Before I start I’m just going to put a little dedication to Emma from The Book Crunch. She’s been struggling with this exact thing and inspired me to have a little spring clear-out and write this post!
I’m sure it’s not just me that stares across their room at their bookshelves and thinks “what an ugly cover” or “that book was awful”. So why do we keep these books?
Well, for a number of reasons, I guess. Let’s list some of them below:
- The book was okay, but not bad enough for us to want to throw it out the window and never see it again
- Ditto with the cover
- You’re kidding yourself that maybe, one day, you’ll give it another go (and like it). This will never happen, just look at how many books you have on that TBR shelf!
- It’s really popular and you’d feel like you were letting down all your followers by not writing about it/posting pictures of it
- You bought it cheaply as a “rare” edition and now it’s just cluttering up your shelf
I struggle with all these, but let’s talk a little about the last one. I’ve done this before, getting my hands on cheap, supposedly rare or signed copies of books. And then even if you don’t like the book, you end up keeping it because it’s rare or signed. Most of the time you didn’t even like the book and you’d just feel like you were letting down your inner bookworm by getting rid of it. Am I right?
The thing we need to learn here is to let go. In the end, unless it’s a really popular author, signed books aren’t worth that much anyway. And that book that was listed as “rare”? It probably isn’t. Maybe it’s rare in another country, but your friend just got her hands on the same copy for 67p.
But still, even knowing all of this, I struggle to get rid of books. Because in the end, I love them as objects and therefore I want to keep them.
So…what forces eventually make me give them away?
- I haven’t looked at the book in a while and I can’t even remember the main characters name
- I realise how properly ugly it is, sitting next to an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous novel
- I’ll never read it again, no matter how popular it is
- I don’t want to take photos of it because I hated it, even though I see it all over the internet
- I start to imagine what beautiful books could replace them
- I start to imagine my shelves without them
- If I sold them, I could buy a new, better book
Thanks for reading and congrats if you got this far in my rambling! I hope I can inspire you to have a little clear-out, just as Emma did for me.
I’ll be back a couple of weeks with Part 2, when I’ll talk about getting rid of books we haven’t read yet and whether it’s acceptable to do so!