January 22, 2012

5 Reasons WHY to Get Rid of Books

(I'm sharing my book de-cluttering discoveries with you over the next three Sundays. The three posts will help you figure out WHY, WHEN, and WHERE to get rid of books.)

I love looking over my bookshelves and the memories there. The Bodie Thoene books on one shelf were a gift from my parents. I read The Sparrow late at night in college. The Borrowers and All of a Kind Family kept me company as a kid.

I've never been good at getting rid of books, and for a few years as my book collection expanded I just kept buying new bookcases. But we have a small 2 bedroom house, and we just don't have room for any more.

Last year I set a goal: no more shelves. Although I love books, it just seems silly to let them take over our house and leave us less space for living. In the last 14 months I've gotten rid of about 150 books. It was hard (and sometimes sad!) but worth it.

Here are my five reasons WHY you should get rid of books:
  1. The library. Have you been to your library recently? The treasure trove of books there is unbeatable.
  2. Your bookshelves can't hold all of your books. If you have piles of books sitting around, you have too many. Books are meant to be stood upright. If they're lying around in piles you're weakening their spines.
  3. You have books that you're never going to read again. I'll talk more about this next week in my WHEN to get rid of books post, but basically you need to look at your shelves realistically: are you ever going to re-read all those books?
  4. It will give you more space. Either you'll have more open shelving, or you'll be able to get rid of some shelves.
  5. You might make some money out of it! If you have older collectible or special edition books they could be worth something.
Case in point: I own the special 1989 hardback reprint of Georgette Heyer's Death in the Stocks. It's in great condition, and it's going for about $30 online right now. But see, I also own a 1970 first hardback edition...of the same book. So, in my effort to de-clutter my book shelves, I'm going to give my 1989 copy of Death in the Stocks to one of you!

To enter to win: leave a comment telling me how many books you own. 

For a bonus entry, follow @quirkybookworm on Twitter, and leave an extra comment telling me that you did so. For another bonus entry, like Quirky Bookworm on Facebook and leave an extra comment telling me that you did so.

UPDATE 2/1/12: Winner is commenter #12, Marianne Hobbs! Congratulations Marianne! I'll be emailing you soon.