Friday, 22 October 2010

Should They Stay Or Should They Go?

I'm on book 36 of my 40 to read for the year - if I read more it's a plus!  I will set myself that same goal with the aim to beat this years total (so I won't go too mad trying to get over 40 books read!).  However, my bookshelf is crammed, and if I am to buy new books, I just don't have a place for them.  So, do I get rid of some of the books that I've read on there, or do they stay?

This is not my bookshelf - obviously!
I usually like to keep books that I've read, and I am not going to part with my J K Rowling (the boys can read those) my The Hobbit/Lord of The Rings (and those), or Anne Rice, or Charlaine Harris.  And obviously Hubby has his favourites too - Patricia Cornwell will stay.

But what about some of the other books that I've read once, and aren't really likely to pick up again?  Should I 'recycle'* them?  (*Carboot or charity shop).

Now that I am on Goodreads, I register every book I read - so it's not like I'll forget.  But I have this thing about keeping books once read.  Maybe it's to do with parting with cash for them!?

I do part with my Mills and Boon once read - except Liz Fielding. I'm keeping those!

I have the Twilight series on my bookshelf.  They look nice - I like the covers, but I actually found them rather annoying.  The first three are better, and not a bad read, though they do get predictable but Bella still annoys the crap out of me.  However, Breaking Dawn was the last straw for me in that series.  If Stephenie Meyer writes another book, I won't be bothered about reading it.  I am not likely to read these again, unlike my Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris.

As a writer, I keep thinking, should I keep them, will they be of use?  What if I want to look up how someone did something?  But the whole thing about reading lots of books is to expand my brain, vocabulary and learning better ways of writing.  It should sink in, shouldn't it?  Even subconsciously, maybe?

I just want to make space for the new books, though I have told myself that I should go to the library once I've got through my 'to-read' pile that is on the shelf.  Things like some of the classics I'd like to try, and Sherlock Holmes (want to read those since seeing the film with Robert Downy Jr).  It's far too expensive for an unpaid writer to keep buying books.

So, do you keep some books?  Do you pass on some once they're read?  Which ones do you keep?


  1. Hi,
    I only keep the ones I want to read again. It is interesting, however, that books I have regretted letting go always seem to turn up in charity shops at some point. Our local cafe recycles books for charity so mine go there. Let them go and create space for more. Mx

  2. I agree, let the ones go that you're not going to read again and make room for more. :-)

  3. My and the hubby faced this decision in spring. To be honest there are very few books I can read twice, once I know the story line I can't read the book again, apart from a select few authers. So we kept those that I really enjoyed and carbooted the rest. My rationale was maybe they could bring more joy to someone else?
    It was a tough decision and I wish you luck with yours xx

  4. i do (sometimes) put my books into our local doctors surgery waitingroom, where they are sold and the proceeds go to mcmilan cancer research. But itd like selling my soul! even if I didn't like , who's to say I wont want to try them again? I have books from my childhoold likewise hubby's and of course the kids. And old favourites ..and..
    funny though when I first met Paul he wsn't much of a reader(It took him 3 years of summer holidays to finish John Lennoe's bio!!) now he rattles through them when he can. BUt he is the only person I know who can put a book down for a week or so, and then take up where he left of! Me? If its good, I can hardly put it down.

  5. I just have no more room! It's one in one out and gotta buy a Kindle soon around here. So I donate them if they aren't "keepers". Oxfam have a Books and Music store just up the street now, so I can put a book in their big collection bin thingy and see it in their window the next day!

    Hardbacks in good condition I give to the library. (That way I could always borrow them again! I consider it offsite storage and hey, the less they have to spend on books the less council tax to pay (like 0.0001p probably! :D)

    I think if I don't need them for rereading, reference or whatever it's better for them to be out there being read. I have some art books that I could probably get decent money for if I sold, chock full of colour plates. I should investigate shops in Newcastle that actually buy second hand books.

    The Mills and Boon ones it's practically a public service to donate them, since once their release period in the shops and online is over they can be hard to get hold of! I'm always casting an eye over the charity shop bookshelves for my fave M&B authors's backlist.

  6. I'm a terrible hoarder and find it very difficult to give my books away. We have been de-cluttering (!) quite a bit as we are converting our attic, and I discovered a box that was taped closed with the words "charity shop" scrawled across it. I knew it was books. But I couldn't remember which ones. So I decided to open it up and check the contents. Fatal mistake. I could not believe that I had intended for those books to go to charity. The box has been re-sealed and stored as there is no room on the bookcases. I have a box filled with M&B sitting on my bedroom floor that was supposedly to go to charity... I wonder if it will...

  7. I'm convinced... I'm going to have a sort through. That way, I can make room for more books on my to-read pile, and slowly de-clutter.

    Will try carbooting first (as I can always do with the cash - holiday money for next year!) and whatever doesn't sell will go to the charity shops. Brought a big box home from work... so going to start putting stuff in there. (Probably won't carboot now till next year. Too cold and dark now!)


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