For today’s Blogmas post, I’m diverting away from the posts and style I’ve brought so far, focusing on some thoughts I have about the process of parting with books and my own reasons for doing it.
I’m someone who likes having a large library around me – it’s comforting and visually pleasing. However, at the same time I want my shelves to represent me and be loved and sometimes that means letting go of certain books when the time is right.
When I do this, especially on a large scale, I follow a set criteria. It is the only way I can part with books and feel good about it, because otherwise I’d let my sentimentality override the task and I’d never actually unhaul any books. It lets me curate my little library the way I want it and I make space for any new books I get, which is always a bonus.
What is this criteria?
I have a duplicate
Unless a book I already own is well-loved, worn, tired and becoming unreadable, I don’t intend to or purposefully buy duplicates. However on occasion, my memory has lapsed and I’ve ordered or bought a book twice. I don’t need that second book, therefore it goes. Also, if I have it in e-book and I require shelf space, I am more than happy to not need that physical edition anymore.
It is a book I didn’t finish and I probably won’t pick it up again.
There is a danger with this because I might unhaul and then say a few years later “oh, I do want to try that book again,” but at the same time I have my Kindle and access to a library.
I have no desire to re-read it.
Some books I’ll want to reread time and time again, others I’m perfectly fine with reading just once and it’s those latter books I’ll unhaul after a while.
My interest in a book has dwindled.
Sometimes you buy, receive or have been sent a book that you have some interest in but later on, for one reason or another, that interest is gone. It’s happened to me a couple of times and I get to the point where I will never reach for or think about it as something to read.
The book has small or hard to read font.
I can’t have a book on my shelves I’d struggle to read due to the font sizing, or the spacing between words and paragraphs. I can see it fine, but after a while it causes headaches and my eyes give up. I do try to check beforehand, especially if I’m ordering online
It has deckled edges.
This is a very particular and superficial reason for unhauling a book but I hate deckled edges. They look pretty but I don’t find them very practical and I struggle turning the pages. If I’m in a shop and I notice that a book I’m interested in has deckled edges, I won’t buy it. Similarly to the font and layout of the text, it’s a detail I can’t really check if ordering online, however.
A book no longer matches my reading tastes.
The more we read, the more we curate our tastes, expand our horizons etc mean that sometimes those books from our past don’t feel the same to us anymore and we might not want to keep them. For me, it reiterates my point about re-reading books because if a certain book is no longer to my taste, I won’t want to re-read it and it seems pointless keeping it.
At the end of the day, all of this helps me to grow my library the way I want it and with the space I have. Maybe one day things will change and I can keep more books in a bigger space, but until then, I will cycle my books around and unhaul when it is necessary.
If you unhaul, how do you go about it?
What is your criteria for keeping or unhauling books?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!