Thursday, January 07, 2010

Culling Books

This week has been my first full week of doing the FLY Lady system in a couple of years.  The house looks amazing.  I’m not killing myself, as she says, if you overdo it in the first week, you will quickly burn out and give up.  Still, I have filled 4 or 5 trash bags with stuff for the dump, and gotten rid of tons of dust, trash, and debris.

My goal is to attack one shelf, drawer, or closet per week to get it totally organized.  This gives me time to really sort through things, give some thought to what I’m doing, and not stress myself out over how much I’ve got.

Today I attacked the to-be-read shelf in my bedroom.  I had a ton of books saved up from the past 4 years of book shopping, and the time had come to get realistic about what could stay, what could go, what I would actually read.

I think my reading tastes may have changed dramatically.  I had no problem getting rid of mysteries and thrillers.  I kept one Dean Koontz book that sounds great “just in case” but the rest are goners.  I also got rid of 99% of the books in which the main character “is struck by a sudden and senseless tragedy.”  Life’s hard enough, I have enough drama going on right now, I guess I don’t want to read about other people’s dramas.

The things I kept were either quirky, new acquisitions, favorite authors, sounded like good stories, or were follow ups to books I have previously read and loved.

I agonized over some choices.  I kept a book called A Taxonomy of Barnacles.  I can’t decide if I’ll love it or hate it, but ultimately I decided I just have to give it a try.  I got rid of a Jodi Piccoult book.  She is one of my favorite authors and I think I must have gone through a phase of just collecting her books, but one of them just didn’t appeal to me, and I made the decision to let it go.  Two authors whose books I had several of went on the goodbye pile—they are not authors I’d ever read, and the fact that I had several different books by them indicated to me I would probably enjoy their stuff.  However, apparently they hadn’t appealed to me sufficiently in the past several years to actually get started, so they went on the pile.  Books that I didn’t have any real attachment to other than the fact I bought them in Maryland while we were waiting for Leah to be born last year went in the pile.

It feels like I have gotten rid of potential friends—I’m sure there are at least a couple of books in that pile that I really would have enjoyed.  I’m sure there are some that I really would have enjoyed a year or two ago.  But their time is past and better they should go to new homes that appreciate them.  In all, I posted 58 books, mostly fiction, to Paperback Swap, and already 13 of them are on hold.  It does my heart good that they will be read and loved and cared for and not just languish on my shelf.  Even better news is that I’ll be able to do the same to my non-fiction shelves in the future and make room for my ever growing collection of fiction books I just have to keep.  But not today.  I’m too worn out.  That was tough, real tough.

1 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Lesley said...

You are woman, hear you roar!

It is painful to purge books, even when you know the likelihood of reading them is slim to none. I will have to do the same thing at some point this year.

And on that note, I'm curious as to what ones you gave up? Aside from the Jodi Picoult novels (*grin*) would there be anything I'd be interested in?