August 22, 2016

Book Purge

I recently had to pack for a trip so of course I decided then and there that my bookshelves and book piles on the floor needed an immediate purge.  Logical, no?  This is how a bookworm procrastinates. 

I have done a yearly purging now for several years, culling books that 1) I've stopped lying to myself about having the time or inclination to ever read 2) are DNFs (did not finish) 3)I've read but hated or felt indifferent about and 4) are duplicate copies.  Last year I culled approximately 100, the same the year before that.  This year, about 85 books were purged.  I boxed them up and donated some to the Goodwill, others to the local, nonprofit used bookstore operated by the county library. 

What made the cut? All my beloved books, books from my childhood, my precious signed first editions, books that I will keep with me till the end of days of course remained on the shelves.
There are some so battered, with covers barely hanging on or no covers at all that were safe from the purge purely because of sentimental value.  Though I have leatherbound, expensive editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I keep the ancient ruins I bought for pennies at the library discard bin because they were the first ones I read.
All the required Penguin editions I collected in pursuit of an English Lit major. Their black spines lined up on the shelf look beautiful to me.  
Even the obscure ones with the pesky "Used" sticker I kept (although hidden in the back) made the cut because ... street cred.
One of my favorite shelves is the one with my travel guides flush and organized chronologically, a quick, visual summary of all the places I've visited.
I don't keep all my ARCs from over the years, just a select few.  I find some to be even more precious than first editions.

My spare room now looks a bit more tidy, less piles on the floor certainly and the shelves are more organized, leaving space for future acquisitions.  Until next year...

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