Monday, February 28, 2011

Ramble: The Great Book Purge of 2011

I spent the weekend purging my books. Not all, mind you - I left non-fiction and women's studies alone. I did purge Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Classics, Christian and Biography. It was exhilarating. You'd think I'd feel differently, and I expected to myself, but instead found it strangely freeing. I got rid of 164 books. Against the 2,232 that I keep, it seems little, but it's a big step for me. I was finally able to be honest with myself about books I've purchased that I think I'll read, but really will not. Others, like the classics, are books I picked up to read so I could say I read, but truthfully hold little interest for me (Kafka? really?). I let the idea of reading them go along with the actual book. That, I think, is where the real freedom lays.

The best part is giving away the books. I have several piles, stacked and labeled, ready to package and send on their merry way. Other will garner me credit at a used book shop and others will be donated to a local thrift store.

Have you ever purged your books? If so, why?


  1. Wow, I'm so impressed! That's a lot of books to get rid. I have purged my books before and could stand to do it again, as there are those that I keep around thinking I'll read them again someday or ones that like you, I bought thinking I'd eventually read them and then never actually did.

  2. I love your heart. :) and 164 is a LOT for you! :) So awesome!

    I did purge before I moved to VA. The hardest part was boxing up a bunch for storage before I came and the weirdness of pulling them all out and going "Where is that one book that was....??" and being kinda sad to not find them. I also think I lost some along the way, which is pretty devastating. Ah well...God knows the ones that need to make their way back to me.

    Also, a friend took a box of books that I loved. She might send them back one day...I hope so. :)

  3. I purged in preparation for the birth of our twins. I was not sad to see the ones I chose to get rid of go. However, I was grieved to pack up the ones I was keeping and put them in storage. My children are more iamportant than my books, but it was difficult to pack them away where I cannot pluck old favorites off the shelf anytime I wish. Someday we will have room enough to have them out again.

  4. I pulled 44 books of my shelves to give away/sell earlier this week. It was good to be honest with myself "yes, I'm sure that is a wonderful book, but guess what?! I don't really care to ever read it!"
    My purge is mostly because I'm moving. Not that 44 books makes an enormous dent, but it is something.