Picking the Collection: How do you part with books?

I love books and many of you do too, because this blog is obviously dedicated to books. However, after coming home from a recent expedition with a stack of new books in my hand I realized that I had a problem; I have too many books. I know, that’s not possible! However, for me, it is. In my eyes if I will never read a book, why do I own it and why does it take up shelf space where another book could be sitting? I know that many people will probably hate this post on principle, but tonight I’ve decided to share with you my two simple, yet necessary, rules that keep my book collection under control.

1. Am I honestly interested in it?

I shop at thrift stores, used bookstores, and such places for most of my books, and at those places I often find amazing deals on books. At a local thrift store I once found 50 cozies for $10, I recently went to a fill-a-bag booksale where you filled a bag of books for $1. Often, because of that I buy books that may not currently interest me but I think might some day. For me, this is a horrible habit because that’s a TON of books! Picking through my shelves I found entire series that I removed because I was no longer interested in it.

2. Is it at the end of a lengthy series?

As I said above I buy so many books used that often when I see a great sale I buy up every cozy that I don’t already own. When I was going through my piles of books I realized that I had more than a dozen books that were numbers 5, 10, 16, or even 20 in a series where I had never read and/or didn’t have the first few books in the series. Because of that, I’ve made it a general rule that unless I’ve read and/or own the first few in a series I don’t buy further back than number three in a series. This eliminated a load off of my shelves.

From these two simply rules I have added over 70 books to my get rid of pile, and I’ve only just finished my mystery section. I still have over 250 left, but I’m trying to read books I already own, so I can buy more! As Charles William Eliot said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”


3 thoughts on “Picking the Collection: How do you part with books?

  1. Jerry

    I give mine to a store where all profits go toward Hospice. Is it possible a nursing home would be interested in your books for their residents? I still have tons of books waiting for me to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know of a local home for the disabled that has a small library in it where I sometimes donate books. Also, my library, local thrift store (which is a nonprofit), and Better World Books are also great options if you want to get rid of books. If I’m looking to sell books, however, I usually go to a local used bookstore where they give a great store credit rate.


  2. Pingback: Donating Unwanted Books: Locally! – More Mysteries Please

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