My love for books came out of a love for reading. I read to escape or to wrap myself in asubject that interests me. I had quite the book collection.
My hubby and I have moved a lot and it seems each time we do, I off load a few books in the process. They are heavy to move from one place to the next and can take up a lot of precious space. Today was a banner day in my quest to release my books back into the world.
I used to have shelves and shelves on several bookcases crammed with beloved books. I now have one shelf on a single bookcase. (Now what to do with my empty bookcases! A post for another day...)
I had to come to terms with why I bought and kept so many books.
My Best Reasons for Owning:
Writing in the Book I like to respond to what I am reading. I would highlight and jot down notes at times.
In Support of the Author Some of the books I own are by people I actually know. I buy the book because I want to support them and I am interested in what they have to say. Other times I bought the book because I heard the author speak and connected with them. I buy because I want to hear more.
It is a book I return to often. Some books are great references and I go back to them and use them over and over.
Other Reasons that I owned:
Trophy Books Some books I read and loved. I never read them again but I shelved them for display. I liked to admire all the books I had read. I also maybe enjoyed visitors admiring and noticing all the books that I read.
Books I Intended to Read Some of the books on my shelf I bought planning to read them one day. Some I started but never finished. They were taking up space in my home on the off chance that I would revisit them. Before I ever got around to reading them, other more interesting books got my attention. Some had sat on my shelf unopened or partially read for years.
Knowing my love of reading, loved ones would give me books. Once they were shelved after being enjoyed, or not, they became symbols to me of love from others.
I still have a few books that I chose not to part with but I have decided that I am no longer interested in admiring them, dusting around them, or acquiring more of them.
I don't consider any of these reasons bad. The use of space was no longer working for me.
My method for purging:
Selling to a Used Bookstore
This was not the lucrative venture I was hoping for. With the help of my hubby I lugged my three plus boxes of beloved books down to the bookstore hoping to get a good return for my trouble and sacrifice.
Instead I was met by a surprisingly rude book buyer. It felt like our coming in was annoying to her. She told us to come back in an hour and she would let us know what she could do.
An hour later we came back to find that most of our books wouldn't be accepted. We were fine with that and had expected as much. For what she did choose to take, we were offered $5 cash and $50 in store credit.
Fifty dollars may seem like a lot, but remember I am trying not to acquire more books. We decided that it was still a good deal because we have a toddler son and one on the way. A used bookstore is probably a great way to rotate through his book collection.
For the remaining books I will put them out at the multi-family garage sale we have coming up. Maybe we will get a few takers that way. It's worth a try!
The rest we will be donating to some charitable organization.
It was slightly painful boxing up my books and seeing my previously full shelves so bare. It is now liberating! I am happy to have the free space and room to consider how to use it.
I haven't given up on reading. There is no way!I am now choosing to purchase
electronically, or borrow from the library.
I have found that purchasing electronically is cheaper than store bought and for an added bonus, doesn't take up any physical space in my home. I also like having the option to respond to the book through highlighting and note taking if I chose to.
The library is becoming one of my favorite options. In fact as I write this I am at the library surrounded by so many reading options. It doesn't cost me anything to enjoy them and they only take up space in my home for as long as they are useful to me. I like being able to choose several titles on a single subject rather than being stuck with the one title I chose because I bought it, whether it ends up being what I was looking for or not.
I like the fact that at the library, books are a shared resource in my community. Does every individual really need a personal copy of the latest mystery? We can share. The production impact is lessened and we are given many more reading options then we could afford to own or have space to store.
This has been my book purging process. Has anyone else given up book collections? How did it go? Any regrets?
Other Posts in The Series: