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Getting rid of books...

750 Views 19 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Hazelnut
Am I the only one that has a REALLY hard time getting rid of books? I have tons and tons and tons of books.. and I'm now forcing myself to get rid of lots of them. Mostly its books that I bought from the library as a kid at book sales, read once and stuck on my shelves... Many of them I barely remember reading at all. But still, its hard. I'm not throwing them away mind you, they're going to the goodwill, but still.

Now, I admit, I'm a packrat period - I still have *lots* of the toys I had as a child, but I've been gradually getting rid of them as I get older. Mostly by doing exactly what I'm doing now - forcing myself. If its not a book/toy/whatever that I absolutely LOVE, its gone. Thats been my theory recently anyhow. And its helped. Some. But I still have lots and lots and lots of stuff!!
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I'm with you. My books are so important to me, even the ones that I've only read once. I used to imagine having a home library one day, complete with card catalogue.

Last year, I went through a major book purge - I donated a bunch and then sold bags of books on Craigslist. It helped, but then I stalled. As soon as it decides to BE spring and STAY spring, I'm having another clutter purge. I just can't stand all the junk anymore!

I read an article years ago that suggested taking photos of the things you keep around that are important for the memories they conjure up rather than the actual thing. You know, old corsages (yep, I still have 'em!), ticket stubs, dog-eared school drama society programs...
Take the photo, put it in an album, and then chuck the thing. I think it's time!
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We are thinking about moving overseas in about six months. Right now our entire house (it's only a 900 sq ft house, but still) is FULL of books. I haven't done a major purge in years and years and the idea of doing so makes me want to cry.
But it really doesn't make sense to pay storage on all of our stuff.

Bet you my husband won't agree to chucking his freakin' comic books though.
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Oh yes, I have a problem getting rid of books.

I did a major purge about a year ago and NEED to do another.

I am doing ok with passing along books to someone I know would enjoy them. I come from a family of readers so someone is always looking for a new book.

My challenge right now is decluttering many beautiful old coffee table type of books, various subjects from fine art to animals, that DH purchased at auctions over the years.

The space could be put to such better use and when DS is old enough to take an interest in, for example, Great Country Homes of Britain, we live two blocks from the library.
I don't know, I guess I'm the complete opposite. I really enjoy reading and so my kids, but it seems like with having the library at hand there isn't much benefit to keeping so many books. And as a bonus if you donate the books to the library then a bunch of other people have access to it as well as you still have.
I used to feel that way, but once I started getting rid of books, it felt SO good. Now own less than 100 books, and I'm okay with that.

One reason I kept books was because I wanted to be able to read them again if the mood struck. I was afraid that if I got rid of all my books I wouldn't be able to remember which books I'd read. Now I keep a reading record. So if I want to go back and reread a book, it's easy for me to go to the library and check out the book again.
annecthz, thats what I've been doing for the past year too. I used to do it when I was younger, mostly as a record for school (I was homeschooled). But its really interesting to have a list of what I've read. And I've rediscoverd the library over the past year too, so thats what I keep telling myself as I purge "If I/DH/DS want to read it, we can get it from the library...". So far, I've cleaned off an entire shelf, nearly two of books... its just SO frigging hard!!

And I too have some of those coffee-table type books that I'm forcing myself to get rid of. Most of them are old Time Life books that my grandpa passed on to me when he was done with them...
I finally got rid of all my fiction books that I have been packing around since*high school.. yikes!!

They went to the library for the annual book sale.

I kept informational books on health, food, gardening, cookbooks, home repair,... useful ones. i don't have time to sit and read for the fun of sitting and reading...

someday i will have my library, but it doesn't stop me from buying new ones, i shop at the goodwill for books]

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I LOVE BOOKS!!!! As a little girl My Mom would let me buy all the books I wanted at yardsales and thrift stores. I had 100's of books even as a child of 8 and 9. I still love to read and my book collection grows from each new adventure and intrest in my life. My husband and children LOVE books as well so it is very hard for us to give any of them up. We have 5 Large boxes in the garage that have been packed up for a year I will be doing a last sort and then donate the rest.

The fact remains I will hate every minute of it But I know that I will once again fill new boxes as I aquire and Love new books..
I am trying to swap our unused books on and exchange them for parenting/breastfeeding books to donate to my LLL group's library. It's for a good cause!
I'm like you; I've always had a huge collection of hundreds of books and I can't bare to part with a single one of them. My DH complains every time we move that the boxes of books are going to 'accidentally' get lost so he doesn't have to move them next time.
I am supposed to be cleaning out one bookshelf in order to move it from one room to the other and I am having the hardest time doing it. I think of my books as my best friends and the thought of getting rid of any of them can be down right heartbreaking! I'll have to do it eventually, but I'm not looking forward to it!
I'm the same way about books. I finally took 10 or so to a book trader's a few months ago and I'm still regretting it. I want my books back!
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HUUUUUUGE problem for me.

but life has forced me to pass them on to others. the delight in their eyes when they pick from my collection is wonderful to see.

but then i am back to them AGAIN!!!

i have given in to the idea that i will ALWAYS have books. i've been doing it for 30 years now since my teens and i cant see it changing. i love it.

and a library is one of my favourite places to hang out. its where i am NOW
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Ideas: donate books to your school district they can decide which school to get them. Donate to a shelter, daycare, church libary, etc.

I so understand I love my books... can't stand reading them twice though. I even have almost all of my college text books.

Hubby is the same way about DVD's.
It took me YEARS to finally start to get rid of them - after boxing them and moving them for over 20 years!

I know just how hard it is! Finally, though, about 4 years ago I realized that they were taking over our house and I wanted to open up and allow more room for family. Interestingly enough that's when we started having babies.

It was a slow process for us (DH is a college prof and I'm an avid reader) but we're slowly parting with them.
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I can relate to your feelings! We just moved though and moving all. those. books was a lot of work! I got rid of a bunch (maybe 1/4 of our collection, and most of our books are second-hand) and took them to our local used book store and got store credit. Then with that credit I picked some new books that I had been wanting anyway, and a couple new books for gifts. It was a good motivator to get rid of piles of books and exchange for a few new fun ones. It's hard though! I have noticed that even though I love my books, they can become a burden and it felt really good to cull them and decide which were good ones to keep/rediscover favorites.

Or you could just build more shelves...
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I have to say, I'm feeling really good now that I've gotten started and am actually excited to take all the stuff I've cleaned out of my old room to the goodwill tommorrow. It really does feel super, super great. I'm SO excited to see what my room looks like when I'm done with it in a week or two. Its been hard, but its good!!

Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
I used to feel that way, but once I started getting rid of books, it felt SO good. Now own less than 100 books, and I'm okay with that.

One reason I kept books was because I wanted to be able to read them again if the mood struck. I was afraid that if I got rid of all my books I wouldn't be able to remember which books I'd read. Now I keep a reading record. So if I want to go back and reread a book, it's easy for me to go to the library and check out the book again.
ditto. I pretty much remember which authors and books and topics have meant a lot to me in the past too. I only have the ones that I would really really like to read right now, when I get a minute.
OK I have a few poetry ones saved, but that's all. We have a great library and I use it often. I just don't want a zillion books. Once they were gone I was happy.
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