Thursday, September 13, 2012

The dilemma every book lover faces...

It's obvious I love books. I love them so much that I surround myself with books every day and always have.  I work with books at the bookstore, I work with them for my blog, I read books to my son, and I loooooove to buy them for other people. On one hand, I love being in the midst of my own personal library every single day. I have a lot of books -- though probably not as many as a lot of book lovers out there -- and I really do enjoy seeing them and touching them and lending them. 

On the other hand, I'm not a "stuff" person. I don't like clutter, I don't like having unnecessary items laying around my house, and I really don't like extra things I have to dust. I don't re-read a lot of my books, so they mostly just sit on shelves as part of the decor, unless they're lent to a friend. I like things to be have a purpose if they're going to stay in my small house and I truly believe that we don't need a lot of things. 

I'm also a huge advocate for libraries and use ours frequently. My educational background is in Library Science and I've worked for several small library systems in the past, so I love the ability to borrow and return. The whole idea of going to the library and picking out books and learning to take care of them is something I'm definitely passing onto Elliott -- we've started already!


So, what's a girl to do? Is this quote true? Should I keep books that aren't being read, because they're pretty to look at? Eventually, I will have a bigger house that will have a wall of bookcases somewhere (don't we all dream?). Or do I donate the ones I know I'll never read again? I want things to be cozy, yet clean in our house... and sometimes those two adjectives just don't go well together. I'm not sure what to do. Every book lover's dilemma?

(Photo is from Pinterest, linking back to a Tumblr)

9 comments:

Linda said...

As a fellow book-lover, I faced the same problem years ago. My choices have been to either donate them to the local thrift store, paperbacks mostly, or the hardbacks to the library. I have found that if the books are in good condition, they will generally take them. I just donated a cart-load of quilting books to the library.

Annette said...

I donate many of my books to our local library, that is if no one in my family wants them.
I keep classic books, some biographies and other non-fiction books. I keep those books that I loved and just cannot part with.

Abby said...

I keep the books I love because I want to have them to lend to friends, revisit if I want to, etc. But I weed fairly regularly, too, and donate lots of things to the library. I try to keep a nice balance!

Sarah said...

I've been facing this dilemma myself lately because there are so many books I know I won't read ever again. The problem for me is finding a place to donate to. I can bring them to my library I guess but that feels awkward to me. I just know I'm tired of stepping around piles of books in my bedroom. That has to end.

Susan said...

I hate clutter, too, but I have a lot of books. A LOT of books. I'm also fortunate to have a big house with lots of bookshelves. Still, I only keep those that I really like or that I think my kids will really like. If I don't love an ARC enough to keep it, I pass it on or recycle it. "Real" books get donated to the library -- either my local public library or the one at my kids' school. I still have a lot of books, but I'm okay with that. It's really the only thing I have A LOT of, you know?

Lisa said...

I never thought of all my books as clutter, when I lived in a bigger house with lots of shelves. Then we moved and the shelves didn't all make it back into the new smaller (HA) space and I realized that I really love not having all the books around. I got rid of a LOT of them. I have one small set of shelves of my own books, which I NEVER read from, and then our one large set has three shelves of books- one for each adult, one for the kids to share- from the library. It's constantly changing. I love love love not dusting the same shelves of the same unread or already read books. I got rid of EVERYTHING that I could get from the library that wasn't sentimental. Even series I enjoy, but don't love, got rid of them all. I can get them back if I want to reread.

Less books for toddlers to throw on the floor too.

BookBelle said...

I opt for keeping only those that have deep, personal meaning to you or your husband or children. We have about 5 bookshelves. I keep my grandma's mystery novels, books I love so much I will re-read (not too many) and then those that I read to my children that hold precious memories. I will read those to my grandchildren.

evilredcaboose said...

I opt for keeping those you DO know you'll read again/pass on. However, I also know that you'll have a pile of books that a) YOU would never read again and would NOT recommend to friends/ readers of you Blog and b) Books YOU may not read again BUT you would LIKE to share with others.
Then, once you have all THREE piles, take the "A" pile and donate them to Goodwil/Salv Army/a school(if childrens books) or simply hold a rummage and sell them along with other things you have outgrown or not used. With the "B" pile, why not hold a "Slightly Loved" Book giveaway? Perfect for the holiday seasons!

Charlotte said...

I'm a book keeper--before blogging, I was a re-reader, and even though the new books keep coming, I still hang on to lots of them, thinking that someday I'll re-read again...

And also, the more books you have in your house, the less air there is to heat in winter...