Kernels of Nonsense, #36: Book Unhaul

Kernels of Nonsense (2)Kernels of Nonsense is a bimonthly feature where I discuss various book- and blog-related topics. This week I’ll be sharing my personal experience doing a book unhaul for the first time.

I have a huge problem. I buy too many books. It’s probably my biggest flaw (don’t believe anyone who tells you I’m emotionally closed-off). Over the years, I’ve managed to accumulate so many books, I had three bookshelves in my room at once which ended up overwhelming the room. I recently did a DIY project, building several wall shelves for my books. It’s probably the best bookish decision I’ve ever made and I only regret not doing it sooner.

Now these new shelves were supposed to solve all my problems. It really opened up the room and provided more shelf space. Unfortunately, I underestimated just how quickly I acquire books. In the last three months I’ve accumulated 28 new books. I have a serious problem. How did this happen? After my most recent haul this month, I had to rearrange a few books in order to fit everything. While I was doing this, I made a decision that a book unhaul was in order.

At the beginning of last year while I was reorganizing my shelves, I removed quite a few books that I wanted to give away. But apparently, I have a problem with letting go because I haven’t gotten around to donating them.

Because Thanksgiving week is coming up and I’ll have plenty of time to haul all these books to the library, I’ve decided it’s time to do away with the excuses. This will be my first book unhaul, so I’m a little nervous to just give all these books away. What I’m really worried about is that in a few months, I’ll start freaking out because I’ll suddenly have the urge to reread one of these. Hopefully, they way I’ve chosen to go about it will decrease the chances.

Most of the books I’ve chosen to give away are ones I have already read. Overwhelmingly, they are one- or two-star books. I’ve never felt the urge to reread a book that I’ve given less than three-stars too, so I’m fairly confident that I won’t miss these. In fact, I’m actually excited to get rid of a few. There are just some books that really rub you the wrong way. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I have a severe dislike for Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush. I hate this book more than any other book I’ve ever read, and I know it’s quite the popular series, but you could not pay me to read it again (okay, maybe you could, but, you know, I’d be scowling a lot). I bought it right when it was released and years later, I’m still bitter about the fact that I spent money on it. The cover is beautiful though. Kresley Cole’s Poison Princess is another book I’m happy to get rid of. I DNFed it after getting through less than half of it and this is saying something because I rarely ever DNF books I’ve actually bought (on principle!).

Then there are the books that I feel sort of indifferent toward now that time has passed. This is a photo of the most recent books I’ve pulled off my shelf for donation. A few of these are four-star books and I enjoyed them at the time, but looking back, I’m not so sure I would give them the same rating if I read them today. I never continued Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder series, despite enjoying the first one. I’ve also heard that the series takes a bit of a dive, so if the number of years doesn’t put me off, this sure does. Melissa West’s Gravity was quite the surprise at the time, but I was so disappointed with the sequel that I have zero plans to ever finish the series.

All in all, I have thirty-eight books I’m planning to get rid of. I’ve already taken steps to remove them from my Books-I-Own list on Goodreads, so I’m very serious about this. There are also several books on my shelf that I’m also contemplating getting rid of, I just need a little more time to let go. I know I will probably never read the last two books in the Divergent series, despite really liking the first one, but too much time has passed and I’ve lost interest. Maybe next time around I’ll finally find the courage to do it.

What about you? Have you ever had a book unhaul? How do you determine which books to get rid of? Do you sell your books or donate them? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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18 thoughts on “Kernels of Nonsense, #36: Book Unhaul

  1. Oh, my, have I ever! I had over 1435 print books at one point, and had added shelves in all of my rooms….I had six shelves in my bedroom; three in my office; two in the hallway; two big shelves in the living room, and smaller cupboards and shelves in the dining room, etc. I even had books in the bathroom!

    I started out fairly small, first eliminating just a few books from each shelf, and I started with the older books. All the ones I donated were books I’d read, some more than once. I donate mostly to the library, but have also donated to Big Brothers & Big Sisters.

    I now have emptied eight shelves, five of which I gave to my daughter and I still have three in the garage where I’m now putting books I’m ready to donate. I take so many regular trips to the library that the women who accept them smile and say “you’re back!”

    This week, I combined the books from two of my three remaining bedroom shelves, emptying one of them; I now have only TWO shelves in the bedroom. There is only one shelf in the office; none in the hallway, and none in the bathroom.

    Good luck! After you get used to it all, the pangs will disappear and you’ll feel a sense of freedom.

    I still have a lot of books (between 400-500 print, and quite a few e-books, but who is counting those? LOL)

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    • A seasoned veteren! I can’t imagine having so many books…wait, yes I can. It would be a dream! I think it’s just a matter of deciding if I want a smaller collection of books I love or a big collection of books I’ll never look at again. Thanks, I’m hoping this won’t be the last time I do this!

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    • It’s definitely easier to get rid of books I’ve already picked up. Most of the books that are I haven’t read but are on my shelves are sequels or by authors I’ve already read, so I feel pretty confident about keeping them. It’s very interesting to see how other bloggers feel about it and whether or not they practice it.

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  2. I unhualed a couple of books like 2 months ago. It is just me or does it feel like your doing something wrong when you get rid of your beautiful books!! I had no interest in rereading these books and I probably hasn’t even noticed them on my shelf in like 3-4 years.

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  3. I do it every few years. Thankfully I am a bit of a miser, am super picky about purchasing specific books, and I use my two local libraries religiously so the urge to buy can be easily quenched. It can be very liberating to unload.

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  4. I have the same attachment to my books. I used to get rid of them so freely that I really regret almost all the books I gave away, but recently I’ve been getting rid of books that I don’t mind parting with. Plus I get store credit from a store and somebody could fall for a book I didn’t and that’s satisfying.

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  5. My OCD doesn’t really allow me to hold onto unread books or non-favorite books very long. About once or twice a year I will clean out my bookshelves and get rid of books I have no intention of ever reading, and then donate them to the local Every Woman’s House. Lately my book hoarding is more on my Kindle than with physical books. My bookshelves have turned into mostly favorite books I plan to re-read with only a few shelves of books I haven’t read yet.
    It’s not easy to let go! I totally get that – books are the one thing I think twice about before getting rid of them. 🙂

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    • I think I’ve been in love with the idea of owning a lot of books and this has kept me from getting rid of the books I no longer care for (if I ever did). I’m hoping this will also help with my book buying by encouraging have shelves full of books I like rather than just having full shelves.

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  6. I used to be pretty good at unhauling, I’d get rid of any books I didn’t think I’d ever reread, or that I didn’t collect (I collect Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain books, not multiples though). Then I started buying more books, and I find it harder to let go of books I’ve paid more money for, than ones I got in a charity shop or in a deal.

    I also culled my books when I was 17 or so, and got rid of loads of Jacqueline Wilson and Meg Cabot, which I now kick myself over regularly, so I’m always second guessing “is this a book I’m not interested in right now, that I’ll wish I had have kept 10 years from now”? Which ones will stand the test of time, and which ones are just shelf-fillers?!

    I have small unhaul piles separated out, and then they sit there for 6 months until I figure out if I REALLY want to unhaul them or not. The only unhaul I haven’t questioned this year was Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, says a lot about what I thought of that book…

    I keep telling myself I’ll get better at unhauling someday – for now it’s not too problematic until I have to move, or run out of space! R xx

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    • Don’t you kind of wish you could return a book if it ends up being really bad? I think one of the reason I’ve held on to these books for so long is that I paid good money for them, I feel that I should be getting more out of them. I’m trying a new thing where I’m trying to build a library of quality, not quantity. I know exactly what you mean about getting rid of books and then changing your mind. What I wouldn’t give to have held on to some childhood favorites…

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  7. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: November ’15 | A Kernel of Nonsense

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