Booking Through Thursday: Weeding

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Do you ever weed out unwanted books from your library? And if so, what do you do with them?

Sadly, this is a timely question. When I was home for Christmas, I stayed in my old bedroom, as usual. (I’ll probably keep doing that until/unless I’m married. It has its own bathroom, so that’s actually a positive arrangement.) Before the move to Austin, I narrowed down my book collection to the chosen few. I left some gems behind, but I also left some books I am reasonably certain I’ll never read again. Many are books I would have sold if I had stayed in town through fall (prime re-selling season).

Joining Goodreads and getting a smartphone changed my approach to those lonely books sitting in my room, unread and unloved. With the app’s scanner, I was able to catalog every book in my apartment and in my bedroom at my parents’ house in minutes. It’s the future, guys! I shelved the 82 left-behind books as “own offsite,” like my personal library is a real library.

This past December, though, I realized that most of those books could probably go. I wasn’t willing to cut the cord until my mom emailed me asking if I still wanted any of those or if they could go to Goodwill. (She likes to get rid of things. Generally, so do I.) I initially told her to take them all, but then I panicked and asked to save a few. Thank goodness for my offsite shelf! Goodreads helped me save my favorites!

I logged into my account, reviewed the books on the “offsite” shelf, and identified these as worth saving:

I hesitated over the Song of the Lioness quartet, especially because I re-read the first book while home for Christmas a couple of years ago. After being reminded via Clare Cannon’s review, I decided the love triangle and moral stickiness of the later books outweighed any sentimental value.

The rest are going to Goodwill.

Whether I will ever be able to do this to my “on-site” bookshelf is another matter entirely.


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“I hesitated over the Song of the Lioness quartet, especially because I re-read the first book while home for Christmas a couple of years ago. After being reminded via Clare Cannon’s review, I decided the love triangle and moral stickiness of the later books outweighed any sentimental value.”

I’ve enjoyed all of Tamora Pierce’s books, having been introduced to Alanna during high school at summer camp. I’ve read (I think) everything of hers up to last year. I don’t know if she’s published anything recently. I haven’t reread anything recently either, but I do agree in my vague memory that some of the “moral stickiness” was questionable and unnecessary to bring into several books because they basically indicated that it was all okay and didn’t really give a downside to those situations. I may own a few of them, but my mom owns most of the different series of hers.

    I was in love with the Alanna books. I think my best friend Jenny introduced me to them when I was about 9. I never read any of the other series, though. Thinking about those and the Dragons books made me realize that I almost never read fantasy anymore. Maybe I should head for another round of Harry Potter soon.

[…] going to turn the requirement into an opportunity, though. Going through my “off-site shelf” made me realize how much I’ve missed fantasy. Most of the books I saved from Goodwill were […]

[…] worst thing about being a book lover is finding space to keep all your books! My mom recently got rid of most of the books I was keeping in my parents’ house, so I was forced to downsize there. It would probably do me some good to take a hard-line approach […]

[…] One winter when I was home with my family, I scanned all the books I’d left there, too. My mom recently got rid of most of them, though, so I had to whittle my whole childhood down to a couple of boxes. #sadtimes […]

[…] My most recent round of bookshelf culling was painful, but it helped that I didn’t have to actually give them away myself. My mom was the instigator, so she got cleanup duty, too. […]

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