Photo by dolescum / Anne G, licensed under Creative Commons
Are you suffering from overstuffed bookshelves — or books laying around everywhere, not on any shelves? Here are some encouraging words from a variety of sources to help inspire you to deal with all those books.
It's not easy, but it's necessary:
Painful task: getting rid of books (as I did yesterday). Like severing friendships. But shelf space is finite, and new friends arrive. — Alexander McCall Smith, on Twitter
OK, sometimes it IS easy. Many of us have books we can quickly say goodbye to:
Outdated business books — I never liked you in the first place. Who needs two copies of Naked Conversations? Out.
Outdated computer programming and computer reference books — I have no lingering, nostalgic affection for you. Out. — Dave Coustan, Purging and De-cringing a Bookshelf
Here's how one person got rid of some knitting books:
Part of this was just being pragmatic: paring down books that basically repeated information I have in other, more frequently used books. Some had patterns I once thought I’d make but no longer fancied — and, in some cases, couldn’t imagine why on earth I thought that was a good look in the first place. ...
I also realized that I acquired a number of these books at a time when there weren’t so many knitting websites around. Now I can get a lot of these patterns — or similar ones — online. Or I can check the books out of the library. — Julia Smillie, Purging
You can tackle the bookshelf-decluttering project in small bites:
We're decluttering our books, one shelf at time. — SueBK
You can (almost) always find the books again, if need be:
Getting rid of books does not remove them from the universe. Have faith in libraries, bookstores (new & used), & swappers. Donate some now. — Discardia, on Twitter
Just got rid of a ton of legacy-format books. If I ever want them again (unlikely), I'll re-buy electronic versions. — Fraser Spiers, on Twitter.
You really don't have to finish every book you begin:
Sure, sometimes a book is bad. More likely, though, the book is a misfit, at least for this time and place in the reader's life. Neither reader nor writer has failed; the two are simply mismatched. ...
In her reading memoir, So Many Books, So Little Time, Sara Nelson calls deciding to allow yourself to stop reading a book "a rite of passage in a reader's life." It is, she says, "the moment at which you can look at yourself and announce: Today I am an adult. I can make my own decisions." — Cynthia Crossen, Wall Street Journal, via NomdeB
Book Lovers: Stop Reading Books You Don't Like
Clearing Out the Bookshelves
3 Perspectives: Not All Books Are Keepers
Moving Books Along to Their Next Home
Books: Weeding the Collection
Is It Time to Bid Adieu to Some of Your Books?
Purging the Book Collection: The Nonfiction Edition
It's OK to Give Up on a Book