Taking the Plunge…

bookSo, every month I go through my books. I vacuum the cat hair off of them, dust the shelves, re-organize the ones I was too lazy to put away properly when I was done reading them. That sort of thing. I also place the new ones into their proper spot on Mount TBR. It was during my last OCD spell last night that I decided to do something I thought would never happen – a purge of the To Be Read monster.

Yep, you heard it right. I am officially going through the stack and getting rid of THOSE ones. You know which ones – I am pretty sure you have them too. The ones that have been sitting there, staring at you accusingly, that you just can’t seem to make yourself want to read. Ever. The ones you had to have at the moment, but now seem to just take up space. Now, that is not to say I am getting rid of them all, but I am only going to keep the ones that I can reasonably see me reading. If the first instinct is “No”, then it has to go.

Does anyone else do this, or are you like me and tend to let the suckers just sit there and seemingly multiply on their own somehow forever? I will probably look like one of those people from an episode of Hoarders – clutching the precious and trying to tell myself all the reasons why I should keep them, but I will slap myself around and be strong (ish). If I can pull this off, while also managing to keep to my New Year’s resolution of dropping a book that doesn’t do it for me instead of forcing myself to finish it (which usually takes forever and really slows down my reading), I hope to have the mountain down to a nice sized hill by the end of the year.

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28 thoughts on “Taking the Plunge…

  1. We shall not speak of THOSE books again, they just lay there judging me. Getting a Kindle has impacted my reading of those paperbacks (confession: I have actually bought the Kindle versions of the better ones and sold them)

    • They really do make you feel like a total failure. I know somewhere down the line I will probably end up secretly buying them all again, too, but for right now I will be so proud. That is one reason why I refuse to do the Kindle thing, too – I would be completely out of control. One click buying would be my doom.

    • I am reminded of a time years ago when I was a SCI-FI fanatic and I have hundreds of books and I went into the used book store and they had a ton of new books (I was in heaven) and I told the lady “I would never sell my books like this” to which she replied with no smile “Don’t get divorced because your wife will sell them ” :)

  2. Well, all I can say is that at least you made the decision yourself to do it! I was forced into “clearing my TBR” by moving from the west coast to the east coast. I donated about 200 books to my local library…I though I was going to cry…although (like Doug) I think I have made up for those print books (and more) with my e-reader. It’s easier to ignore them when you don’t have look at the physical book each day…

    Good luck with the purging…

    • Oh, no. The forced parting would not be pretty. I did give away my entire collection of historical romances back in the day, something like 500 of them, and it was painful and ugly. I just had no more room left.

  3. About twice a year I go through the TBR, the “should I or shouldn’t I”, the “WTF! Why’d you buy that”, and a couple of other piles that shall remain nameless. Those then go to the used book store for credit to get more for all those piles once again. It’s hopeless!

  4. I am with you — Or more to the point I was with you. Before my kindle I my house was stacks upon stacks of TBR books. Every time I stepped into WalMart, Target, or the grocery store I was walking out with a new book. I had to scan the book section for anything that might be new, even though 90% of the time I was already in the mist of a new series and won’t get to them. Funny thing is that it is my only vise. It was getting expensive. So once I got my kindle I to purged my stacks and promised to myself not to buy books unless I was going to read them. That’s when I started to use the Amazon wish list. The “Want to Read.” wish list. So far it’s 80 or so books that I want to read but haven’t bought. I no longer have the stacks of books piling against my walls I now have a virtual list. No much better, but they are no longer opening glaring at me.

    • But that is good – at least you have a system. And one that you don’t have to dust. I am the same, though, it is the only thing that I really “waste” money on.

  5. I just did this myself for the first time ever! I know I have more I could get together for trade-in, but I’ve got a good start to it. I’ll be making an appointment soon to take them to the local bookstore in town that takes used/new books for trade-ins for cash/credit. I’m also working on getting books together that I’ve read, but aren’t my “favorites” and will be trading-in/donating them too. It was hard to do, but necessary. It’s time to purge!

      • Yes I did, but I’ll really feel it after the boxes are actually out of my house/room. Then it will be official! :-)

      • I know, right? Craziness! I have 3 boxes (medium sized) of books so far + 2 shopping bags full. I still have a TON of books on my bookshelf to read, so I HAD to do this. A lot of the books I’m getting rid of are from when Borders closed in the US and I went a little crazy on the book buying. At least I got them super cheap at the time! :-)

  6. So far I can’t get rid of them . . . even the ones that I finally forced myself to read and then hated. I’ve got what I like to call a shelf of shame in the corner on the very last shelf at the bottom and I just pile them up . . . I really need to get rid of them.

    However, I do buy “those” books better now. I’ve got over 4 massive bookshelves and 4 other ones of various sizes, and they are all full! So I have to come to terms with the ones that I really want in print.

    Since getting my ereaders I buy those impulse books through there, so they don’t take up shelf space. Plus, I’ve started buying “average” series and books only in ebook format. PNR titles are pretty much all purchased ebook except for the authors I already know I love.

    The only thing left is to get rid of those hard copies . . .

    • oooh, I had the shelf of shame, too. I hid them behind the others so I didn’t have to look at them. Good luck parting with them, but at least your physical stack isn’t growing anymore.

  7. I’m actually done with my stack; for awhile there it was 12 books high, but last month I made an effort and read them all except for the new Jacquelyn Frank. For some reason I can’t seem to get to it; I carry it to work, I pick it up ane look at it and start opening it up then I put it down again. I think deep down I’m afraid of starting another series that won’t end or maybe this new one just doesn’t do it for me. Who knows! No matter my stack is going to get big again come March.

    • Yep, March is going to be a big month for me, too. I agree about Jacquelyn Frank, too. I actually got rid of the new book Forever without reading it, and I got rid of both of the Seduce Me books, too. I tried to make myself read them, but just couldn’t do it. I am sort of off of her recent stuff, so I am dropping her from my auto-buy list.

  8. Oh yeah, I remember many times taking boxes of books (although, to be honest, I had actually read them all…lol) to the library or Goodwill. However, like a lot of people have already mentioned, my Kindle has changed my book buying habits a lot. When I hear about a good book, I will often just send a sample to my Kindle instead of buying it outright. So, my TBR pile of actual physical books isn’t too bad since I’ve only been buying physical books when I get a better deal on them than the ebook. But, we will not speak of the virtual TBR pile on my Kindle. Yeeshk, I really need to look at weeding all those samples out.

    • Man, that would be a nightmare to start going through. I was surprised to see just how pricey e-books are lately. For a lot of the books I was looking at, the paper version was quite a bit cheaper than its e-counterpart.

  9. I do this every once in a while. It’s really difficult! Luckily, I work at a shelter and I take care of the small library we have for the clients, so I just bring my castoffs to a new home!

  10. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my little book world. I’ve had to to Purges for years! The really sad part is you wonder what made you buy the book in the first place.

    Now that I use Kindle to keep the books from taking over again – I even have to purge that – you can have too many e-books; even with 3 Kindles. I’ve figured out that I need at least 5 to keep things together!

    • You really do wonder just what you were thinking sometimes, don’t you? A friend asked me yesterday why I didn’t have a Kindle, since I love both books and computers, and I told her one big reason was because I have no control. If you are staring at the books you can see how deep you are in, but if it was just one click ordering I would never stop.

      Three Kindles? That actually makes good sense when you said it. Great way to organize.

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