Yesterday, I went through my shelves and picked out all the books that I either didn’t like, didn’t finish, or that I really don’t think I’ll ever reread again and didn’t like enough to keep around regardless.
Although I can barely see the difference on the shelves, because I just picked a couple of books out here and there, it still feels good to get rid of them. I like it when my shelves really resemble me and what I like, and although I do sometimes keep books around that I didn’t like, I usually have a specific reason for that.
I know there are people that have difficulty getting rid of books. They might be building a library, or have memories with all their books or just for some reason have to keep them around. I don’t have any problems with that, do what you want with your life and your books. But personally? I feel very little attachment to most books that I read. As such, I actually go through my shelves quite regularly, and sometimes will even have a separate stack on my floor with books I already know I’m not keeping.
So yesterday that time came again, and I sorted out some books, and although it’s not much by any means, it’s enough to make a difference to me, to give me that feeling of freshness and tidiness.
I know it’s not a good photo by any means, but this one was actually taken quickly for the sake of sending to my friends to ask if they still wanted some of them. I figured I could just as well use it here (besides, I didn’t stop to take any other picture with my actual camera, which is a direct result of my own impatience in wanting to get them out as soon as possible, before the charity shop closed at a ridiculously early hour).
Now, I’m not going to go through every single one of them or explain why I’m not keeping them. The why of it all isn’t all that important here anyway, and besides, it’s often just a very simple “I haven’t even looked at it in ages and it might make someone else happier.” Some of these, I read entirely but wasn’t super impressed by. Some I didn’t even finish. And that’s alright.
I love tidying and clearing out my stuff, although you wouldn’t say it when you see my room. I’m not as big on it as, say, Marie Kondo, but I definitely like being organised and tidy. I’m not the type of person to be surprised when people are getting rid of things, nor would I even pretend to be aghast when a booklover is getting rid of books (okay, I might, just for the fun of it – and then I move on). I don’t believe that all booklovers should have massive personal libraries, and although I can be very protective about the books that I do keep, I have no qualms about giving books away.
I already got out of a book what I got it for: a story, an escape, and sometimes a good lesson. And if I can help someone else get that, then that’s great. After all, why keep a book around that isn’t making me happy when it could be making someone else happy?