Confessions of a Book Blogger: I may need a shelf purge.

bloggraphicI consider myself a reader and a blogger, but also a collector of books. I have a large shelf stuffed full of books (most of which I have managed to have two rows deep on the shelf and in any space on top of the rows that I can possibly fit them). It’s embarrassing actually and there is no way to display my favorites (as they are usuallyย  at the back of the pile).

When I was in undergraduate and graduate school, I had a professor that had dollar book sales a couple of times a semester (I took multiple classes with this professor). What she did was pick up books at garage sales and such for a dollar or so and sold them back to us for what she bought them for. However, I always went quite a bit overboard with this, buying quite a few books each time she had a sale.

So much of my bookshelf are books from these sales. I bought them with the hopes that they would one day go into my future classroom (which doesn’t look like it will happen any time soon, or at all). I’ve never read them, and some of them (or most of them) I don’t think I will ever read.

I think it might be time to do a bookshelf purge.

*hides*cringes*covers eyes with hands and peeks between fingers*

I’ve seen a couple of bloggers talk about bookshelf purges and never really had any opinion on the topic. However now that it comes down to me having to do one of my own I have mixed feelings.

My collection of books is one of my most prized possessions, so I’m torn. I love how excited other readers get when they browse through the titles on my shelves. But you can’t really see the books on my shelf and they look like a mess. I am running out of room for them.

But will I honestly read these books? And will someone else enjoy and actually read them?

It’s just so sad, and difficult for me to accept that I have to get rid of them.

crying-rain-gifHave you ever had to do a shelf purge? If so, how did you go about it and what did you do with the books?

Even if you haven’t, how do you feel about getting rid of books?

16 thoughts on “Confessions of a Book Blogger: I may need a shelf purge.

  1. Sam says:

    I might be moving soon, which could necessitate a shelf purge. I get so nervous thinking about it that I start reading, determined to get through ALL THE BOOKS before I have to think about giving up a single one.

  2. Karsyn says:

    I wouldn’t give up any books. I have had to, when money was tight and I had to move I sold, oh so cheaply, my collection of Star Trek TNG series, which was at 56 at the time, plus another 20 or so (at least) hardcovers and I HATED it. To this day, I hate it. I hate that I gave my very special and full set of Trixie Belden’s to a “friend” who was going to store them for me and then she got rid of them. I hope any book I get now won’t have to leave again, and I wish I had the bookshelves and bookshelves of books that I had once before that I no longer have. At least I have my Kindle and those books aren’t going anywhere either. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      I’m just honestly thinking of getting rid of some of the books that I will probably never read, or that I read and didn’t care for. But I am even having trouble with that.

      It’s a very sad thing, feeling like you have to get rid of books.

  3. bookmammal says:

    Yep, I’ve blogged about this! It’s tough. If I truly think that I won’t ever read a book, maybe because my interests have changed since I bought it, I’ll put it in the giveaway pile. But other than that, I keep my books. I love the memories that looking at my books bring. And nothing decorates a home like a bookcase full of books!
    I have a family friend who sold his entire library when it came time for him and his wife to put a down-payment down on their first house. Hearing that story made me so sad. I would hate to ever think that I had to get rid of all my books.

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      I don’t know how many I will have to get rid of— if I have read and loved or think I will read the book in the future I’m going to keep it, but just thinking about it is making me anxious. I am so proud of my book collection, but embarrassed at the state of my shelf.

      I could never get rid of my whole library. The only way I would is if I had no other choice, and even thinking about that makes me very sad.

      I have a small bookshelf that I can put together and use, but even then, there won’t be enough space (not to mention I don’t have space for the small shelf)… ahhh

  4. Amy says:

    Since I started working in a library I’ve found it easier to weed books (that’s what we call a purge at work). I know that if there is something I really want to read I can probably find it at a library someplace in state and borrow it. I do have a set number of authors I collect, the list has been growing lately so I might be in trouble soon. Three of my book cases are for the books I really loved, collect and plan to read again (lots of series). The last case is for to-read books, this is the one I get into trouble with, I have trouble passing up a good book sale too. The books I get around to reading from that case that are not going to be added to the permanent collection I try to find homes with readers who might enjoy them, I trade them in at used book stores or http://www.bookmooch.com. One thing I’ve learned at work is that most books have an expiration date; be it condition wise, relevancy, or just your own changing interests. Its okay to let them go, books are meant to be enjoyed and read. Decide which ones mean the most to you, keep and treasure those and find the others new homes where they will be happy and hey you will open up some shelf space for you next great love.

  5. sinewavelife says:

    I’ve purged books (with a heavy heart). I take them to the used book store and then stupidly usually leave with more books than I took in. I also have given some of my children’s books (which I adore!) to some of my young friends who are looking for good books to read. It’s a difficult thing to do, but at this stage in my life I really need to downsize. Good luck with your purging. I enjoy your blog very much.

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and I’m glad that you enjoy it!
      I need to downsize as well. I feel like I have books that I will never read and that will sit there and collect dust while others could be enjoying them.
      However, I forgot that we have a used bookstore in town. Maybe I could see if they are interested! Great idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. alexinbookland says:

    I wish I was a collector of books! I only just got back into serious reading over a year ago (worst timing every as in September I left my home for my year abroad and I’m still on it until the end of August) but even before then I wasn’t really a collector (I just had your A-typical young reader books; Harry Potter, The Hobbit, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Eragon, not much more really)) but still managed to have a one rowed favourite shelf, almost two (maybe just one) boxe(s) filled with books that are read and an overflowing shelf of TBR (and then another two shelves just filled with magazines – I seem to collect them more).
    Future classroom? So you have aspriations of being a teacher?

    Seriously good luck on your Shelf Purge!! I luckily haven’t gotten to that stage Yet (but planning too once I’m back home! I defo have some books I either didn’t enjoy, won’t read again, books – cough classics – I’ve had forever and never had interest in) but aren’t books better off being given to say a charity with a higher percentage of someone picking it up and actually reading it compared to you maybe (with a lower percentage) reading eventually? It is sad and I can imagine how difficult it will be but deep breath and go through each one calmly:
    Have a read this? Yes = did I enjoy it? Yes = Would I read it again? Yes = Save.
    Have I read this? No = Am I still excited about reading it? Yes = Save it. Maybe = put it in a pile and give it a bit more time to think over. Erm, no? = Get rid of it.
    That’s the only way I can think of helping or give some sort of advice (even though it sucks =/).

    Also, if you do, will you do a ‘UnHaul’?

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      That is a great system to use as I paw through my bookshelf. I sat down and looked at it last night and was kind of overwhelmed (and had to go do something else). The shelf is a mess haha.

      Yes, I plan on doing an unhaul and show before and after photographs of my shelf. I think that would be fun.

      Once upon a time I had aspirations of being a teacher. I went to SUNY Oswego to be a middle and high school English teacher and that is where I really fell in love with YA. I ended up going on to get my MS in Literacy Education. Unfortunately, with teachers’ positions getting cut and with changing interests, I don’t know if that is ever actually going to happen.

      Even though it’s tough to leave your books behind you must have such wonderful adventures when you study abroad every year!!! Where do you study?

      • alexinbookland says:

        I hope the shelf isn’t a mess for long! =]

        I see, shame there’s cuts and everything, but keep hoping! If it’s your dream you can very well achieve it!

        I still have my kindle but I have a big hate relationship with e-books/reading. I am studying in Japan at the moment.

  7. hotteaandagoodbook says:

    The very thought gives me an anxiety attack! I have on occasion purged. But I’ve been very selective. We support a poor inner city school. When the school got a new building, I got a tour and my heart broke when I saw this absolutely gorgeous library that was empty. The kids and I spent a week going through their books and came out with boxes and boxes. Even then they were far more generous than I was. (I would go back through the boxes after they were done and snag out books that had memories for me.)
    When it comes to my books I find it so much easier to purge some of my nonfiction books than my fiction. After all, I’m never going to need What to Expect when Your Expecting again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      I actually just went through my book case and piled up books that I am never going to need again (stuff from college that I kept for some odd reason).

      I need to make a second round through though and that is where I am getting really nervous. That second bookshelf (even thought I seriously have no place for it) is sounding better and better.

  8. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms says:

    I’ve never done a shelf purge! I just add new bookshelves. I can see now how that could definitely take up more space, but.. they’re my books! How could I ever part with them! *tears* If there are books that I just can’t stand looking at, I go to a bookstore near my college where we can exchange the books in for money to buy more books, lol.

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      When I looked through my shelf this morning briefly I realized that I couldn’t part with most of them. However, there are some books that I really didn’t like and some books left over from my undergad degree that I still have kicking around for some reason. Those have got to go.

  9. drowninmelancholy says:

    I had to do a Manga purge. And just recently I have sorted out 2 or 3 books that I had to buy for uni seminars and never really enjoyed. I think it is possible. And it also doesn’t have to be a lot at a time. It can maybe be 5 or 6 at a time, depending on how big the shelf is ๐Ÿ˜‰

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