Um, so I didn't exactly truly donate all those books, as such, but rather actually foisted my used literature on the library by anonymously sneaking them into the bin along with my mondo stack of overdue returns. While I'm at it, it's probably also misleading to categorize any of the volumes that fell victim to my unsanctioned book-dump as "used," unless you count being packed in boxes and removed from boxes and obsessively shelved alphabetically by author and according to category as "use." Because I certainly never actually read any of the books I gave away, are you kidding me? I am a pack-rat! I come from a long line of exceedingly earnest, nose-to-the-grind pack-rats! I kept all those books not because I had read and loved and re-read them, but because I like walking past and seeing them on the shelf. Sometimes I stop and wave, or give a little wink to my books! It's nice to know they're around for me if I need them, because you know I might (possibly, maaaaybe) consider reading them one day- like if I had zero friends in all the world and became bedridden and there was no such thing as the Internet and I had memorized every last US Weekly magazine and Plow and Hearth mail-order catalog from beside the toilet and the backs of all the cereal boxes- then, if I didn't opt to just lie very still and die instead, I might read one of the books that I illicitly imposed on the library yesterday. (By the way, most of the give-aways I acquired out of politeness at an office book swap a number of years ago. No fewer than three of them were Chekhov plays in paperback with no front covers on and another four I suspect had been required reading on the syllabus for a co-worker's Contemporary Chicana Authors 102 course which, if I recall correctly, said coworker wound up dropping when it turned out Contemporary Chicana Authors 101 had already provided more than adequate depth of study in that genre, after all.)
But, conceivably, I could have needed them! Which is why I had to move them from box to box and shelf to shelf and apartment to house to apartment to apartment four times in the last two years! How would I be able to effectively continue not reading the books without having them around to remind me that I never would want to read them? Riddle me THAT, all you people who manage to not always have far too many possessions. Do you even dare try it?
Finally, regarding the Poe and Longfellow red-and-gold hardbacks, they were at least alleged to have been used. Or anyway I assumed that prior use was implied when I purchased them at a used book store because their covers matched. My personal use of them during our tenure together consisted entirely of placing them beside one another on a shelf so that they looked, "nice," next to a couple of other matching volumes, usually with taller spines, possibly in blue. I figure I've got all the Poe I'll ever require readily available in the Norton Anthology I've been hanging onto since high school and, as I mentioned, I was never really all that enamored of Longfellow, anyway.