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?
Just like the garden, my bookshelves require weeding. Although they don't get the attention as regularly as the garden, it is still a necessity.
I tend to think of it as part of my spring clean-up. Books accumulate faster over the winter, so each spring the collection gets weeded. My husband and I are both readers (although his collection is mostly history), and space is the primary motivator. It's hard to buy new books when there isn't anywhere to put them!
Books that get weeded are those I won't read again, those I don't think my daughters will read, and books that have no special sentimental value. This criteria is not foolproof and, once in a while, a mistake is made. Among this year's "weeds" was a copy of Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress (a book I read years ago with my book club and enjoyed, but didn't love). Last week, Twin A selected it from her list of this quarter's AP Lang free reading choices, and we ended up buying another copy at B&N on Sunday. At least I got to console myself with a pumpkin spice latte!
The spring clean-up books are packed in boxes or bags and donated to the library. The Friends of the Library will sell them at their annual used book sale. My goal each year is to donate more than I purchase. This year, I'm happy to report, that goal was met!
Read more answers to this question at Booking Through Thursday.