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What to do about books?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

We have LOTS of them, do I need to keep them, would I regret getting rid of some of them DH and I studied in HS or college?  Or should I donate them, and when our DSs grow up, expect to have a Kindle where I could get these classics for free.  I'm in quite the decluttering mode and whenever I start on the bookshelves I throw my hands in the air and give up. 

post #2 of 12

I don't know the answer but i hope someone else does :) Im a bit of a book hoarder....at the moment Im aiming for three piles. keep because it bothers me not to. donate and  gift. 

post #3 of 12

Keep any thing that you go back to again and again (beloved books that you re-read)

 

Keep any old/antique books that have beautiful illustrations, are first editions, have a pleasing look to you (DH and I like the look of old books) that ALSO have content that is of value to you. You can donate old books that may be pretty but are not of interest to you.

 

Ok here's the hard part: DUMP (donate) anything that you don't love  or won't go back too. If you read lord of the flies in high school and LOVED it, keep it. If you didn't love it, dump it.  Books from high school and college aren't of any special value in terms of the editions and unless they are something that you personally will read again or need to refer to from time to time there's no reason to keep them. GIve them to a library or book store and know that they will be read and enjoyed by someone else.

 

This is coming from someone who ADORES books and is in the process of really ruthlessly getting rid of tons  of them. Lemme tell you it feels good! And guess what? New books always find their way in so making room for the new is always good.

post #4 of 12

I got rid of anything that I hadn't read more than once... well, I kept a pile of higher level kids books that I had for when I expected to be teaching late elementary school, but I never ended up doing that.  I expect to homeschool, though, so I'm keeping them for that.

 

Shaki's post was a great one.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Some great ideas.  I think I'm up to getting rid of about 2 shelves worth!! 

post #6 of 12

 

Every time we move I go through our bookshelves and try to weed out everything I'm willing to discard. On average, it happens every 2 to 3 years.  Basically, if no one is likely to read or re-read it, I donate it. 

 

The only books that I regret giving away are children's books. Some old favourites are now out-of-print and very difficult to find. I find myself checking used book stores to replace them. 

 

From school, I kept a very few seminal references that are standard because they will always be useful even if they are updated. I disposed of most science and economic texts because they become outdated quickly and most of the information is available on-line if I need a reference. I kept the English lit. anthologies, classics and history texts for enjoyment and interest, and I do find myself dipping into them from time to time.   

 

I disposed (donated) non-classic fiction, recent bestsellers etc., if I was unlikely to ever read them again. These were easy to let go, because most are still widely available in libraries. I also stopped buying these kinds of books and now use the library instead. 

 

Cookbooks are a weak spot for me. I like to collect them, but I've tried to curtail new acquisitions. I gave a stack of cookbooks that I don't use to my niece who is a terrific chef, restaurant manager and has her own part-time business selling preserves at farmer's markets. I kept the cookbooks that I use frequently and that are lovely souvenirs of places I've visited. 

 

As with most decluttering tasks, I think the famous William Morris quote applies well to books: 

 

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. 

 

 

 

post #7 of 12

I love, love, love my e-reader!  I love that I can now have books galore and they don't take up and extra physical space.  I've been slowly aquiring digital copies of all my favourites and getting rid of books.  A lot of older classics may be available for free in digital form - copyrights expire at some point after the authors death.  It's different for different countries though so you'll need to find out the rules where you live.  In Canada it is 50 years after the authors death, in the US it is 100 years.  Project Gutenburg is a great place to find classics (for free!)

 

I've always loved books, but I find that with my ereader I am reader actual books less and less (and getting frustrated while reading them).  I love how light my ereader is and how easy it is to read while in bed, nursing (or both), in the car and on the go.  I can set my reader down and not worry about pages flipping closed.  I'll often read while working in the kitchen or folding laundry now.  And it's so much easier to carry with me when I go to appointments and such.

 

I have a few books that I will probably never get rid of (old ones that I love and have too much sentimental value), but definitely less than a shelf of books.

post #8 of 12

I was an english major in college and am a librarian so books are everywhere in my house :)  A couple of years ago I discovered paperbackswap.com and have been putting books up on it for some time now.  Anything I love and reread or has sentimental value I keep, and that's still quite a few books :)  Otherwise onto paperbackswap it goes.  Anything that does not swap over the year is donated to the annual library book sale.  

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by K'sMama View Post

I love, love, love my e-reader!  I love that I can now have books galore and they don't take up and extra physical space.  I've been slowly aquiring digital copies of all my favourites and getting rid of books.  A lot of older classics may be available for free in digital form - copyrights expire at some point after the authors death.  It's different for different countries though so you'll need to find out the rules where you live.  In Canada it is 50 years after the authors death, in the US it is 100 years.  Project Gutenburg is a great place to find classics (for free!)

 

I've always loved books, but I find that with my ereader I am reader actual books less and less (and getting frustrated while reading them).  I love how light my ereader is and how easy it is to read while in bed, nursing (or both), in the car and on the go.  I can set my reader down and not worry about pages flipping closed.  I'll often read while working in the kitchen or folding laundry now.  And it's so much easier to carry with me when I go to appointments and such.

 

I have a few books that I will probably never get rid of (old ones that I love and have too much sentimental value), but definitely less than a shelf of books.

I feel the same way!  I don't even like to read the regular books I *have* anymore because I'd rather read them on kindle.
 

post #10 of 12

I recently purged a TON of books.  Never thought I'd be able to do it but so far, no regrets.  I purged books I never reread.  I MIGHT want to someday sure, but I have a nice local library so I figure I can always just check them out.  If necessary, I can buy them used again but I figure having so many books around just collects dust.

 

I kept only my absolute favorites, books I want to share with kiddo once she is old enough and books I will probably reread someday.  I might not read them often but I KNOW I'll want to so having my own copy is best.  Currently I have one shelf on our bookshelf filled and my husband has one shelf as well.  We still have a couple empty shelves to fill in as we collect more books, but now I'm much more careful about what I purchase.

 

As for kids books, I only get rid of ones I really don't like (I was given a collection of mickey mouse books that are meant to teach kids about things like how telephones work.  They just aren't an interesting method I care to use) and ones that have been destroyed.  I plan on keeping all the rest through all the children and then keeping the ones they loved best to use for their own kids.  I don't mind having lots of kids books though, especially at kiddo's current age, we can read half her books in a couple hours and some days we DO read that many.  She likes books and I love sharing books with her.  It is important to me to have such a large variety at her disposal.  I keep her favorites on a little shelf in the living room and have the rest on a bookshelf in her bedroom to read when she wants something different or to trade out in the living room as her favorites change.

 

I love to read and love having books around to read, but I don't really reread too many books unless I absolutely loved them or its been a LONG time so it makes more sense to just keep the absolute favorites and use the library for the rest.  I plan on getting an E reader as well.  I'm currently rereading the harry potter series and am on the fourth book currently.  It would be SO much easier to read on an E reader!  I have a hardcover so yeah... not the easiest book to read in bed haha

post #11 of 12

I read somewhere that people in Japan now days go to scanning shops with all books, cutting the binding pages and scanning them to put on e-reader devices, just to save space at home! And this little scanning shops businesses are striving there! Just a thought...

post #12 of 12

We got rid of all of our university and grad school text books, but kept a few of the books that we enjoy reading (eg, Shakespeare, Norton Anthologies, etc). 

 

we paired down to our minimum -- I have my yoga books that I use regularly (daily, pretty much); my four collections (harry potter, twilight, jean auel, and diana gabaldon); and my three anthologies (norton classics, norton english literature, and shakespeare's riverside). DH has a science fiction collection (which I also love -- probably about 15 books), and his lord of the rings/tolkien collection. And then we have several others. I would say our book collection is around 100? And, I reread them -- a lot. These are definitely the books that we re-read. 

 

I'm thinking of moving to a kindle, though. DH is against it.

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