Book Detox: 5 Things I Learned On The Way to the Used Book Store.

bookshelfpurge

My husband and I are in the process of combining bookshelves to try and create a little more room in the master bedroom. The first step means getting rid of some books that we’ve read and don’t need to keep and maybe even some books we don’t think we’ll get around to. I took the plunge and started combing through my stacks on Saturday morning.

I was relentless – I am a self proclaimed bookaholic and sometimes I’m way too liberal with my book purchasing choices.My eyes are bigger than my reading stomach so to speak. I knew my collection of books was bordering on ridiculous and I took this opportunity to get my shit under control. After a morning weeding through all the books, I took two huge boxes to the used book store that buys old books.

Here are some things I learned while going through my shelves.

  1. My reading habits have changed a lot over the years and that’s okay. I don’t have to want to read the same books I did ten years ago. My reading habits are not under investigation and don’t need to answer to anyone.
  2. A lot of the books on my shelves have been there at least as long as I’ve been married. Those were my first victims – If I’ve owned a book for ten years but haven’t read it, I’d better have a darn good reason to keep it.
  3. It’s probably a good thing that I cancelled my Book of the Month membership a few months ago. I absolutely loved getting books in the mail and I look forward to reading them at some point, but I have nine unread titles that I’ve received from them on my bookshelf right now.
  4. It felt kind of amazing when I took those boxes of books out of my room and then came back to admire my shelves. Those unread books were holding some emotional baggage that I didn’t realize I was carrying. Giving myself the freedom to let them go was liberating.
  5. I am a sucker for books on clearance. Have you noticed that your standards drop when something is on sale? A LOT of the books I got rid of had a clearance sticker on them. Is this a sign that I’m good at bargain shopping or that I’m prone to impulse shopping when the price is low enough? I need to remember to choose quality over quantity when it comes to the things I love.

I still have a lot of books to read, but I can feel peace about this because I chose every book on that shelf intentionally. Every book was up for removal this weekend so the books that are left are books I’m eager to read now.

When is the last time you purged your book collection?

2 thoughts on “Book Detox: 5 Things I Learned On The Way to the Used Book Store.

  1. I feel like my approach to books has changed a lot in the past few years. I used to love the process of collecting them and having lots to display because it felt ‘scholarly’ but lately, I’m drawn to using my library for almost everything….like my own private bookshelves just stored at someone else’s house and it’s really freeing to realize that I can get whatever I want when I need it and not hang onto things just because I might need it someday! (Now kids books are another story….I’m a sucker for a beautiful children’s book)

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