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MKat MKat is offline
 
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all you tidying people....sympathy needed
Old 01-26-2019, 01:36 PM
  #1

Apparently I am a pig. I've always prided myself on a certain amount of tidiness and minimalism. I've just discovered I really am a book hoarder. I started on tidying books last night. I've already removed a bunch of bags of books ready to go to the library book sale. However, now I'm going around the house and finding all my little stashes of books - in my nightstand, in an armoire, etc. etc. My bookshelves are more stuffed than ever! I've also discovered a scary amount of dust.

I've always blamed my husband for the books, but now realize I am just as much to blame!

I started on books because it is the most visible clutter in my home and I've really been itching to organize the bookshelves so they are less full and make room for more decorative items amongst the books. I started with this only because my son is getting married in March so lots of people will be in our home for various things. I wanted to get this done before then. Now I've decided this isn't a one or two day project and I've given myself a week. I can only take this in short bursts and then I have to walk away.

This project is NOT including the massive amount of children's books I'm saving for grandchildren. I brought home stuff when I retired that was my personal property and I couldn't bear to leave. I'm saving that project for the END.

I KNEW I had a children's book/teacher book problem. This other is a surprise because I don't feel like I buy personal books. I use the library. How did this happen!!??? (Well, obviously I know, I just hadn't recognized it before!)

So, who has done book tidying recently? How did it go?


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Old 01-26-2019, 01:54 PM
  #2

Hi! I'm iteachk2010 and I am a book hoarder, too.

I love reading and prefer reading actual books to reading them on a Kindle. As I am typing this in my "school room/office" at home, I am surrounded with tons of books on shelves. This doesn't include the four bookshelves of children's books that I have at school.

I have variety-mystery, adventure, history, romance, christian, children's books, DIY projects, comedy, teaching resources... even some of my old college textbooks. (I graduated in 1982. Oops!) I tried to start getting rid of books this summer, but was unsuccessful. I have three boxes of books packed up in my garage. Our library won't take them unless they have a copyright date after 2013. I would donate them, but where? I can't afford to ship them anywhere. I can't bring myself to throw out the books.

I am going to follow this thread to see what others suggest.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:04 PM
  #3

I have four ziplock storage boxes full of children’s books I love and cannot part with hoping for grandchildren. I go through those every year since retirement to see if I can give some up. I also have a stash of books, mostly cozy mysteries that I cannot give up. I did once and have regretted it every since. I would like a nice bookcase to put those books on. Right now they’re on an old vhs shelf.

When I do give up a few books, I put them in the free little library near me. The children’s books go quickly!
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Ditto on the Book Hoarding
Old 01-26-2019, 02:07 PM
  #4

Books are miniature magical worlds that expand your mind, captivate your whole being, and even change your life.
I'm a Librarian.
Have books in every room on every shelf and even under the couch.
Yes! Paring down my books, too.
Bittersweet.
Hard to let go of books, but wonderful breathing room for Favorite Books.
My bookcases are two layers deep on each shelf.
Trying to get down to one row on each shelf.
Nonfiction: Limiting to 2 books per subject
Inspirational: Keeping 1 shelf.
Poetry: Keeping 2 shelves. Got rid of 38 poetry books so far. (Honestly, it felt like cutting off a limb.)
Only keeping 3 cookbooks
I put my books in Teacher's Lounge and I donate them to Goodwill or local Library Sale.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:16 PM
  #5

Wow - copywrite 2013? That's harsh! Our library likes them to be saleable, not ridiculously old, but doesn't have a date set. I'm separating into three piles - library, other charity, and recycle.


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Old 01-26-2019, 02:17 PM
  #6

Quote:
So, who has done book tidying recently? How did it go?
I am an avid reader and had hundreds and hundreds of books. So many books, and truly many were dear to my heart. I loved having all the books by my favorite author, I loved the smell of a new book, and most of all I loved the final closing of a book I loved, sitting quietly with the book in my lap as I savored the joy it brought me. Those books were my friends and I told everyone I would reread them in my retirement. I cherished my books.

However....upon retirement, as I was preparing to downsize and move, my dear son-in-law lovingly talked me into going Kindle. I spent days walking around the house explaining to my books. Then, in 1 long day, I boxed them all while DD and her husband made many trips tp Goodwill. Yes, I know Goodwill is not perfect, I know they resell books, but once I made the decision, I couldn’t allow myself to waffle. Choosing books to save would have been like choosing a favorite child. For me, it had to be all or nothing.

It’s been almost 1 year and I am shocked that I don’t miss my books. I love reading on my Kindle. Most of all, I love the lightness of my home. As much as I loved my books, they were heavy—and yes, as you say, they were often dustcatchers.

The greatest compliment of my life was when a man of great insight and intelligence called me an intellectual. I worried that I couldn’t be an intellectual unless I was surrounded by books. I was wrong.
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too many books
Old 01-26-2019, 02:30 PM
  #7

I absolutely sympathize with the book problem! When I moved 11 years ago I got rid of many many books because I just didn't have any place to put them in my new house. And then when I retired I gave most of my childrens books to a charity that gives books to low income children. I kept about 30 of my absolute favorites for my grandchildren.

I'm helping my dad downsize right now....he took four large boxes of books to his new apartment and we gave 10 boxes to charity and 5 boxes to the Friends of the Library" And there are still books that need to be sorted.

And like Amiga, I am mostly a kindle reader these days which helps keeps things under control.
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Book tidying up
Old 01-26-2019, 03:01 PM
  #8

For years I was the big book buyer/reader in our house. Huge book shelves. As an English major, it was painful to consider giving books away.

And then one day I realized....I had to get rid of something. Over 30+ years of living in our house, I have culled and culled. I own a Kindle.

Now, 3/4 do the books belong to DH...who didn’t become a reader until about 5 or 6 years ago. And he won’t let go of anything.

I am determined to go through the shelves again when he’s not looking. Do we really need a book of scripts from The Three Stooges movies? Sports biographies? Dh never rereads a book. I want to get myself down to one or two shelves of most treasured/useful books.

Then...there’s the bookcase in the other room containing the read aloud from my class room. And I was brutal about what I kept. Those are staying.
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I used
Old 01-26-2019, 03:18 PM
  #9

To be a huge reader, and had lots of books but with each move, I purge more and more . I’ve posted about this before on here because I can’t tell you how freeing it is to have a clutter free house.
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Old 01-26-2019, 04:32 PM
  #10

BetterWorld Books will accept used books in their book drop off locations. They don't mind if they are older, they just ask that they be in good condition. Here is a link to their website, so you can check them out.

https://www.betterworldbooks.com/go/donate

It is hard to get rid of books when you are a book lover. I understand that for sure! But, it is also not fun to pack and move them, dust them, feel weighed down by the space they take up or watch the pages yellow and the glue in the bindings become brittle. Children's books especially begin to lose their appeal when they are yellowed. I try to remind myself that it is better to have them be used up than to have them become unappealing and tossed aside.

I've read in several places that they most backlash that Marie Kondo of Tidying Up fame received was over the suggestions about thinning out the book stashes. Book lovers are a feisty group!


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Old 01-26-2019, 04:51 PM
  #11

It's something I love most about my kindle. I no longer need to think about what to do with books when I've finished them. Also using the library helps.
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Book Hoarder
Old 01-26-2019, 04:52 PM
  #12

I buy books. That is my security blanket. Seven bookcases stuffed with books is my happy place. My TBR pile is growing...currently at 9, but I'm really okay with that. I think I'd freak if there wasn't something ready for me to read.

About a year ago, I sold about 4 boxes of books...I still miss them, and I know which ones I sold...that was a sad day.

I'll never ever never ever own an e-reader, and yes I tried one for about 10 seconds. I need real books.

I'm thinking of putting a bookcase in my small kitchen area
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:44 PM
  #13

DiamondGirl, you are my kind of person.
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Old 01-26-2019, 06:10 PM
  #14

Books are very much like my life long friends . I will never say goodbye to them. I have several places in my home for books which I consider honored members of my family. I have a Nook ,which I tried on a trip. I do not comprehend well with electronic books. My brain needs the hug of real paper and ink.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:46 PM
  #15

Thanks for the replies. I'm almost done with books. My bookshelves may not be much emptier, but most of my books are in one place and much better organized. More than 100 books ready to leave the house. Hopefully I'll get those organized and donated tomorrow. I've got old videos ready to go too. Tomorrow I'll go through dvd's and gather up some more old magazines. On Monday night I'll do music. Then I should have this category mastered.

Meanwhile I found more old pictures and newspaper clippings etc. to add to THAT pile..... I'm saving those until after I do clothes - hopefully I'll start that next week!
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:49 PM
  #16

I'm a firm believer that the term hoarding can never apply to books. Books in all their formats (physical, e-books, and audio) give me joy. Having a Free Little Library outside my house gives me a great excuse to go my favorite bookstore whenever I want. Though my tbr pile is out of control, and my shelves are jammed packed!
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:01 PM
  #17

I hate clutter and love purging. When it comes to books (and I own quite a few), I only keep those that I absolutely know I will reread.
Every now and then, I will reread a book and realize I have "outgrown" it and feel ready to give it away. I will drop it off in a book donation bin, usually.
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:04 PM
  #18

I know an actual book hoarder. I'm talking thousands upon thousands with bookshelves lining every room of his house and the hallways. Never say never.

I'm in the process of cleaning out my parent's home after their move to assisted living and helping with the cleanout of my in-law's home for downsizing. It really makes you think about what a little regular "Spring Cleaning" can hopefully help with - even with things you love. (Maybe especially with things you love!)
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:56 AM
  #19

But wait, haven't books saved a person's life before? I think I remember a story where a stray bullet entered a home. but didn't do any damage because it hit a pile of books first.

Also, they can increase the insulation value of an outside wall if you stack them correctly.

I think we need to expand our ideas of book usage. I believe I need more.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:10 AM
  #20

I did not realize that Better World Books had drop boxes outside of Indiana! They are located very near to me and I love going to the store. They also have games at the brick and mortar store. You can play games before buying to know if you will like them. It is one of my favorite places (I was there yesterday) We have had them bring books to our school to sell ata family event and we have gone on a field trip there.
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