Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Purge, OR, When Book Nerds Go Wild!

Many moons ago, I posted that for my 30th birthday I would be ridding myself of 30 books.  Well, today I finished going through my bookshelves.  Currently I have over 50 books in my stack and this doesn't include a few cookbooks I'm ditching.  Let's interview me and see why I had this crazy idea:

Why are you getting rid of books?
I only have 3 decent bookcases in my house and even if we move to a bigger house I still have to plan my space.  After all, Atticus will be here in November and I live with two artists (Sam and Hope).  Any one who is an artist or lives with an artist will understand the need for everyone to have a fair and appropriate amount of space.

But how do you decide what stays and what goes?
Simple.  I ask myself four questions:  1). Will I need this book at three a.m.?  2).  Is the book in an enjoyable condition?  3).  Is it out-of-print or an author or publisher I collect?  4). Am I okay with checking this out of a library?

You need books at 3 a.m.?
Yes, I have on more than one occasion needed Jane Eyre or The Moonstone at 3 a.m.

What do you mean by "an enjoyable condition?"
Is it in a condition that is pleasurable to read.  For example I'm getting rid of Tess of the D'Urbervilles because it is a Signet Classic with teeny tiny print, I'm getting rid of my old copy of The Count of Monte Cristo because it is falling apart and I'm getting rid of several Daphne du Maurier books I bought for $1 at a library book sale because they are full of crayon scribble.

What books do you collect?
Any authors I'm nuts over -- the Brontes, Collins, Dickens, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Angela Carter are a few.  I also collect some difficult to find titles by Rebecca West.  Publishers I collect are Virago, NYRB, and (recently) Persephone.

Where will the books go?
The books will be going to The Hall County Book Exchange for credit.

Credit?!  So you're still going to buy books?
Oh yes!  This book purge is simply -- in library terms -- weeding.  I need to keep my books down to a manageable number that will fit on three bookcases.  The cases will fill, but hopefully I'll make wiser book purchasing choices.

Have you read all the titles you're trading in?
Some I've read and haven't touched again in years.  Others are on my TBR list, but I don't think I'll be getting to them anytime soon.  Others I picked up and didn't hold my interest. 

Was this at all traumatic?
Not a bit.  I'm actually excited about re-growing my collection.  I can feel a big book reorganization project in my near future; but that, my friends, is for another post. 


Amanda said...

I have actually been doing the exact same thing the past few weeks. I've also been going through the physical TBR pile and weeding out what I'll never read. It feels good to clear off my shelves.

Traci said...

"When Book Nerds Go Wild!" LOL!

Tom said...

Oh! "Tender is the Night"! I need to watch the movie version for my new blog.

Thomas at My Porch said...

Eeek! I see a Willa Cather in your pile. Which one?!

Amanda said...

Thomas -- The Cather title is "A Lost Lady". Do you want me to send it to you?