• April 26, 2018, 04:48:05 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Keeping books vs letting them go  (Read 4982 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Member
  • Posts: 3798
  • Crystal of Enchantment - my current project
Keeping books vs letting them go
« on: March 27, 2013, 01:37:31 PM »
Do you get rid of your books after you read them?

I'm trying to purge books that are just taking up space on the shelves that I need for other things.  I also got a Kindle a couple of years ago and I really like that and it holds a lot of books! I have committed, for the most part, to not buying any more "real" books, just for space considerations (the exception being reference books and the like). 

But I have some books that I need to read still, and then I have some books that I'm having a hard time letting go of.  The Harry Potter series, for one, because I haven't read them all even though I've seen the movies (i will probably hang onto those anyway so I can show my grandkids someday - lol).  Two - I have a series of books by Jennifer Chiaverini that I've been reading and I have 3 hardbound books with 3 novels each in them.  I thought about keeping those three and not keeping any others after that.  It's not like I'm going to go back and read the whole series again, kwim?

I'm not really a book re-reader anyway, so I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with this!

What do you do with your books after you read them? If you get rid of some but not others, how do you decide?

Courage is the price life  exacts for granting peace.  ~Amelia Earhart~


  • Member
  • Posts: 9294
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 01:43:30 PM »
Pre-Kindle, I would only keep the ones I really liked, knew I'd read again, or maybe were out of print. The rest I either got from the library, borrowed from friends, or bought and then gave away. I have limited space, and got tired of seeing books everywhere.  I also, my first job out of college, worked in publishing and at one point I had several thousand books in my parents basement. Never again!

Now that I have my Kindle, I've purged a lot more than I used to. It depends if they are available for Kindle, and if they are affordable. While I have all 7 HP books, i splurged and bought the Kindle editions, so at some point, I'm going to give away the HP books. And while I swore I'd never buy a Kindle version of a book I already had, I discovered I really dislike reading actual books now, so again, if they are affordable, I'll get the Kindle version and purge the books.  I almost never buy an actual book anymore, but will get the Kindle version. 


  • Member
  • Posts: 325
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 01:44:14 PM »
books by authors that I love, I keep.  Other books, I either give away to friends and tell them to pass them on, or I donate to our library.


  • Member
  • Posts: 7040
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 01:44:46 PM »
Some books are sentimental or out of print-those are keepers. 

Then I have a collection of Cleveland history books,Euclid Beach history, and even crime and disaster.  Those are so specialized, I keep those.  Same with Oregon.  I keep the huge reference books I have on the 20th Century and the Holocaust.

If it relates to my hobbies and passions of the minute, it's a keeper (language, history and genealogy).

Then I ask, how easy is it to obtain this book at the local library?  If it's Huckleberry Finn, obviously that's easy to find and I don't need to keep it.

I keep series together (the Little House books, for instance).

Most others are tosses.  Check your local library to find out if they have book sales for fundraising.  When I donate, I feel I'm doing a good deed.

There's also a program in which you simply leave a book somewhere (it's a website).  Or, just informally leave a paperback in the doctor's office.


  • Member
  • Posts: 436
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 01:51:49 PM »
I used to keep books (hard cover and paperback), and even some magazines.  I had a large bookshelf and loved looking thru some of them, especially those which were gifts and someone had written something special to me.

But as the years/decades passed, it got to be harder and harder to store them and very hard to transport them whenever I moved.  So I got rid of them around the same time I got rid of record albums.  I hated to do it, but it was time (for me, anyway).

There are second-hand bookstores, schools, shelters, and even some libraries which will gladly accept them.  I know someone who gave his books to a prison library (he has lots of good novels and textbooks).  I think that's a better idean than throwing them away or putting them into the recycling bin.


  • Member
  • Posts: 2134
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 01:52:54 PM »
This is an interesting topic in that I have casually debated this over the last year or so. I have a collection that I have not added to in quite a while due to finances. However, I still have around 1,000 books. I've often asked myself if I want to keep them all.

I do reread certain books. I also have a good-sized collection of art and fine art photography books, few if any I would be willing to get rid of. There's my classical literature in nice old (not necessarily first) editions, and I am fond of them. I also have a full shelf of as-yet-unread classical fiction issued from Penguin Classics; they sent them to me when I was running the literary website. There's a lot of nonfiction, which is my reading preference. Some I know I won't read again and every so often I go over the shelves seeking to get rid of some. But having seriously purged a couple of times before it's now harder. Then there's my dad's books which he passed on to me before he died. I gave away quite a few, but kept his beloved legal fiction and memoirs and some WWII fiction. They sit among my books and while I consider it unlikely I will read them I nevertheless feel attached to them.

So thanks to this thread I may indeed do another purge looking harder than usual. I wouldn't mind getting rid of about ten percent of them. I wonder if I can actually do that ....

ETA: Oh, magazines, yes. I also keep the home decor/interior magazines I subscribe to as well as the two cooking magazines. But I have them stacked neatly in the bottom third of the buffet behind doors, and will get rid of old ones as the stacks get too large to be in there. I have no interest in or intention of putting them anywhere else. Once they don't fit their designated space out they go.

ETA, PART 2: Getting books from the library to read appeals to me--because once I have read them they can go back "home"--but the Books in the Bathroom thread here (and posts elsewhere online about booksellers finding books in their bathrooms) so squicked me out that I haven't been to the library in about three years.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 01:59:16 PM by Amara »


  • Member
  • Posts: 492
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 01:54:46 PM »
I use to read quite a lot; now not so much; but I am getting back into reading.

Back when I read a lot I kept every book I read :o - I know, my one room with bookshelves was getting jammed, plastic containers were piling up.  Along with suspense and thrillers (Grisham, Cook, King, J.D. Robb, etc..) I use to read a lot of those paperback Harlequin type books.

Then I finally decided I needed to purge and I would sell off all of my paperbacks (sold well at flea markets/garage sales; and also fave bags to a friend who gave them to her daughter who worked at a hospital); but I decided to keep the ones belonging to a series.  Then little by little I stopped reading those romances and got rid of them all.

BUT, I still had my other hardcovers and paperbacks and still getting overrun. 

So finally I decided to really purge and only keep books from my favorite authors (see above).

The other thing that helped me is that I also have an e-reader and I also got a library card (there is a library practically right across the street where I work).  But, when Grisham and Robb put out new books - I still like getting their's in hard back.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 01:57:58 PM by staceym »


  • Member
  • Posts: 9294
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 02:07:17 PM »
I forgot about the sentimental books; my grandfather was a book collector/pack rack. And since money was tight, and he had 8 grandkids, sometimes for gifts he'd send me "used" books but would always write something inside. Those I keep too, athough there aren't too many; maybe one shelf worth. I have old editions of all 4 Winnie the Pooh books(stories and poems) that he sent me, for example.


  • Member
  • Posts: 775
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013, 02:29:35 PM »
i'm a complete terror when it comes to books,  people are only allowed to borrow certain books and must promise to NEVER fold the page to mark where they are.   in fact the last book i lent out was one that i have 4 copies of, inc kindle copy, because i can only get the paperback second hand now and i read it over and over again.

i have only gotten rid of a couple of books since i had a say (about 6-7 years old) so i have packed away all my enid blyton's and the like.  i could never get along with Mansfield Park and that is one of the few of the classics not in my bookcase.

i have a few favourites that i never loan out and i'm sure my hubby would prefer i had less books but, given he has the equivalent amount of dvd's/blurays, he lets me get on with it.
baby berry arrived june 2016


  • Member
  • Posts: 4367
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2013, 02:43:48 PM »
If it taps into anything at all, I keep it.  This could be who gave it to me, what prompted me to read it, etc.  And sometimes it's just a strong but amorphous emotional connection for reasons I don't even know

I also hang on to every cookbook. 

After that, it gets donated or sold.


  • Member
  • Posts: 9123
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2013, 02:46:05 PM »
I like to hold on to some of my books, though now I have a Kindle not quite as much.  I would like to always hold onto my Harry Potter books, even if I do get them on a kindle. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata


  • Member
  • Posts: 1791
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2013, 02:48:42 PM »
I'm a big re-reader, so that's what drives whether I keep a book. If I think I'll reread it, then I keep it, otherwise, I let it go (because honestly, if I know I'm not going to reread it, it's BAD).


  • Member
  • Posts: 2320
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 02:53:10 PM »
Since I got my Kindle, I've pretty much stopped buying paper books.  I'm also purging the classics, since they are often free or only $0.99.  I keep a few paperbacks I love for reading and re-reading in the bathtub.  A few have been waterlogged, but hey, they're still readable.  I've put several in my last garage sale and I don't miss them, truth be told. 

"It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Office coffee cup.


  • Member
  • Posts: 12441
  • xi
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 03:05:49 PM »
Now that I have a daughter, I have lost all ability to get rid of books.  I eagerly look forward to her reading our books.  Fortunately, we have a great Public library and I am cheap, so as a family we only have enough books to fill all the walls in two rooms. 

I used to list stuff on  But the bother of packing for shipping wasn't worth the profit. 


  • Member
  • Posts: 529
    • My Esty Shop
Re: Keeping books vs letting them go
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013, 03:06:33 PM »
Pre-kindle: I didn't buy books until after I've read them and decided I like them. 
Post-Kindle: I only keep things on my kindle that I haven't read, everything else is sent off to sit in the cloud.  As I replace my "real" books with kindle versions I will probably pass the hard copies on.