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?
Okay, first of all – 3,000+ books?! My house is not big enough to have that many books on hand. I wish I did, and someday I hope to have an official room devoted to nothing but books. It is one of the first things on my list for must-have items in my house of dreams. However, since I am nowhere close to getting my house of dreams right now, I have to make due with one old five-shelf bookcase, two three-shelf bookcases, and a closet. In order to keep the chaos to a minimum – because I hate messy bookshelves and disorder – I do weed pretty frequently.
Lately, I have been weeding my books the minute I finish them. I typically divide them into four categories: books I will read again and therefore must keep, books I want my husband to read and therefore will keep for him until he is finished, books that my friends would like, and other. With those in the other category, they go in the Goodwill pile and are donated to that organization when our pile gets big enough. It has never occurred to me to try to sell them or trade them away. I typically want to share the wealth as much as possible, and if it means donating books to an organization that caters to those who may be less fortunate than me, I feel like I have done so. I have read that some bloggers donate their books to their libraries, which I may consider doing as well. Unfortunately, the last time I checked out books from the library, they were returned late, so before I donate, I better pay off that late fee! You would think one would cancel out the other, right?
I’m curious, though, what others do. Am I the only one with a ridiculously small personal library due to sheer lack of space? How do others manage their libraries? And while we are on the topic, how do others manage to cram thousands of books into their house? Let me know what you do!