Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Shelves are full! Paring down my book collection

I love books. But over the years, I have just collected too many that I haven't read yet. So this year, I am dedicating my reading time to paring down my towering TBR pile.

When we bought our house 13 years ago, my husband built me huge floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves. Every shelf is full. So full, in fact, that I have had to turn books sideways to have more room to stack them. My shelves are no longer sorted by genre or author, but are instead a hodge podge of this and that stuffed wherever there was room. And it's all double stacked. Each stack of books hides another stack behind.

Makes it hard to find anything. Not only that, my books are my most prized possessions. When they are languishing in tight quarters, unread and unseen, I feel like I am somehow not worthy to have them.

So, the answer is to spend 2016 reading my own books. I joined the "Read My Own Damn Books'' group, and made an action plan for gaining control of my book collection. I'm holding purchases of new books to a minimum, and not purchasing anything from my wishlist of books on Amazon. I went one step further. Before I can buy any new books at all, I have to have read and purged at least 4 books from my shelf for every one I want to buy. The only exception is books given to me as gifts. OTSPSecretSister is my one of my allowable cheats. :)

What am I doing with the books I'm purging from my out of control library?  Many of them I am donating to the local Hospice thriftshop. The proceeds from sales there go to help fund the local hospice program in the county. Helping terminally ill people die with dignity is a very important service and I'm happy that I can help in any way. And some I will trade for other books using #booksfortrade or paperbackswap.com.

In the end, I'm getting the joy of finally being able to read some of the awesome books that I have on my shelves, keeping only a select few that will stay on my "keeper'' shelf and setting others free to be enjoyed by others. And, my shelves will go back to being well-organized and not just thrown together for convenience.

My husband has promised to make me a special chair for the living room that is a combination comfy chair and bookshelves. It will look like this. My own little reading spot! I am so excited!

Tomorrow's blog -- What am I doing about new releases that I want to read once, so I can't justify my 4 purged for one buy allowance for them?  The library! Dah Dahhhhh dah!  Tune in tomorrow for my ramblings about the magic of libraries!

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