Let’s Chat! Should we keep each and every book?

Let's

Hello everyone!

Today I am going to write about a topic that is personal to me. Maybe it is something that you’ve thought about as well.

Being youngish*, I am still renting and will likely move every few years. My most recent move was difficult – I realized just how much stuff I had, including books.

*Youngish, as in, in my late twenties – Wait that is still young right!? Right!? Yes I thought so too :’) 

giphy2

Unpacking the 23-kg box of books that I shipped from my previous home, it turns out that I didn’t even like some of the books that I decided to keep. There are also books that I liked, but probably won’t reread. And that prompted me to ask myself a few questions:

What is the value of keeping a book that I didn’t even like? What is the value of keeping a book that I liked, but don’t plan to reread?

Reasons for Keeping:

#1. We can keep track of which books that we’ve read. There is a sense of accomplishment in getting a visual of all the books that we’ve read this week/month/year, isn’t there?

#2. It is a great conversation starter. If a friend or family member asks about a book on our bookshelf, it gives us the license to rant all about it, whether we loved it or hated it.

giphy3

#3. What if one day we change our mind about this book!? Maybe we didn’t like it the first time around, but who knows!?!

#4. They look pretty. Nope, as board-certified bookworms, we don’t judge a book by its cover… BUT that doesn’t mean that we can’t admire a book cover, does it?! 😉

giphy4

#5. It is super satisfying to collect an entire series, or every single book/series that an author has written. (I actually haven’t had the opportunity to collect a whole series, but I imagine that it is an awesome feeling.)

#6. Why get rid of books that we’ve spent $$$ buying!??! It’s like throwing money out the window like this kid here. (Kid, STOP THROWING MONEY OUT THE WINDOW.)

giphy5

Reasons for Ditching**:

#1. Out with the old, in with the new! If we get rid of the books that we will never re-read, it will make room for new books that we will love!

giphy6

#2. Free up space. If you have a small space (like me), you might not have room for all the books that you’ve read and the books that you are planning to read. And that brings to the next point…

#3. More mobile. If you have fewer books, they are much easier to move.

giphy7

#4. Why be reminded of all the books that we disliked? Imagine looking at our bookshelf and seeing that it is filled with (and ONLY with) books that we love.

#5. Someone will read the books that we donated/gave away, and maybe they will love it more than we ever will.

giphy8

To be honest, I am still on the fence. What do you guys think?!

**”Ditching” as in, donating or giving away. I would never have the heart to throw away books :’)

Blog_letschat

How many books do you have on your bookshelf? Do you get rid of books that you didn’t like / won’t reread? Is there such a thing as having TOO many books?

55 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Should we keep each and every book?

  1. Hannah and her Books says:

    Hi Sophie! I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot lately, and I actually just wrote a somewhat similar post about how to be a more minimalist bookworm! It’s tricky for me because I’m still an undergrad and living at home, so I have a bit of a space issue, like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Hannah! Wow! We must be on the same wavelength. I’ve actually been thinking about being a minimalist bookworm lately (and also thought about making a post about this topic haha.) I love the idea of minimalism and reducing clutter 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenn @ the Bibliofile says:

    Storing my 1,000+ books is a problem. It’s a pain to move and a pain to find space, but I wouldn’t give them up. The ones I have sold to used bookstores I ended up regretting. The only ones I sell are books I actively dislike. Don’t miss ’em.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. artyplantsman says:

    We hate disposing of books too but occasionally we will send a boxful to a charity shop. When we have a clearout you can be certain that the ones I want to ditch will be the ones my wife wants to keep and vice-versa.

    If it happens it is often a full set from an author we no longer enjoy. Patricia Cornwell is a good example. Her books became more about office politics than investigation, then became very far-fetched. I can get office politics at work so why would I want to read about it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Darren!
      Of course I would never dispose of a book either. By “getting rid of” I meant donating or giving away 🙂 It would be too much of a waste to recycle a book!
      It makes sense to get rid of a set from an author that you no longer enjoy. Yes office politics aren’t too fun haha…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cas @ Lovely Paranormal Books says:

    This is a great topic! As I have not gone through moving out yet I haven’t had this dilemma, but I’ve always imagined that when I move out I’ll just take the books I love and leave the rest? Nowadays I buy less and a lot of the books I receive are review copies and I’ve always been a big library user so most of the books I own are favourites or review copies. I have a small collection of bargain books from my book buying past but this collection hasn’t been updated in years, and laziness is the only thing stopping me from getting rid of those books (and also me not wanting to give them away for free).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Cas!
      That’s great to hear that it seems like you have a concise collection of books, including your favourites.
      I am sort of in the same boat, as I also rely on the library and ebooks/audiobooks, so I don’t have many physical copies, period. However I also do have a mishmash of second-hand books that I bought for cheap, not knowing if I will ever read them! My next step will be sorting through these and deciding which ones I actually do want to read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      That’s great that you reserve your shelf space just for the very special books. I love that mentality 🙂 I am trying to reduce clutter as well (hence this blog post!) and I am leaning towards getting rid of some of my books.
      Thank you for your lovely comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. MichaelK says:

    Oh Sophie, I was hoping that you’d never bring up this subject. Of course our situations vary but every time I walk into our small library I keep wondering whether I am no better than a hoarder. I am also guilty of not rereading and keeping books for my sheer pleasure. Even books we didn’t like. I haven’t made up my mind on the subject but that’s because every time it surfaces I shove it back to the depths of my mind (and go happily about buying more books).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Michael!
      I think there is nothing wrong with keeping books! The upside is that you have a very impressive bookshelf and will never run out of books to read or reread 🙂
      I haven’t started to sort my books for donation yet, but I can tell that it will be a difficult process!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sophia says:

    A few years back I donated a lot of my books in a charity that send books to prisons. I was and still am quite happy with the choice I made back then. Knowing that my books are re-read and loved by many others makes my happy and content that I did this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Sophia 🙂 That is awesome that you donated your books to a worthwhile cause. Because of my move, I ended up donating a lot of my old clothing and furniture. It felt great to part with things that I have no use for anymore, knowing that someone else will love them more. I think I will be doing this with my books as well 🙂 Thank you for the lovely comment ❤

      Like

  7. wanderingsandwonderings says:

    I’m about to move from Scotland back to Australia, so I gave away almost all of the books we bought whilst we were over here. I figure if I miss them, I’ll just repurchase them. I love having lots of books, but only ones I actually like and would consider rereading one day. This year I’m actually planning on trying to read/reread every book on my bookshelf, and giving away the ones I don’t like or DNF. I want a library of books I love, not just for the sake of having a lot of books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Rachel! 🙂
      I really like your approach to deciding whether or not to keep a book. I was thinking about it the other day as well- If I really wanted to read a book again, why not just borrow from the library? I like the idea of just hanging onto the books that we love, and I think I want to do this with my books as well 🙂 Quality over quantity, right?
      Thank you for the lovely comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Michelle 🌈 says:

    Ahh this is something I always struggle with when I’ve just gotten new books and am trying to fit them on my bookshelves haha. It’s easier to get rid of books I hated (though if they have a pretty cover it’s hard) but the ones I just feel ‘meh’ about? I don’t know what to do haha. I also just like having so many books on display haha. Especially if they have pretty spines and covers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Michelle 🙂 Haha yes space is such an issue! I know what you mean in that it’s easy to decide what to do with the books that we either love or hate, but it’s the ones in between that are hard! And yes! There are a few books that come to mind where I love the covers too much to give away.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Marie says:

    This is such an interesting discussion, Sophie, I love it 🙂 I have to admit that I’ve been struggling with place, lately, especially ever since I moved back from the city I studied in. I realized how many books I had bought and needed to come back to, and ever since then, so like, it’s been maybe 2 years now, I have books everywhere hahaha. I’m having a hard time thinking of getting rid of books, though, I am not sure why? I like to keep the books I read and I love having bookshelves filled and everything, haha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Marie ❤ Yes, I feel a similar way every time I move. It's surprising how quickly things accumulate. I moved into my old apartment with zero physical books, but moved out with 24kg of them hahaha :') I also still have some books sitting back at my parents' home!
      Yes it's hard to say goodbye to the books that we've read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Hi Sophie. 🙂 Recently I had a massive sort out of everything in my room and I got rid of so much stuff, and of course a lot of books were on that list as well so this topic really speaks to me right now! 🙂 Personally I get the whole not wanting to get rid of books I spent so much money on aspect, but the fact that I have limited shelf space is a major driver in what books I keep. There’s only so much room for books in my room, I don’t really see the point in keeping books I didn’t enjoy when I could make more space for the books I did enjoy and new books I hopefully will enjoy.
    As a major bookworm part of me wants to say there’s no such thing as too many books, but have just gone through a major unhaul I think there definitely is! 😀
    Great post. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Beth ❤ Looks like we've both recently organized our homes and got rid of stuff that we don't need anymore. It's a great feeling isn't it!?
      Yes that is so true that we don't need to keep books that we didn't enjoy reading. Now I feel more confident about sorting through my books and deciding which ones I should part with 🙂 Thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        Definitely a great feeling, also I was kind of amazed at how much stuff I had that I really didn’t actually use or need.
        It makes more room on your shelves for what you do want to read, and unless you have unlimited shelf space (if only right?) sometimes we have to be a little harsh!
        That’s all right. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        Haha absolutely! Now that I’ve gotten rid of the things I don’t need, my plan is to accumulate less new stuff (easier said than done!)
        And yes! My new apartment is much smaller, so space is definitely an issue. It is easy to become cluttered, which is why I am thinking about paring down on books now 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    I had EVERY book I owned from when I was a teenager, a couple years ago I went through them all and donated or sold them and boy what an INCREDIBLE feeling of freedom and lightness. I HIGHLY suggest it. I still have a good collection of books I RAVE about or series I love but reducing that number to 10% was such a good thing. ♥️ I’m sure you’ll do what’s right for you Sophie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Dani ❤ That's great to hear that you've had a good experience with getting rid of old books. I haven't gone through that process yet with my books, however I did very recently donate old clothing and furniture and it felt like such a weight off my shoulders! I may be thinking about doing this for my books as well 🙂
      Btw… You donated 90% of your books?! Wow that is a huge amount!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        I think so! There are books that we loved before that we don’t anymore, right? Our tastes change and we grow up over time 🙂 I think it makes sense to donate or give away books that don’t appeal to us anymore.

        Like

  12. Jackie @ Too Much of a Booknerd says:

    I loved this post! I definitely agree with literally every single point you made! ❤

    On the one hand, I loooove collecting books and having my own little (or rather HUGE) library in my room, it just makes me feel a lot better to see all these amazing books there! However, I've been struggling to find shelf space for the longest time now and I recently had to do an unhaul! I definitely got rid of all the books that I was feeling meh about or books on my TBR that I wasn't interested in anymore and that helped for sure! It also gave me space for new books which is AWESOME and the dream of every book nerd haha! 10/10 would recommend getting rid of books every once in a while XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Jackie ❤ 🙂 I am glad that you agree! I love hearing about other bloggers' bookshelves and bookish habits! That's great to hear that an unhaul helped you get rid of books that you didn't like as much. It seems like a good habit to get into once in a while 🙂
      I am considering an unhaul in the future (hence this post!) as there are also some books that I am feeling meh about haha 🙂
      Thank you Jackie ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Bridget says:

    Your gif choices in this post made me laugh so hard! I can literally hear Ross scream “PIVOOOTTT!” ahahhaha

    I have been feeling this lately so this comes at a great time. I’ve recently done a big furniture re-arranging project in my bedroom and it got me really up close and personal with the books I have on my shelves – a decent amount of books I didn’t like or don’t care enough about to ever re-read and I’ve been thinking of giving them away. But… I spent money on them??? Ugh. Conflict!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hahaha! Thank you Bridget 🙂 ❤
      I know! The books that I spend good money on are also the books that I am most reluctant to get rid of. I don't mind donating the books that I bought second-hand, however, there are a few books that I didn't enjoy which I bought new and are still in mint condition!
      I haven't unhealed my books yet, however, I recently sorted through my clothing- I found that it was easier to give them away to friends than to donate. Maybe this is another option!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Zoie says:

    Ever since I’ve started seeing beautiful bookshelves when I got into book blogging, I admit, I’ve went a litttttle bit overboard in buying books 😇 … but I have gotten to the point where I have so many books on my beautiful book shelf that it doesn’t make sense for me to keep every one — or buy each book that I want to read. I have no problem, really, with donating books I no longer love to libraries or second-hand bookstores because of the exact same reasoning you put for #5 on reasons to ditch: someone else might stumble across the book and absolutely fall in love with it. 😊 That reason alone, combined with a ton of experiences I’ve had finding the best books ever in unexpected places, makes me a fan of donating books (donating sounds less harsh than ditching 😆).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Zoie!
      Yes it is a great feeling to donate books. Not only do we get rid of books that we no longer love, we give others a chance to love it as well 🙂 I also love the feeling of finding a gem in a used bookstore!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Really brilliant post! And so relatable!! Definitely “youngish”- heck I’d just go with “young”- I’m in my twenties too and don’t want to be considered old! And I do wish I could keep all the books I’ve bought- especially because they’re pretty 😉 JK- but I can also relate to the struggle of moving about- I’ve moved a lot in the last few years, so I really can’t keep all the books I’ve bought, as much as I’d like to. And on the positive side, I do like to think of people reading books I’ve given away and actually enjoying them (sort of like going to book heaven 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf says:

    You never know how many books you own until you have to move. That’s usually when I have to majorly thin my collection, but I like to do a spring cleaning of my book collection at least twice a year.

    I get rid of books I’ve liked, disliked and never read. I almost always get rid of books I don’t like. I tend to keep a large “anti-library,” so I have to think about if I still legitimately have interest in this book and if I might actually try to read it within a certain time. The criteria is a little more complicated with books I’ve liked. I have to think about it in terms of impact the book has had on me, the likelihood that I will read it again, and my general willingness to part with it.

    The way I have to think about it with books I’ve never read is that the money is already in the pockets of the publisher and author (unless we’re talking Amazon ebooks). The money is spent, and if you are unlikely to ever really read it, it’s already money wasted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Carrie!
      I like the idea of tidying up our book collection once every while, and that’s great that you do this on a regular basis!
      Yes it is easy to let go of books that we dislike, but much harder to let go of those that we enjoyed but won’t reread. You are right that once we buy a book, we’ve already given our money to support the author, and we’re not getting more value out of the book by hanging onto it without rereading it.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for dropping by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s