15 October 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Weeding

We’re moving in a couple weeks (the first time since I was 9 years old), and I’ve been going through my library of 3000+ books, choosing the books that I could bear to part with and NOT have to pack to move. Which made me wonder…

When’s the last time you weeded out your library? Do you regularly keep it pared down to your reading essentials? Or does it blossom into something out of control the minute you turn your back, like a garden after a Spring rain?

Or do you simply not get rid of books? At all? (This would have described me for most of my life, by the way.)

And–when you DO weed out books from your collection (assuming that you do) …what do you do with them? Throw them away (gasp)? Donate them to a charity or used bookstore? SELL them to a used bookstore? Trade them on Paperback Book Swap or some other exchange program?

The last time I culled by book collection was also in preparation for a move ... i.e. seven years ago. Since then it’s been steadily expanding to fill all the available shelf space. Given that shelf space is finite - and in my case rapidly running out - a second cull will have to take place in the near(ish) future. Probably I’ll put it off until I have so many books stacked on the front of the shelves that I can hardly get to the books behind.

When the inevitable day comes, what I do with the weeded-out books will depend on their condition. Since a lot of my collection was acquired second-hand some will undoubtedly be fit only for a return to the charity from whence they came. Any that are in good shape I’ll take to a second-hand bookstore I know which accepts trade-ins. Which won’t really help in the matter of shelf space, but since the new acquisitions will go straight into the TBR box their effect won’t be felt for a while. And as it’s essentially a way of getting new books for free, I can justify it on the grounds of its being the economical option :-)


Barbara H. said...

I wish we had a secondhand bookstore here! I have several shelves now where I have to move books in the front row to see what's on the row behind them. A weeding is in order....some time!!

Matt said...

I get rid of the ones that I absolutely don’t like, the ones that I rate as “Toss” in reviews. I tend to keep books that are of literary artistry.

Amat Libris said...

Barbara: Mine aren't that crowded yet, but it's going to take a lot of willpower to prevent it!

Matt: I've donated a few that I really loathed, but somehow I can't bring myself to part with the mediocre ones. I guess I haven't cured myself of hoarding as much as I'd thought.

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