The Purge Continues…

May 13, 2010 at 3:30 AM 5 comments

In my quest to get rid of 50 things I forced myself to take a hard look at my bookshelves. I found a bunch of books I bought but never read and a couple that I haven’t read in ages.

I used to have a real obsession with books. I think it’s a hang over from my year’s as an English major. My shelves were packed to the brim with books, including novels I first read in middle and high school. Every time I moved from one place to another I boxed up all of those novels and textbooks and carried them along to the next destination.

When I moved into a group house after college I dropped all of my favorite books at my parent’s house. I remember feeling strangely pained by the notion that I had to leave them behind, but I just didn’t have any room for them in my tiny, temporary bedroom. Of course as soon as I bought a house of my own I acquired new bookshelves, picked up the books from my parent’s house and reordered and stacked them.

Years later as I began to simplify my life I took a crack at clearing out those shelves. It was hard to part with them at first, but I started with the older reads and eventually narrowed the numbers down to a very small pile. I carried bags of those books to the library and sold a small number on cash sites like cash4books and bluerectangle. I decided I could always borrow the books back from the library or even buy another copy. Interestingly enough I’ve never done either. I guess I don’t really miss those books after I purge them.

The fact is that I acquire more books in my life than just about anything else. While I no longer buy new books I still acquire used ones from eBay, and PaperBackSwap. Tonight I found at least fifteen that can be sold and donated. I don’t really want to go through the hassle of creating eBay and listings so I think I’ll box most of them up and deliver them to the local library. Thirty-one items purged and the quest to purge fifty items continues…

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Donna Freedman  |  May 13, 2010 at 6:10 AM

    I find it hard to get rid of books. But when I started thinking about moving, the need to downsize finally took hold.
    I sold a bunch of titles online, making a moderate amount of money. I donated a ton of them to a rummage sale and a few more to my church's library.
    I haven't actually decided to move yet. Good thing, since I've still got way too many books. But I've stopped buying and am making an effort to read books that I already own (in part so I can decide whether I want to give them away) and also to use the library more (because I get to give them back!).

  • 2. Stella  |  May 13, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    Great job on the purging! You feel lighter like you lost weight, don't you? I try to cull through my belongings and donate, giveaway, sell or trash stuff every so often (especially before a move!) and I love how freeing the whole process is.

  • 3. Cate  |  May 16, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    I find it really difficult to get rid of books, too. I've been using Paperback Swap for about a year and a half and I LOVE it, but it's hard to get rid of books I once enjoyed, even if I know I'll never read them again. Honestly, what's the point of keeping a book if I don't LOVE it? (Or need it for reference, etc–I have a few pregnancy books and whatnot that I look at every so often).

  • 4. elizabeth  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    I have a really hard time getting rid of books. Possibly because I've always dreamed of a "library". I've gotten better about getting books from the library and only buying the really good ones, but it's still hard to purge .. especially not-read ones, because I have to read them first! ­čśë

  • 5. Anonymous  |  May 21, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    Frugal Girl,

    I came across your blog by accident, but glad I did. I have donated so many books over the years and am down to about 25 now. I plan to purge that even more this weekend. I am sure someone can use them

    There are a couple of art books and novels I will keep for sure, but the rest will go. I'm really considering just going book-free altogther and doing the Kindle route.



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