Breaking Up with My Books

Monday, March 9, 2015

For as long as I can remember, I've always loved reading. When I was in elementary school, I visited the library at least once a week and would borrow as many books as I could fit in my big bag. If the cover was pretty, I would check it out. New book? I'll give it a try. (Luckily, I only lived three blocks away. No shoulders were broken in the process of walking home!) Having a wide variety of books to choose from made it fun to bring some home and build a momentary collection.

After discovering Book Outlet and the booktube community on YouTube, I went a little crazy and bought a ton of books. If I recognized the title, it was added to my cart. It didn't matter whether or not I was interested. If someone talked about it and said they liked it, wouldn't that mean I could enjoy it too?

I never bought books before all this but now, I want my own books. I want to have a collection I could grow and keep.

I love the idea of having my own home library one day, but I want it to be made up of books I truly enjoy and would choose to revisit again. Because of this, I have decided to break up with some of my books. I am letting go of the books that "past me" impulsively bought. And I'm okay with that.

It has taken me a while to be okay with it—if you're someone who keeps every single book you've ever bought, IT'S OKAY. There's nothing wrong with that. But for me, I have to be picky with what I keep. I am a total hoarder, and I hate it because having a lot of things means clutter. And clutter makes me nervous. I've always had a problem with letting things go, but I've decided that I need to start giving things away if I want to be mess-free.

So now it's time to break up with my books. I looked at every single book I own and asked myself three questions:

1. Are you ever going to read this book?
2. Did you like this book?
3. Would you re-read this book?

If my answer to ANY of these questions was "no," I put it in a sell/donate/give away box. That's it.

I'll be honest (not that I haven't been this whole time)—that box is still sitting on my desk right now. Pulling it off my shelf is one thing, but giving it away and never seeing it again? The hoarder in me is saying PLEASE NO STOP. But I'd rather someone else read it and love it than have it collecting dust in a box. As much as I hate to admit it, I do not need all the books.

I've started to visit my local library again, as I mentioned in my "new on the shelves" post. I'm attempting to borrow books first—and if I love it, I'll add it to my collection!

Are you someone who has a hard time letting go of the books you don't want to keep?
How do you decide what you want to buy for your collection?


  1. Oh, we definitely had the same experience! I was never a book hoarder prior to blogging. But once I started hearing about more books, and learning to trust the opinions of others with similar tastes, I began to buy EVERYTHING. At the start of last year, I felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of books I owned and decided it was high time I did a major cull - doing exactly as you suggested and asking myself similar questions. It really helped!

    Even though my physical TBR is still pretty substantial, I think it's a lot better now! I always keep the books I think I'd revisit or want my own children to read, and then pass on the others to new homes :) Good luck with letting go of the books in your giveaway box - you can do it!

  2. I should get rid of some books! I have way too many, I'm running out of room, and some books I know I won't read again anyway. Those are great questions to ask myself as I go through my books!

  3. I'm planning to do some hardcore spring cleaning and my bookshelves need to be sorted out real bad. I have so many books I know I'll never read and those just need to go. I think I might donate them to a second hand bookshop. I try not to buy books on impulse or if I'm not super excited about them. Only the ones that'll get the love they deserve make it to my shelves anymore.

  4. I did this a while ago. I didn't have any more space, so I decided to sell to second-hand bookshops or to give away to my friends the books I didn't want anymore. Maybe those books could make someone happy, who knows? :)