My early June project to declutter my bookshelves stalled badly. I am such a mood reader, that I think at this point I just have to admit defeat with respect to a lot of the books I've managed to accumulate over the years. Unless they fall into one of the two following categories:  

 

1.. I am going to read this - this week; or

2. It is so obscure that I will never find it again, and it actually does interest me (i.e., I can't just check it out of the library or buy it on kindle if I decide to read it); or

3. I collect this type of book and am therefore going to keep it indefinitely;

 

I have concluded that it is time to get rid of it. In that spirit, I put together five of the kind of reusable shopping bags one gets at the grocery store filled with books and took them, first, to Wallace Books, a bookstore which seems to specialize in literary fiction, mystery and children's books. She took about half of them, leaving me with 2 1/2 bags of mostly romance, and resulting in store credit of $115.00 (It was more, but I bought a copy of Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey, and two older Christies: Mystery of the Blue Train and The Moving Finger).

 

I consolidated the rest of the books, which were mostly MMP romance and mystery that she didn't want and took them to my local UBS, where I got about another $50.00 worth of credit, so I'm up to $75.00 in credit with that store. I left the rest of the books with her for their 5 for a dollar bins out front. 

 

At this point, my process if I want to read a book goes like this:

 

1. Is it a book that I want to keep for my various bookshelf collections. If yes, buy the book; if no, then...

2. Is it available at the library? If yes, check it out. If no, then...

3. Is it something my mom/dad/husband/daughter would also read? If yes, consider buying a kindle copy to share and take it out of my monthly book budget, if no...

4. Is it something that I can find at the UBS and pay for with credit? If yes, buy it, read it, and donate, if no, then...

5. Is it available only on kindle, because it is an extremely obscure older mystery? If yes, will I read it right now? If yes, buy the book. If no, don't buy the book, because it will still be there when I get around to reading it.

 

I am about to go refill those bags with what will hopefully be the rest of the books that I need to sell back/donate, and then I am going to work on reorganizing my shelves while I watch Harry Potter so I can get a good, firm picture of what I am collecting. 

 

So far, I have managed to narrow my children's picture books down to 1 shelf of the absolutely most beautiful books that I want to keep. I am purging mostly literary fiction that I've already read, books that I have owned for more than 3 years and haven't read, and the MMPs that my mother continually inflicts on me when she comes for visits with a suitcase full of books.

 

Collections:

 

1. Penguin black spine classics

2. PB gothics

3. Anything Agatha Christie

4. J.R.R. Tolkien

5. Mythology and fairy tale resources

6. Small collections of Vintage, Virago and Persephone classics

7. BLCC series classics

8. Harry Potter illustrated versions

9. Various editions of Jane Austen's novels

 

That's all I can think of so far, although once I get the piles from the front of the shelves out of the way, I may see more!