Project: Re-Shelf Yourself – Another One Bites The Dust

Da-da dunn dunn dunn – Another one bites the dust! *Michael Jackson dance moves* Okay, let’s be real – I don’t have any Michael J. moves. Just way too many books. Which brings me to today’s topic – how do you decide what books to get rid of?

I was actually going to write about this last week, but then my Twitter and Instagram were EXPLODING (no, not literally) with people being outraged over Marie Kondo and her apparent advice that you should only have 30 books. I don’t watch her show and I haven’t read her book, so I know nothing, Jon Snow.

I am, however, planning to weed out a mighty number of books as part of this big Re-Shelf Yourself project, and what I want to know from you is – how do you decide what books to get rid of? How do you decide what to keep?

I have several hundred unread books, and I know I’m trying to be realistic about which ones I *truly* want to read, and let some others (gifts, sale finds, books I won in giveaways…) go.

Then there are some that I read halfway and put down and just never picked up again (The Rook by Daniel O’Malley , The Fireman by Joe Hill, Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones) and at this point I’m like – I made it halfway through this big fat book, but I don’t remember any of it. Do I pick up where I left off and just fake it til I make it? Do I give it up as lost? (And then what? Mark it DNF on Goodreads? Read? Unread?) Do I start over from the beginning? (HORRORS!)

Then there are the several hundred more books that I’m pretty sure I’ve read… I’m sure there are some unread ones mixed in there too, maybe? These are books I’ve owned since the time BG (Before Goodreads) and my brain is fried from drinking too much Diet Coke, so I look at these books and it’s like

But a lot of these are sci-fi/fantasy novels, which I know I like to reread and/or loan out, so I’ll likely keep these (because my husband likes to raid this stash too, and my brother borrows from it, and I can see my sons wanting to read these in another 10 years, as well as me wanting to go back to them if I ever have that ever-elusive “free time”). Romances I am usually one-and-done (unless they’re super phenomenal, like Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game, which I’ve read twice and am about ready for another re-read of, and some other authors that I love to go back to again and again) but SFF I like to go back to. So while I am likely to weed out a lot of my read romances, I’ll likely hang on to a lot of my SFF. Which makes sense, since a LOT of my unread stuff is romances… I just don’t have the space to hang onto all my read romances, at the rate I go through them! But I digress.

Drop me your thoughts in the comments – how do you decide what stays and what goes in your personal library? And what do you do with your books when their time with you is at an end?

5 comments

  1. I don't have a large home library. I have always used the library for most of my reading, and now I work at a library which is awesome! Anyway, at our library we have a large amount of romance books, many which are donated. We don't catalog them, just place a sticker on them that says to read and return on the honor system. (we do have some cagtaloged romance books too). Most of the donated ones are usually not cataloged, but are a great addition to our library and patrons love them. Just a thought if you are planning to weed out your personal collection. Love your blog!

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  2. Oh gosh, I have so many books. I randomly try and go through and get rid of books I'm no longer interested in reading or I figure it would take me FOREVER to actually read, so I let them go. I've donated some to the library, given away books as gifts, and I bring a lot to Half-Price Books (just don't use the money you get on MORE books lol). I still have tons of books on my shelves though which is why I want to read more from what I already own this year and then get rid of books I figure I won't ever re-read, etc.-Laurenwww.shootingstarsmag.net

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  3. I have way too many books(in the thousands). I turned one of our spare bedrooms into my home office and having shelving for around 3000 books and there's probably another 500 newer ones on the floor that need to be shelved. I have a software program READERWARE that allows me to actually know what I have and where it is. Most of what is shelved are series that I started and have not finished. I love to binge a series so once I determine it's one I'm going to follow, I generally stop reading until the series is over and done. Then I binge read till I puke. (nah not really) Recently binged on the Charlie Davidson series by Darynda Jones and it was so awesome to finish one book and pick up the next one . But as soon as I've read all the books I post them on PaperBackSwap and since I often have an entire series I try to offer them to someone who is interested in the whole series. This saves me postage and I can give someone a great deal on a bunch of mostly new books. I never reread any books so as soon as they are read they are out of here. If I start something that I don't finish, I have to be pretty certain I'll give it another try before holding on to it. Generally, it goes into my giveaway pile and once a month I'll post all to PBS and share them with others. My biggest problem is that frequently I have as many books coming in as I do going out so I tend not to gain any ground. I've often told my daughter I know I'll not get them all read before I die but I'll have plenty to choose from till then.

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  4. See, I know that if I bring them to Half-Price Book, then by the time they're done calculating how much they'll give me for them, I'll have a whole armload to buy… x_x And probably spend more than I made, haha. πŸ™‚

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  5. Ahh, Paperback Swap! I used to be active on there, haha. πŸ™‚ This past year or so, since getting more active in blogging, I've been getting more egalleys of books, so a lot of my \”incoming\” books are digital, and I'm busy enough trying to stay on top of ARCs that I'm not buying TOO many new books. (At least, not at the rate at which I had been previously!) But when I am they tend to be either books that are going to sit around forever until I have that mythical \”more time\” to read them, or books I already read an egalley of and really loved and want to have a physical copy of – so they're basically lifers. Ahh, a whole room just for books… That's glorious. Sure, you're not going to get to them all before you die, but you're SO RIGHT – you'll have plenty to choose from!! And after all, isn't that what's important? πŸ˜€

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