For book lovers who run out of space, it can be difficult to decide when to get rid of some of their books.
I was faced with that dilemma this weekend. I bought a small bookcase, two shelves, holds about 50-60 books. We collected the books that were on the end table, the ones under the phone table, the ones hidden behind photos on the TV stand, about 25 books on top of another bookshelf, and finally a few books that we had simply piled in front of a shelf of books.
This small bookcase couldn’t even handle all of the overflow. So we took a hard look at what we had. We used these guidelines.
I had brought some books home from work with the intention of reading and reviewing them. Some of these books were now six months old. The truth is I’m not going to read them. So they came back to the office for others to enjoy.
Did the book have any sentimental value? If it did, it stayed. For example, one of the first books my wife bought me was King Suckerman by George Pelecanos. Since then, I’ve read quite a few of his novels and I don’t want to give any of them away, even though some of them are review copies only. But that first book created a sentimentality for the ones that followed.
Was it the only book by a particular author that we owned? If we didn’t love the book enough to buy other novels written by that author, then perhaps it’s a sign that the book is not as great as we once thought it was. This thinking didn’t apply in every case. We only have one book by Carson McCullers, but there was no way we were getting rid of it.
In the end, we got rid of about 30 books, enough to actually leave us room for three to four new books. The end table that had a pile of about 12 books is now clear and has a nice family photo on it. And the bookcase that had about 30 books piled on it, now looks a lot cleaner.