Tag Archives: getting rid of books

Clearing out books


Pile of Books in Prague Library

I have spent most of today (umm I guess yesterday now) clearing out my books, a horrible yet quite satisfying task. I partly did this because there is literally no space in my bookshelves, and partly because I still can’t find my copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. I decided to alphabetise them as well so it would be easier to find things (although I’m sure I knew where To Kill a Mockingbird was anyway). So anyway I spent most of the afternoon and all evening surrounded by piles of books, I made a pile for each letter of the alphabet and piles for non-fiction, biographies, books I don’t want, and books that belong to other people (and have or won’t be read). Oh and a physical TBR pile (my old one was basically a list of books I knew I wanted to read and owned but haven’t read yet).

What I hate about this job is the getting rid of books. I hate getting rid of books. Even books I didn’t enjoy I think but what if I do in the future. Books hold so many memories for me. I have so many I loved as a child or a teenager and will probably never read again, but to get rid of them is like getting rid of an old friend. Part of me thinks that I want to keep them and give them to my kids one day but will my kids really want a bunch of old books Mum read when she was young? So I am being brutal and unless it was really, really special I’m getting rid.

With newer books it’s not the same, they hold no nostelgia, and if I’m getting rid of them it’s genuinelly because I never want to read them again, not because I know in my heart of hearts I won’t. There is still a little part of my that wants to read Sophie in the Saddle, and my collection of Jacqueline Wilson books. The bit that remembers when I was obsessed with Noel Streatfeild books, and when Linda Newberry seemed so grown up and made me feel like I was almost reading adult books (I am sure that if I was able to buy The Shouting Wind trilogy at the time I would keep it, it genuinely was a great trilogy).

So what did I learn?

1) It gets easier to be brutal about getting rid of books. But there are still some you really can’t decide on.

2) My biggest pile of books was the P pile (in fact there had to be 2 P piles so I didn’t get attacked by the books!) followed by the S’s

3) And I have enough books by Jodi Picoult that on their own they make up a pile the same size as the S pile

4) I have books by authors with every letter surname except Q and X

5) My copy of To Kill a Mockingbird is not on my shelves.

6) even after taking away all the books I don’t want, and all the books that belong to other people I still have to stack books on the top of shelves, and even though I was trying my best to avoid it I still had to put my TBR pile in my sister’s room.

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