The Dilemma of the Signed Book

Recently over the chrissy break I made an effort to clean out my bookshelves. I had been doing it gradually as I came home with another pile of books in my hand but in all honesty they were just piled up on shelves until I had time to Organise. This chance came with the couple of weeks I had off from work and while I have made a lot more room on my shelf (immediately filled by new books), I found myself in a small crisis. What do I do with a signed book I no longer want?

I recently read a few books that I had on audio and didn’t enjoy them at all. I thought there is no point in keeping this book I will never read again and don’t want to lend to people. The only issue is I’ve met the author at an event and now have my name and a lovely greeting scrawled in the front pages.

What do you do? Must I keep this book as some obligation because my own guilt at throwing it out has already made me put it back on the shelf once? I know there are at least two maybe three books there that have my name inside and a lovely message that are attached to a story I disliked. Do I hunt down someone with my namesake and gift it to them? Ideally yes, the book is brand new and why no let someone else enjoy it? If it was just a signature I’d have no problem discarding them, but that personalisation is holding me back.

Meeting an author and handing over your book to be signed is wonderful. I obviously didn’t know I wouldn’t like their book when I gave it to them, and there has been a vast majority more I got signed by authors that I do like. I know they appreciate people lining up to get their book signed and to have then gone on to dislike the story feels a bit mean, it feels like I have wasted their time. And even though there is no way in the world they would ever know, I still think they’ll find out if I get rid of it. I know this is a silly thought to have, but that is how I was feeling as I replaced these books on my shelf, unable to throw them out.

Does anybody have any suggestions or comforting words? Tell me I’m not alone feeling this way? I know I could commemorate the meeting by scanning the signed pages, but those other 300 pages taking up space, what’s a girl to do? A box cutter and a careful page removal might be the best solution at this point.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jess
    Jan 22, 2019 @ 18:27:05

    You are not alone. I’m finding a couple of these now as well. Or ones I liked at the time, but have reread and the story isn’t for me anymore. Which makes me feel super guilt. In the past, I’ve opened up my social media pages and done a call out saying the book was signed to me and I’m looking for another “INSERT NAME” who will want the book. You’d be surprised that a bunch of people with a different name will gladly put their hand up for it. Second hand bookshops quite often have books signed to specific people and it never stops other readers from buying them.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Amy
      Jan 22, 2019 @ 20:31:43

      I like that idea of giving it away. I shall have to collect them all and see what my options are. I’m glad you’ve had some success over it, I like the idea of spreading the joy.



  2. Ally
    Jan 22, 2019 @ 16:36:43

    Oh wow, it’s even worse cus they’re signed to your name 😱 I’m no help on this one, maybe like you said carefully remove the page?

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Theresa Smith Writes
    Jan 22, 2019 @ 12:05:31

    Tear the page out before donating the book. That’s what I’ve done in the past.

    Liked by 2 people


  4. Ashleigh
    Jan 22, 2019 @ 08:12:39

    Yeah, I have a few like that – most I do want to read but haven’t gotten there yet, a couple I’ve popped in a top drawer by my bed because I feel bad.



    • Amy
      Jan 22, 2019 @ 20:34:02

      These are ones I don’t want to read, unfortunately. I have a lovely couple of shelves of ones I’ve loved and been fortunate to have personalised.

      Liked by 1 person


      • Ashleigh
        Jan 24, 2019 @ 11:22:43

        Yeah a few who reached out to me for review signed the books, which is why they’re in the drawer, because they’re personalised and I feel like its a betrayal giving them away.



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