Out of print

In the industry, books go out of print.

You know, it's something I've not understood. To me, an out of print book is simply the next step in many moving cycles. In fact, it’s a reminder of many other cycles in life:

* Old friends on Facebook: Having naturally drifted apart from friends over time, it is special to find them again via social networking. Maybe we reconnect, each as the same people we once knew, though now different, grown.

* Work and new beginnings: In my chosen industry for 12 years, there have been many growths, lessons and mistakes. I still remember a particular obstacle I’d faced 9 years ago, which I had not mastered. But then, 4 years ago, I had the opportunity to try again – new setting, new people, new everything, same obstacle. It was great. I felt blessed for the opportunity.

* The seasons – now living in a land with less clear demarcations of seasons, I miss them terribly. Living in Yakutsk, Siberia, sure it was a harsh winter, but what powerful traditions to welcome the spring: from native Sakha shamanic ceremonies, to the family-fun watching of the ice breaking in the rivers.

* And of course there’s plants. Ah, flora. My grandfather whom I never knew was an agronomist, and my granny could grow anything. Plants give me such a sense of hope. I like to reuse soil, composting a bit along the way. Every year, I’m surprised and inspired to discover what sprouts – whether I planted it, or whether it chose its own destiny. Beautiful.

With the opportunities of used book retailers and libraries, many published works are still well available. For example, my husband and I were able to disect rare collections of royal Nepalese documents in reference to key, as well as mundane, points in the history of the Kingdom of Mustang, his tribal land.

And, with a growing reader base or market, out of print books may be brought back – another cycle, as it were.

My observation has been that, like anything we create, we are linked to our books (craft projects, presentations, home cooked meals, …). Emotionally, we don’t like to see those things go away or end. But I believe, if we’re able to step back, we’ll see some of the various cycles in our lives.

Granted, my comments are distant – I do not have out of print, nor published, works. But I do know – and care about – people, and I do create. We all create.

My thanks to Mitali Perkins, Lorie Ann Grover and Anjali Banerjee, author friends who began a cyber-dialogue about out of print status.


Lorie Ann



  1. yes, brenda i like to think that my book still lives on...even though it is currently o.o.p.

  2. Thanks for the continued thoughts on O.O.P., Brenda. Beautiful!

    It seems to me we have amazing seasonal changes. I grew up in Miami. ;~) xox

  3. I'm so glad you're keeping this train of thought going--it's a lovely one.

  4. I have many oop titles in my personal library - many are more precious to me because of that status!

    I love what you say about the cycles of a project. Now that I am once again working in theatre, I feel that so much more intensely: what we do lives for only a month or so, then the production is literally torn apart, never to be seen again. But is it temporary? I say no. Our memories of the shared event are permanent, and made more glorious over time. The brief life cycle of our shows reinforces the need to appreciate the moment.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Erin, I'd indavertently posted your comment twice, so removed one - sorry for any confusion.

    Thanks also, Erin, for your theatre perspective. How interesting! Time - like everything, I guess - depends on your view.


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