StuffI am suffering from a surfeit of stuff and, unlikely though it may seem, it is not in the least bit Christmas related.

The problem is due to a combination of too many books and pile of cardboard boxes and old suitcases containing the remainder of my parents’ stuff, following the realisation that it made no sense to carry on paying to keep them in storage (the stuff, not my parents).

I started with the Big Book Clearout (BBC). Yes, okay, so I probably do have a bit of a book habit. This has been compounded by the Open University which produces reading material by the yard (sorry, metre) and Amazon.

Earlier this year, I was invited to join Vine Voice (Amazon’s official review programme). The main benefit of this is that you get free books to review. (I had also hoped that it would boost my review ratings, but had underestimated the cut throat nature of competitive book reviewing at this level).

The main drawback is that, once the review’s written, you’re not allowed to transfer ownership to anyone else; ever. Now, there are good reasons for this, especially when the books in question are uncorrected proofs, but it can cause a bit of a strain on the storage front.

As far as I can work out, the only way of disposing of review copies without transgressing the Amazonian writ would be to burn them, which is ridiculous. My compromise is to put them into the recycling bin (strictly speaking, this transfers ownership to the local authority, but as they have to be physically deconstructed because the recycling process can’t cope with the glue, I’m prepared to take the risk).

Why is it so difficult to get rid of books?