Parting with books: I Just (can’t) Do It.

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a hoarder. Not to the extent of needing an outrageous TLC episode dedicated to me, but more like my room is always a cluttered mess and I can never ever get rid of anything. I have a box filled with Frisbees and Mardi Gras beads and other free crap I’ve gotten from parades my whole life.

The goal for the summer is to be a minimalist, or at least pretend to be. I want to go through everything in my room and get rid of things I don’t need, most especially the things that were left behind when I scurried off to school. Basically, say adios to everything that’s been collecting dust and taking up space all my life.

Since my bookshelves are running out of space for new friends, I thought they would be a good place to start minimalizing.

This isn’t just for me, it’s for the world: if I get rid of books, I can sell them online or even give some of them away. And then, once there’s room and I don’t need to have books shoved two rows deep on these feeble shelves, I can buy new books with all the money I make from selling my old ones! Everyone wins (But mostly me).

At least, that’s what was going through my head before I started clearing off the shelves.

I only found six books I’d be able to part with. One of them is the manual for my fancy shmancy calculator I was required to have in high school. The others are odd books from junior high that I don’t even remember owning and therefore wouldn’t miss. Oh, and a battered copy of Seabiscuit that I stabbed and ripped and scribbled all over while we read it in my sophomore year English class. I really hated that horse. He went straight to the recycling bin.

Note: the Smart Girl’s Guide to Boys was a book given to me when I was 15, maybe 16. It is geared toward girls just hitting puberty. It talks about how to deal with hormones, touching, peer pressure, etc. My life has clearly always been a joke to everyone around me.

On the bright side, I found four books buried in the back that I don’t even remember buying and certainly don’t remember reading. Now I can hop to that whole Super Summer Reading thing I’ve been dreaming about for months.

So, what about you? What do your bookshelves look like? Can you ever find the ability to part with books, or do you hold onto them for ages even if you never intend to read them again?

12 comments on “Parting with books: I Just (can’t) Do It.

  1. Books and my cat figurines (I know, I’m such a nerd, I just really like cats), those are the two things I do not want to get rid of. The cat figurines are very special to me and the books are just my guilty pleasure. On the other hand, I had no problem getting rid of most of my clothing and shoes and pretty much all my beauty products. I don’t know why, but there’s something magical about books that keeps me from getting rid of them …


  2. This is awesome. My bookshelves remained empty for many years. I had the token dozen books or so that I lugged along from house to house, collecting dust and being sad from not being read. When I got divorced, I gave nearly everything away. Now, I find myself in search of all sorts of books, and I am discovering that Amazon and Ebay have the market cornered! But book by book, I am building it back up, and wow….actually reading them. I had a long strange problem where I could not “allow” myself to do the things that made me happy…read, write, paint, dance….now I am a word sponge!
    Great topic.


  3. I’m a bit of a hoarder too, especially when it comes to books. I still even have all my text books from my freshman year…I think i have a problem. Anyways, when my bookshelf/floor beside bookshelf/random stack on top of dresser is overflowing with books my answer; buy a bigger bookshelf. :-)


    • Haha! An excellent solution. Unfortunately, living in my parents house and having all my worldly possessions in one room doesn’t allow me much space for more shelves :(


  4. Reblogged this on myreadingbent and commented:
    I call it “collecting” it makes it sound much more interesting. Don’t you think? We have recycyling sites locally and I can’t help but take any free books. I would love a room just for them. My own personal library.


    • It is much better as collecting. I keep daydreaming about moving into a house with a nice big wall to turn into bookshelves to put my collection on display.


      • I thought maybe a job in a Library might help. I feel the same too. Getting rid of ornaments to make room for books. I feel selfish not passing them on as I used to when I was younger, but I’ve lost many I wish I had now. I’ve tried reading a couple of e-books but it’s not the same feeling you get when you read a hard copy. Especially one I’ve enjoyed reading I put it back to read another time. I never have read a book twice either. Too many to get through in life I think. Still keep it just in case though…


    • Logical way to handle the mess. I’m still too afraid/cheap to get a Kindle, though. I just swoon over everyone else’s pretty Kindles with their pretty cases and such.


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