Getting Rid of Books

June 5, 2015

Recently we forced ourselves to have a clear-out, and several hundred volumes found their way to a local Amnesty International book sale. Novels I knew I’d never open again, and a lot of books on sexual politics from the time when I was writing my thesis about thirty years ago, were among those that left the house. Although it hurts to part with books, for them to go to a good cause feels rather like a voluntary charity tax and made it a bit more bearable. But, after the cull, did the creaking shelves in our estures look very different? …no, not really.

And then – fatal error – we went on holiday. One of the things I always do before going away is look up secondhand bookshops where we are heading. And the north Norfolk coast is a very good hunting-ground, which I can thoroughly recommend if you don’t have enough books. The seaside is also very nice. So, quite a number of new volumes joined my library… and they will be read and enjoyed, and possibly not sit permanently on the shelves, but find their way to charity shops as soon as read.

I am also running up against a new problem: buying the same book twice! I always used to have an accurate memory of what was on the shelves at home, but when the aggregate hits about two and a half thousand, I can’t carry the full catalogue in my head, and consequently there are times when I get home, start to catalogue a new book, and discover I have it already… I have gone as far as to save a stripped down version of the catalogue on my phone so that I can check if I’m in doubt, but when I’m sure I don’t have the book, of course I don’t bother to check. Hmm.

2 Responses to “Getting Rid of Books”


  1. Two copies mean one to pass on to a friend to read!

    I love hearing that books are being given a second life and finding new readers rather than gathering dust. I know I am not really a rereader and so I regularly rid the shelves of those I know I will never read again and always lend without the epxectation of return. I often buy my favourites again and again though because those are always the books I am searching for when someone asks for a good book to read!

    Like

  2. Ellie Says:

    Have the same experiences. Now, how do I feel to know others have these issues. I can add that I have reread some of thes nooks on my shelf and it was like a new book – had no memory of it. Leads me to think I should put off digesting new books and just go through what I already have. Sadest part for me is that books have so gone out of fashion, so giving them away is a problem as few people want any of them.

    Like


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