Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sunday Salon - Weeding Books

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a reader with too many books must inevitably weed the collection. Yep, it's true. We all know it, though we may try to deny or shy away from it, but for us, it was time! When I moved into Chuck's place almost a year ago, I brought about half of my books from my mother's house. We packed up the "essentials" from her shelves to bring home with us and boxed the rest of the books to be put away in storage (another 5 boxes or so).

We also brought the room divider/bookcase you see in the first picture below. For the last year it's accumulated books steadily. I've been pretty good at not buying books, but they still have a tendency to flow in from publishers, so it was getting sort of ridiculous. We have a large'ish two-story townhouse--as townhouses go, that is. There's room for us and the kids and an office, but we're actively looking for a house to rent or buy by August when our lease expires, and with baby Greyson on the way, something has to be done about space.

Chuck is a clothes horse, and I'm a book elephant, so it only made sense to start weeding and packing some things to put away in storage until we get a bigger place. A bigger place = a house with enough room for more bookshelves.

Here's the original room divider/bookcase that I brought from my mom's house. Until two days ago it was filled with books. Heaping, I say. It was double-stacked, cross-stacked, and generally squished with goodies. Goodies which have now been effectively weeded and packed. These three little squares are what remains of the books that originally lived in this spot. They're mostly favorites, books I would re-read, and books Chuck is interested in getting his hands on. There are a few reviewables in the pile, but not many. If we decide to keep this piece of furniture in the room, it'll also be a baby center. You can see Greyson's stuff already taking its place.

This is the bookcase in our living room, and to the right is Chuck's fat cat, Samson. Most of the books on this case were packed, and some of the TBR from the bedroom made its way here. This is essentially my new "go to" shelf when I'm in need of reading. It was a pretty dramatic change to box up or get rid of this many books in the course of a day or two, but the Nook is making me feel better as I can have 1,500 books on my nightstand and zero clutter! To the blooming neatnik in me, that is an absolute wet dream.
And this is an owl that looks like he was carved out of an apple. I just threw him in here for fun because he makes me giggle. Chuck found him on a random shopping trip one day--along with a whole collection of trinket animals that looked like they were carved from veggies and fruit--and brought him home to live with my books and add cuteness to my life. I think he's doing a fine job of it, don't you?
Now that I've shared my transformation with you all, the rest of my Sunday will be filled with work and reading. I need to square away a few tasks this morning since my teaching gets back in full, full swing tomorrow (freshman composition and freshman comp. II), and then I plan to finish up Keeping the Feast, by Paula Butturini. I hadn't intended for it to take me this long to read it, but I keep procrastinating so I can stretch it out more. I think Chuck might've finished French Milk, by Lucy Knisley last night, so if that's true, I may try to read it today as well.
Happy Sunday, everyone! Enjoy what's left of the weekend.


  1. Oh, I think I might have had to be hospitalized if I ever had to get rid of that many books!

  2. LOL, Lisa! Under normal circumstances I would, too. However, I comfort myself with the fact that they're not really gone--just stored. They'll be back one day, and I can always buy digital versions of the ones I miss with the money I make from selling the weeded books to the used bookstore. Woohoo!

  3. I so admire you and your ability to weed through books! I can't believe it's been a year since you moved!

  4. I am getting excited for your baby to be born! Greyson is a very cute name. :)

    I weed through my books all the time. If I didn't books would TOTALLY have taken over my house by now! lol

  5. I weed through my books as well usually be giving them to my sister :) Getting organized is always a good thing especially when you have a baby on the fact, I've been doing the same thing myself. Have a great week Andi!

  6. There is something that makes me very happy about reorganizing.

  7. There's lots of talk about weeding out the books today...seems like everyone is reorganizing for the new year!

  8. Isn't that a horrible yet wonderful feeling :p The ultimate conflict of emotions :p I'm in a constant state of weeding out books and trying to convince myself that I can live without this or that book and CAN'T live without this or that other book. I wish you peace during this process, lol.

  9. Kathy, I can't believe it's been a year either! Time flies when we're having fun.

    Aww, thanks, Kailana! We like it. :) And amen to weeding. It's a necessity!

    Samantha, I don't have enough reader friends close by to give mine away to! It's a very sad situation. I would love to gift them more often.

    Same here, Deb! It's a bit of a rush to streamline and simplify.

    Jill, I noticed that when I went through my Google reader. Crazy!

    LOL, thank you, Chris. "Peace be with you as you weed your books," sounds like a t-shirt in the making.

  10. Congratulations on weeding the books. I do it every now and then and it really pains me but as I live in a small apartment, I have no choice. The library that I keep are those books that I will never ever get rid of and other books that arrive from publishers are cagegories as (i) I know I will never read this it is awful (ii) good but don't want to keep (iii) books to be passed on to friends and charity shops. That way it is not too bad.

    I see you are currently reading Emma and am inserting a link here to a recent post of mine on the TV versions of this Austen which you might like to take a look at (or not...)

    Congrats on the baby - I am awaiting the birth of my first grandchild in March - so exciting!

  11. I am both a clothes horse and a book elephant, lol...that's why one wall of my room is my closet and one wall is my bookshelves!

    I don't mind weeding my collection, although I always make sure the culled ones stay in the basement for awhile in case I change my mind. ;)

  12. Aww I love your owl. And I second the clothes horse and book elephant statement made by Eva, add jewellery iguana to that and you have my swamped room.

  13. I know what you mean. I have had to clean my shelves off several times. I managed to sneak a few into hubby's shelves and put some in storage. Now that number four child is moving out, although very sad, we can put some in there along with the extra closet space for our coats and grandkid toy. oh, oh, oh, an image just came to my head--a room full of books! oops, gotta go answer the door, some books just arrived from Amazon. BTW, I like the name Greyson.

  14. Yep, I have to do a weeding of the shelves every once or twice a year too. Your place is looking very organized. I hope you guys are able to find a house. That would be so exciting.

  15. I mourn for your stored books. :( But I suppose a baby does need some sort of space of their own. :) Love the apple owl!
    Alayne - The Crowded Leaf.

  16. Thanks so much to the post link, Elaine! I'll definitely be checking that out. :) Congrats on your grandchild on the way!

    Good idea, Eva! The culled ones definitely need to sit around and get a second chance. I have all of my boxes sitting on our fireplace waiting for me to change my mind.

    Jewelry iguana! I love it. Let's all be our fave animal/collectibles.

    LOL, Fem! 4th kiddo moving out, huh? What will y'all do with yourselves now?! :D

    Thanks, Iliana! We have our fingers crossed that we can find something and spread out a bit.

    LOL, thanks, Alayne! We figured Greyson would appreciate a little corner of his own. Or at least he will when he gets a little older. Yay, apple owl!

  17. Wow I am impressed, Andi! That is a lot of books to get rid of at once. But like you said, you gotta do what you gotta do. It's not like you can put the kids into storage...

    I am just sitting here staring at my bookshelf that I can't purge hardly a thing from because everytime I read a book I get another book to take its place so the thing is filled with juicy, unread morsels! Wonderful, but not very space-friendly.

  18. I make from selling the weeded books to the used bookstore.

    lingerie parties


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