Over the past year, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my book collection. I have so many books that my shelves are overflowing. Finding a particular book is an exercise in rearranging. At least I’m shelving them in alphabetical order, so I can find what I’m looking for when I’m looking for it.
I’ve been trying to work my way through reading the books I already own, and then if they don’t meet one of my criteria, sending them to Half-Price Books.
I recently grabbed a romance off my shelf, read the back, and it looked okay. I was going to read it, but then found something else I wanted to read more. And the romance is still sitting where I left it when I decided not to read it.
I thought about re-shelving it, and then realized that if I saw it in the bookstore today, I wouldn’t buy it.
It’s not that it’s a bad book. It’s by a famous author, and I’m sure it’s entertaining. But it’s just not my taste anymore, if it ever was. Should I keep it on my bookshelf, taking up valuable real estate on the off chance I might want to read it one day? Or do I recognize that there are other books that I’m excited about reading, and that it’s okay if I’m just not into it?
Kind of answers itself, doesn’t it?
I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to let go of books I’m probably never going to read. It feels like I should read what I already own. But there are so many books I’m dying to read. Series I want to complete. New authors to explore.
Sometimes I read a book from the library and would love to own it, but I put off the purchase because my shelves are already overstuffed. It seems irresponsible and indulgent to buy more books, especially a book I’ve already read, when I have so many others I haven’t gotten to.
While I was contemplating this, I closed my eyes and pictured my beautiful bookshelves full of only books I love. Ones that mean something to me, that I want to read. That I’m excited about.
It’s like a shelf full of personalized vacations. Something that brings me joy instead of stress.
I think it’s time to take a careful look at the books I own, and instead of asking, “Would I read this one day?” ask “Do I want to read this?” If the answer is no, I know what I need to do.
Thank goodness for Half-Price Books.
Do you have trouble getting rid of books you don’t love? How do you handle the buy/ keep question?