Since last Tuesday I wrote the post about which books I lost interest in and added some books I’ve unhauled along with it for Top Ten Tuesday, I decided to keep with that theme for this week and write a post about unhauling books. Wow, that was a long sentence.
Now I completely understand why some people say that they cannot part with their books whether these be books they have read (loved or not) or books they still need to read. For years I was like them. I could not stomach getting rid of some of the books I had bought that I had not read yet. And yet I never seemed to be able to pick them up to read. In general, and not just with books, we tend to find it hard to cut things from our lives whether that be that huge amount of mugs or that toxic person in our life.
I have no great advice for any of that. My abbility to be able to start unhauling books and culling other items from our home didn’t truly start until I was well into my pregnancy. Hormones do things to you. However I have been able to keep the ability to throw things out after I got Merijn. To be honest I have to with an extra person in our house who needs and deserves room for his things.
So here are some of the questions I ask myself and things I do when I unhaul books at the end or start of the year. Remember that these are things that work for me. You can take or leave (or leave it all) from it what you want.
Stare at My Shelves
This is something that starts always in December. Where I start scanning my rows of books. How can I create more space for more books? That is what I ask myself when I look at them. That is good motivation for me to find those books on my shelves that I am not as drawn to as to some others. From there on out I eliminate the books I know for 100% sure I want to keep. Those are often a bunch of shelves I can cross out immediately. I then focus on those I am not so sure about and take a piece of paper where I start writing down the books I have big doubts about.
Have I Read the Book?
One of the questions I find important is whether or not I have read the book or not. With books I read I already know how I feel about the book. Books that I have rated 3 stars or under I scrutinize and see if there is any reason to keep the book. Do I like the author? Is it a series? Do I own the rest of the series? Do I want to give the rest of the series a chance? Is this a book I can see Merijn reading years down the line? I often keep middle grade books for this reason and put them in the book shelves upstairs that are in his room.
If the Answer Is No…
If the answer is no however it gets a bit more tricky. I have to establish how big my interest in the book still is. How long have I had it? How long has it been on my shelves? I am fairly lenient with myself. Or at least I have been this year. I am giving myself 5 years for the unread books on my shelves at the moment before I have to unhaul them for sure. I mean if I haven’t read them by then I am never going to read them, lets be honest here. Of course there have been books that I know I have lost complete interest in and those get an automatic boot.
Do I Like the Edition or Cover? Was It a Gift?
There are some other things I also consider. For instance if it is a special edition or a very pretty cover. It is easier to unhaul books when it looks ugly. I want pretty books on my shelves, okay. This is probably why I still have Magonia upstairs…
Another thing I find important is whether or not it was a gift. With gift I am not talking about books I got because people were unhauling their own books. I’m talking about books that were given with a thought, those that I got for my birthday and such. I find it important to keep a hold of those because I do remember who I got them from. Except when it is from my husband since he already gives me so many books to begin with, haha.
Also if the book is signed I am more likely to keep it.
What Do You Do When You Keep Doubting?
Of course there are those books that keep you doubting. Books I’ve read and thought were okay but had super gorgeous covers and such. Those books can cause some doubt. Often I move those upstairs where I have another book shelf on my sons room where I for now can still house some of my own books. If I don’t think about them for a while I can always unhaul down the road anyway. And I still end up with the extra space.