• The Great Book Purge of 2015

    areyoureally

    I always think about books, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about bookshelves. My pile of books was getting out of hand. Hazardous is not too strong a word.

    The more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to wait until Christmas to buy bookshelves. So I did the next best thing: I stole the shelves out of Justin’s man cave and put them in my library.

    My first order of business was to remove the existing bookshelf.

    oldbookshelfThis poor old thing was a Christmas present from Justin twelve or thirteen years ago. He put it together and stained it himself. I remember being so excited when I first put books on this book shelf. Now it’s on its last legs. The shelves fall out and the back is coming off. Still, it’s moved across two states and housed my favorite books for over a decade. It wasn’t easy to part with.

    I said as much to Justin. His response?

    “Just throw away our love,” he sighed dramatically.

    I stuck my tongue out at him and closed the library door.

    After I moved the bookshelf I went through my piles of books. I was astonished at how many I’ve allowed to creep into my house. I used this three question checklist to cull out the books I’d keep from the books I’ll donate:

    • Do you have a multiple copies of this book?
    • Will you really ever read this book?
    • Okay so you read this. Are you really ever going to read it again?

    These questions made it a little easier to part with the books even though I still feel like I’m abandoning them. What if they don’t find a good home? What if they aren’t cherished and loved? I feel like I have to apologize to them. Write them a Dear John letter or give them the whole ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ speech.

    But I only  have so much room on my bookshelves so I had to choose.

    In the end I hauled three baskets of books to be donated out to the car.

    Bookpurge

    Those suckers are heavy!

    And then I look at the finished product and I’m happy with how the Great Book Purge of 2015 turned out.

    In case you're wondering, yes, that's Star Trek Barbie and Kirk (ie, Ken) next to the Star Trek Next Generation pez dispensers. My library, my décor.

    In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s Star Trek Barbie and Kirk (ie, Ken) next to Star Trek Next Generation pez dispensers. My library, my décor.

    Finally, all my Dark Tower books and my Harry Potter books have a numerically ordered home.

    Finally, all my Dark Tower books and my Harry Potter books have a numerically ordered home.

    Even the kids got a shelf! Books that made the cut here include Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and The Chronicles of Narnia.

    Even the kids got a shelf! Books that made the cut here include Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and The Chronicles of Narnia.

    I even found a pretty good pile of books I haven’t read and would like to read.

    This is what happiness looks like.

    This is what happiness looks like.

    I’m celebrating The Purge by starting at the top of this pile and working my way down.

    xoxo,

    Meghan

    What’s essential on your bookshelf? Leave a comment! Don’t want to leave a comment? Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong (at) gmail (dot) com.   

3 Responsesso far.

  1. Pat S says:

    I love to read. I usually knock out a book a week, usually a murder/mystery type. I have read just about everything published by James Patterson, Stuart Woods, Lee Child, James Grippando, James Lee Burke, Robert B Parker, and many others. I used to find an interesting author by reading a book with a number of short stories by different authors, then went to e-bay to buy a lot of books by that author. I think I have purchased as many as 30 books (paperback and hard back) at one time like that. And I have two Kindles. As a result, I am on the shit-list at my house………….books everywhere. My wife and I seem to have a difference of opinion, and mine does not count. I think bookshelves should be used for the storage of books, but apparently they are made for picture frames and old breakable crap that came from endless searches at arts & crafts fairs, or leftovers from her grand-mother or old-maid aunts. My only effort at trying to sale used books resulted in selling about 4 out the stack of 20 at a resale shop.

  2. Brian says:

    It took my wife and I three rounds of reduction to get down to two book shelves. We are both book hoarders. A few years ago we installed a little library in our front yard. Now everything goes there after we have read it. For some reason it’s easier to let things go there where your neighbors can take them than it is to take them to a used book store or library.

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