computer gear and a couple of huge and heavy boxes of old artwork, (which I'd also kind of like to leave on a doorstep some days, to be perfectly honest. Who knew being a cartoonist would make me feel ankle-chained?)
But I need to be realistic. Making comic books is what I do, and there are penalties you just have to live with. I accept this. Just not all of it!
Now, a lot of the books I hauled from Ontario are gone. That's pretty good for a publisher to be able to say. I moved here with about 120 boxes (at a little over 20 kg each, making for approximately 2.5 metric tons), and today I only have about 40 of those original boxes left. Keen. -And most of *those* are T&K Volume #4, which I heavily over-printed. All of the earlier books are either gone or down to the last hundred copies.
-Which was an alarming state of affairs. I wasn't financially able to go back to press old copies. With this concern in mind, when I pressed Volume #5 of Thieves & Kings, I decided to waaaaay over print. It's a lot cheaper to print an extra one or two thousand copies than it is to go back for a second printing. You save thousands of dollars that way. So.., I waaaaaay over printed.
Today, including Stardrop and other projects, I look around me and realize that I *still* own approximately 2.5 metric tons of books! Dammit. -And half of them are #5's, -which are pretty much dead weight until I get T&K all finished up, and even then...
So the point of this post is this: I've decided that I need to get rid of about a ton of books!
It's sad, because one day I'm sure I'll be looking back and thinking, "Dammit, Mark! You're nearly out of volume #5 and you could really use that extra 1000 copies you pulped!" But that day is not today, and I need to lighten up and move and fit into wherever I find myself.
I looked up the paper recycling plant. If I can truck my books over there, they'll take them off my hands for 7.7 cents per kg. So I'll spend about $80 un-printing a book in order to shed weight. That's one solution. And I still probably need to rent a van or get somebody with a pick-up truck to help.
If anybody out there can think of another, better way to move 1000 copies of a 5th book in a series -a way which doesn't cost anything, I'd love to hear it. (Shipping or mailing that many books would be a multi-hundred dollar expense, so any donations or similar solutions need to be pick-up/drop-off only. -Or, I suppose, where somebody else is excited enough by the idea to want to pay for shipping. 1000 books would cost around $300-$500 to send via ground courier.)
Also... where should I move next? I have a few months to think about it...
Any provinces, cities or towns out there want a resident cartoonist? I bring a lot to a community!
I just need an affordable space to fit myself. Me and my books!
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