Friday, November 21, 2014

The Great Book Purging of 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014 with 20 comments

I don't think it will come as any great shock to many of you that I'm a book hoarder. I think we've established in this community that many of us suffer from this proclivity. It's a daily struggle, what with Kindle daily deals, review copies, and frequent trips to the bookstore -- even when you're technically on a book-buying ban.

I was once consumed with the fiery need to own all the books. For some ungodly reason, if I read the book, I felt the need to own it. For instance, if I read an eARC and liked it, I went out and bought the physical copy....not in support of the author but in support of my own personal library. I mean, I didn't even have to like the book that much and still I'd find a way to procure it for my shelf. Which means after over three years of this blogging thing, I've amassed quite the collection of books.


So much so, that when we decided to turn my office into Katie's playroom and move my desk and shelves into the master bedroom -- which my awesome husband has obligingly agreed to allow me to decorate with a bookish theme soon -- I had to parse my collection down a bit by favorites and probable re-reads versus unread books and never-to-be-read-again books. And thus, the great READ IT OR GET RID OF IT shelf was created. Basically, a shelf to light a fire under my ass so that I quit stalling and finally read these books because you know I don't really want to get rid of any of them.

Much to my hubby's chagrin, this shelf ended up in the living area for lack of room in my new "office" space. And now he says I have to move it because I stuck it right where he'd planned to put the Christmas tree. Oops. But I did give up my pretty teal shelf (above) to Katie for all of her books, so I had to put them somewhere. :P So, now I have to decide if I want to keep any of the books on this shelf -- and where to put them if I do.


The top shelf is full of all the signed books that I'm iffy on keeping. The Lauren Kate books are all personalized to me, but I've read them and I know I'll never re-read them. But who wants a set of books personalized to me? There are a few more on that shelf in the middle that were signed to me, but the rest were won in giveaways and only have the author's signature. Well, except the two Tracey Garvies Graves books, which April gave to me in hopes that I'd love them as much as she does. (I promise, April, I'm not giving these away...I just thought putting them somewhere I'd see them all the time would make me read them that much quicker, lol.) I should also make a point to read Sekret soon since I have the ARC of the second book waiting on me, as well.


In the beginning, you think you'll never get sent ARCs. And then, all of a sudden, they're coming out of every orifice and you don't know how you'll ever read them all. I've read some of these and some I have not. Some I even really enjoyed, but in reorganizing my shelves, they didn't make the cut when I started running out of room.


Same goes for this shelf of even more ARCs. There are some that I have every intention of reading and others that were unsolicited or that I just lost interest in. And yet...I've kept them all. Book hoarding is a serious problem, y'all.


The books on these bottom two shelves would actually fill this entire shelf without doubling up or stacking them all willy nilly, like you see here. There are books I've read and enjoyed here, as well as books that I haven't read yet. And maybe that I have no intention of reading...ever. There are books that were gifted, books that were won, and books that were purchased at Half Price Books or at one of those Borders liquidations sales way back when. These books leave me feeling guiltiest about the task at hand because for the most part, I spent my hard-earned money on them. My husband would be speechless if he ever tallied up how much of our income went to my book-buying addiction, but luckily, I've always been able to distract him when it comes up. :D

When undertaking this endeavor, I attempted to leave room on my shelves for books that I knew I'd be purchasing in the future, whether they exist yet or not: future installments in series I've already started, new series from favorite authors that I already know are in the works, etc. And yet, my newly reorganized shelves still look much the same to me now in their new space as they did before:


Sorry, it was dark by the time I got done and I hadn't placed any of my knick-knacks where they go yet. Also, there's a bed in my way now, but at least the first thing I see when I wake up every morning is all those lovely books! =) Some of the rows on the bottom are still doubled up and there's a weird stacking situation going on in some of the cubbies. Also, I didn't organize alphabetically for, like, the first time in my life. Seriously. I'm a perfectionist by nature, so these won't stay this way long. I won't rest until I'm completely satisfied. But purging some of the books from my shelves helped...at least a little. I still have hopes of my dream library one day, but not till we have a bigger house. :(

And now, friends, I need your help. Take a good look at the books above that have been removed from my shelves and tell me which ones I absolutely must read. I'm reading for myself and no one else these days, so I should have time to fit in some of your recommendations sooner rather than later and make a decision as to the fate of their place on my shelves in the process. Also, in light of all of this, I imagine a Clear Your Shelf-type giveaway is in order, so stay tuned for that. ;0)

I look forward to your suggestions! Happy reading!



20 comments:

  1. Wow, and I thought I had a lot of books... My dad will stop being annoyed when I show him this haha :) Read the Sarah Dessen books!! I absolutely adore her! Even though I've only read a few of her books, they were amazing. Good luck with your organising :)

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    1. Yeah, my parents wouldn't have been too crazy about all of these books when I lived at home either. :P I've actually read, er listened, to two of the three Sarah Dessen books that I own, which is why I bought them when I saw them at Half Price Books. =) I haven't read This Lullaby yet, though. I'll make that one a priority. Thanks for the rec!

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  2. Oh wow! This is a beauty, Jen! I'm glad I'm not the only self-proclaimed (and proud) book hoarder. :) It looks so much cleaner and organized.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad to have made room for future book hoarding, lol.

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  3. Your shelves are so pretty. :) If I had a bigger shelf, I would most likely be a book hoarder too. I mean, just look how pretty they all look there together. I have one bookshelf, so I only stack it with my favorites or must-read books. I'm a big ebooker lately, which is cheaper and easier for me since I don't have a lot of book room. But I say, if you have it, use it! :) I have had giveaways and donated many books to the library that I didn't care for, and thought I would never read, to make sure I had enough room for the books I really WANTED on my shelves. Good luck, Jen! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! Having big shelves is a blessing AND a curse, I tell ya. :) I'm definitely gravitating towards just keeping the favorites on these shelves and sharing the rest. Ya know...until we get a bigger house, lol.

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  4. I really wish that digital books never take over. I need things to touch and to hold.

    /Avy

    http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

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    1. That is one of my dearest hopes, too. There's nothing like the smell and feel of a good book.

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  5. SO MANY BOOKS.

    I get a lot of my books from the library (I know one of the librarians pretty well so I get a sneak peek at the new stuff) so in comparison I don't own too many books, but like WOW.

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    1. Oh, trust me, I use my library a lot, too. I'll probably end up donating some of these to the library. :) And awesome that you get sneak peeks that way!

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  6. *gasps* Jen! You haven't read Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry yet??? You must. Seriously. Also, you're shelves are amazing!

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    1. I probably should have made that more clear. Not all of the books on that shelf haven't been read. Probably half of them have, including Pushing the Limits. I liked it, and I've continued with the series, but I don't own the others and I like to have a complete set. And thanks!

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  7. Whooo! Go you, Jen :D Your shelves are so pretty!! I'm impressed by the moving and shuffling and mass unhaul of books ;)

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    1. Hehe, thanks! I love reorganizing my books. Is that weird? :P I'm just gonna miss them when I have to really get rid of them.

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  8. I think I saw Love Letters To The Dead on one of your to-read shelves? It is INCREDIBLE. I see a ton of books on your shelves that look great, but that is a FANTASTIC book, in my opinion. Love your new shelves (:

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  9. I had a purge over the summer. While we are in the tiny apartment, catching up on life, I storied most of my books in a storage building. Low and behold, the building leaked. The books I did save got a major shearing, and I sold a TON of books. And I still own a ton more.

    Cuddlebuggery has a program to give smaller blogs a chance at ARCs. Maybe you can give some of them to their cause.

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  10. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson is a MUST! It's probably my second or top favorite book of the year, just flawless!

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