I'm someone who loves books. I have paperbacks, hardcovers, leather-bound copies with gilded pages, and old fabric-bound books with foxed edges and that inimitable musty scent that old books have. I also tend to hold on to just about every book I've ever bought. But, I'm starting to plan a move to an apartment and have to think about what I want to move with me. So, I'm trying to reevaluate my book collection and think about whether I need to keep everything I have.
- College books -
I've kept a lot of the books I bought for college courses. They are either books I had a genuine interest in and wanted to keep or books that the book stores refused to buy back. For the former, I plan to keep them if I still think they are of interest. If the latter, I'm trying to sell books back through Amazon or through BookScouter, which searches multiple vendors to see who will offer the best price for your book.
- Book condition -
I tend to buy both new and used books, which means that there is a range in the quality of the books I own. There are a few books which have damaged spines, where whole chunks of the book have separated and fallen out. Though some of these books are favorites of mine, I'm going to pitch the battered copies.
- Books I've hated -
For some reason, I continue to hold on to books I know I hate. I have copies of Lolita and The Catcher in the Rye on my bookshelves despite the fact that I cannot stand them. For some reason, I've just let them linger on my shelf. I'll offer them up to friends and family first, then sell the rest.
- Duplicate copies -
I have several copies of some books I love. I think I have four different copies of Pride and Prejudice floating around my shelves. Most I've bought because I've loved the covers of various editions or was drawn to the illustrations, etc. However, I want to evaluate whether I need to keep all of the copies of any given book. I have some beat up editions from high school and college I could probably part ways with.
- Unrealistic TBR additions -
We all have those books we buy with the best of intentions. Whether they are very dry nonfiction books or monstrous classics we tell ourselves we are going to actually manage to read someday, but we don't. Holding on to these books feels a bit like holding on to a pair of jeans that's one size to small in the hopes that someday I'll fit into them. I'm no longer keeping aspiration clothing, so I want to try to get rid of some of my aspirational TBR books too. Sometimes we just have to face reality.
Of course, I think I'll always have an abundance of books, probably more than I should have, but I'm trying to declutter a little bit. Everything I want to move I'm going to have to pack up and find a place for in my apartment, which means getting rid of some dead weight. It can definitely be hard to figure out what to keep and what to part ways with, but I know that I'll continue to buy new books and will need to continue to make space for them, which means being a bit more selective with my collection.