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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tidy Tuesday - Books

Books are relatively small, right?  And a bookshelf or two or even a whole wall of books creates a warm, inviting atmosphere in a room, right?    But.  If you continue to buy books, you will eventually run out of bookshelves.  Then what?  Start stacking them on the floor?  Tacky.  Find a bigger bookshelf?  That will fill up too.  A bigger room?  A bigger house?  At some point, your love of books has turned into an obsession.  What was once a source of relaxation and knowledge has become a nightmare.  The only solution I know is to try to keep your input approximately equal to your output.  In other words, if you're going to bring 5 new books home, try to get rid of 5 old ones.  Maybe once a month (if you are a frequent book buyer) you can donate a box of books to your favorite charity.  For a book lover that can be hard advice but the alternative is to have books overrun your home and your life.

My husband is a professor of computer science and maintains a very large collection of computer related books.  However, technology changes frequently so older computer books become obsolete after only a few years.  Periodically culling those old books to make room for current books makes sense.  Old textbooks - don't even bother keeping them!  I like self-help books and how-to books and even these get outdated and eventually lose their appeal.  Out they go!   I'll admit, it was hard to get rid of most of the children's books after the kids outgrew them but hopefully, another child got some use out of them.  I did keep some of the favorites, but they are a manageable group.

 Make sure that the books you keep are the books you love. 


  1. I know that girl in the picture! ;<)

  2. There are just some books that are so hard to hold on to. Maybe that is the time to box them up (labeling them well) and putting them in storage. I have a bunch of books I am considering doing this with! Who knows how I feel about these books in 6 months to a year from now...

    1. That sounds like a good interim plan. Maybe you won't even remember what books are in the box six months from now and you can donate it! Or...maybe you'll realize that you really miss a particular book and will rescue it from obscurity. Only time will tell...

  3. My husband has a zillion boating books. It is becoming an issue. We have filled 2 gigantic bookcases. My problem is that I like them arranged neatly from large to small. He never returns them to the correct spot. Are you qualified to help me with OCD? :) But seriously, I love the notion of culling; especially books that will never become classics. Thank you for such practical ideas.

  4. I totally relate! I really want to "help" my husband sort and organize his books but I try to refrain. :) As long as he keeps his overflowing book collecting in his office, I'll leave it alone.