If your literary tastes overlap with your live-in significant other’s, what do you do with the redundant paperbacks? In Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, Anne Fadiman writes about the merging of libraries and winnowing of duplicates:
I realised we had been hoarding redundant copies of our favourite books `just in case’ we ever split up. If George got rid of his beat-up copy of To The Lighthouse and I said goodbye to my genital-pink paperback of Couples, read so often in my teens â€” well, then we would clearly have to stick together for good. Our bridges would be burned. We each owned copies of about fifty books in common. We decided that hardbacks would prevail over paperbacks unless the paperbacks contained marginalia.