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Thread: Keep books or sell them?

  1. #1

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    Default Keep books or sell them?

    This thread could've easily gone in any number of forums - it's about making space vs keeping stuff, passing on or hoarding, new vs old.

    I am having a MAJOR book cull. We have close to 3000 of the buggers (everything from novels to non-fiction, old text books, large art books and so on). I really am feeling the weight of all the stuff we have on our house - we are about to bring another bub into it so I am feeling it all the more so. Not that we need the "space" - we have 4 bedrooms and a study - but I just think I have too much "stuff".



    In relation to my novels, I am keeping my favourite novels, like Margaret Attwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" and Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited" but I am getting rid of a lot of "classics" - all my Shakespeares, the soft-cover ****ens novels (we have doubles in hard copy) and more modern stuff like "A Clockwork Orange" and "Lord of the Flies". DH wants to keep all his "teenage boy" sci-fi and I am keeping a few Star Wars novels for the boys, but other than that I am getting rid of at least 100 novels

    Now DH and I LOVE books and reading (obviously LOL!) but my question is this - should I be keeping the "classics" for the kids? I decided to toss the Shakespeares because I figured if they are studied at school we'll just buy the edition the school suggests, and the same goes for Lord of the Flies and so on. But by not having these in the house will the boys somehow "miss out"? I feel terribly snobbish even thinking it because I know you don't become "edumacated" by osmosis LOL but I am starting to have last-minute second thoughts about letting them go. Is it the hoarder in me trying to make one last stand or is there something valid in this? There's no way I will stop buying books just cause I am making space (in fact room for new stuff is a big part of what I want to achieve) but I wonder whether the boys will miss out because they don't have modern classics at their fingertips.

    Funny, writing this I realised that all the books I am thinking of getting rid of are those I bought second hand in my teens, so I know a book-motivated kid will find a way to get their hands on stuff.

    What do you all think? Am I being silly??

  2. #2

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    They'll be fine if you declutter a few books.
    They'll be able to use the library when they want and thanks to ebay you can pick up second hand books for .99c plus postage.

  3. #3

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    I would keep the books. I don't know how many I have but throwing out any I like is pure sacriledge. I mean that. We keep books. They are mine and they are my friends. I am still to forgive my mother for throwing out most of the books I had as a child and teenager after I went to Uni. I am having to re-buy most of them for DS.

    I don't know if DS will want to read all the books I have. I don't mind - they're for me to read, him if he wants to. Getting rid of 3-4% of your books that you don't read isn't that much of a problem for you, but it would be for me LOL!

  4. #4

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    For me it would be a problem. I had so many books as a kid that got sent out to garage sales or to the Salvos etc that I would have loved for the kids & I'm now trying to collect them again (Roald Dahl, Judy Bloom etc). Having said that I am a total book hoarder & would have loved to see my collection of Babysitter's Club sitting on my shelves even if they were never read again.

    Yes I'm lame I know, but books are my one & only thing I hoard.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roryrory View Post

    In relation to my novels, I am keeping my favourite novels, like Margaret Attwood's "The Handmaid's Tale"
    I wouldn't be able to part with that one either. I love that book. I think it will be fine to declutter a little, plus there is always the library if you need to round out the boys culturally a bit more I admit I'm a bit jealous of 3000 books!

    ETA - Sarah, I've just started buying BSC for E - I had the whole set as a kid but Mum got rid of mine too. JIC you're interested, they released a 'summer before' book too

  6. #6

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    We are going through the same thing. The room that will become the baby's room is a mess at the moment, and it is mostly books. I will be culling my collection and donating what I don't keep to the local library - I'd never throw out a book - either donate to a library, a used bookstore or a hospital. I've decided that this makes the most sense for me as I don't read books twice as there are always new books that I want to read. Also, the books that I read as a child and pre-teen are long gone - if I had these I probably would keep them for our child(ren).

    However, my DH is the opposite - he is also an avid reader but he reads his favorites over & over. He must have at least 200 plus books in the "baby's room" and he refuses to give one away no matter how much I plead with him. I have no idea what we are going to do with these as to me, if we box them up then why keep them as he won't be able to get at them anyway. But he won't budge on this point so we are going to have to figure something out.

  7. #7
    slyder Guest

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    I'd have a hard time getting rid of any I think, especially if it's not a space issue. But I don't think it will be a detriment to your kids if you do.

  8. #8

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    DP wanted me to get rid of ALL my books when we moved as we really don't have the room.. i told him NO WAY.
    I have all my old enid blyton books and even golden books from when i was little, disney books, david eddings, steven king, highschool books you name it.
    Unfortunately he is not a reader, he basically thinks you read a book, you know it, get rid of it!

    They are all still in a box, it's so sad, i wish i could have a library in my house, you know like in beauty & the beast .. thats my dream.. hahaha

  9. #9

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    I keep books.

    The only time I have ever given them away was when we moved to a unit last year and simply and no more room for boxes and DH forced me to give them away

    Anything else you can declutter and get rid of? lol I can't bear to part with books...I still have my Year 7 Science Book rofl

  10. #10

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    Well I am not the right person to be answering this as I am a book lover! I dont let go of books very easily. I would have at least as many as you & that's after I culled considerably what I felt I could earlier this year.

    Books tell a story (excuse the pun) each page has a mark from that cherry ripe you were eating or the hot cocoa that spilt etc etc. Or they smell like the op shop you got it in. To me there is more to books than just the pages of print and their story. But thats just me.

    I say keep the books. Like Sarah I am still trying to collect some books that were thrown away when I was an early teen...

    As an aside did you read the most unfortunate story of the lady who was found deceased under a pile of rubbish in her house? She was a hoarder & even sniffer dogs couldn't detect her corpse due to all the rubbish... Now that's hoarding.

  11. #11

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    I never throw away books but when we went OS I had to put them all into storage. When we moved into this place DH got all our stuff from storage and left most of my book boxes behind. It's so wonderful having so many empty bookshelves because now I have an excuse to fill them all up again hehehe.
    Storage is the perfect solution - one can hoard and de-clutter simultaneously.
    I periodically cull crappy books from my shelves. I see no reason to use precious shelf space on something I never want to read again and wouldn't recommend to anyone.

  12. #12

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    OK, we went through this last year during a declutter, and then again during the pack.
    This is how I decided:
    If the classics were a relatively expensive publication, they stayed. Most of them were not. The only classics that, apart from a handful or less of absolute favourites, were the antique ones from the heirloom bookcase! Anything else, I figured that I could either borrow from a library if I ever got the bug, or I could hunt down a gorgeously bound old version (thinking of the MacMillan Facsmile series kind of binding).
    I managed to get DP to see reason about most of his 'espionage and intrigue' titles, in that they weren't worth keeping once read. He could offer them to his brother (who DOES reread these types of books) or he could help us out by letting them go.
    It was a big cull, and that's considering we have loads of boxes still to rehome into our strawbale home when it's built sometime this century.
    Having also worked in publishing made is easy to decide which books I would find in a quality version later down the track if I felt the urge to re-own.
    I kept my English Lit texts like the short story compilations and poetry collections, as well as critique texts and historical readers from my undergrad.
    Oh, and I find the Salvos appreciate big loads of books Give someone the opportunity for a quality read they normally wouldn't get

  13. #13

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    I have that theory too Onyx. If I don't want to recommend it to anyone or read it again or want my kids to read it I culled. But that still left a lot behind...

    I do like your idea though -- storage equals more space for more books!!!

  14. #14

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    Culling books is so hard. I'm a massive book hoarder. I love my books and although I hold alot of unread ones - I still continue to add on a weekly basis. I'm addicted.

    You could always keep an inventory of the ones you're culling so you can always re-acquire ones you miss ? I know I have suffered from culling something and then a few months later think to myself... oh dammit I had a book on that very subject! or something like that!

    I also try to keep a book journal (try being the operative word here), to keep record of all the duds and greats. :-)

  15. #15

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    Even though I love reading, I don't actually own that many books. Enough to fit in a smallish bookcase (although it is starting to look very full now, might have to get a bigger one...) I have, in the past, sold some books on ebay and at a garage sale -books that I knew I was never going to read again. I can understand that feeling of having too much "stuff", so if you think these books are not really adding anything to your life but just taking up space, then move them on.

    I am off to look up "The Handmaid's Tale", it's now on my list of books to read

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