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, half.com 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 half.com 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…