Author Topic: Read Your Bookshelves  (Read 14827 times)

somecobwebs

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Read Your Bookshelves
« on: March 11, 2015, 11:15:11 PM »
For those of us with cluttered bookshelves, especially full of books we haven't "yet" read.

I am going to go through and start to read/reread every book I own, and then do one of the following:

- If I can't bear to make myself start reading it after one week, I am never going to read it. Donate.

- If I start reading and can't make myself finish it, donate.

- If I read it and feel less than considerable enjoyment, donate.

- If I read it and really enjoy it, or find it a good reference, keep it.

I live in a city with an excellent library and I am constantly being given books as gifts, so rather than buy a new bookshelf, I'm going to start streamlining the books I have. I imagine that even only keeping the books I love, I will maintain a sizable collection :)

hokiegb

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2015, 05:36:04 AM »
Bravo! We have been actively trying to pare down our number of books recently, with some minor successes. I think it is a tough thing for any book lover to "get rid" of books. I just have to keep reminding myself that mine isn't the only copy, I can always get it again if I need to read it that badly.

katstache92

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 06:04:47 AM »
This is an excellent idea!  I just unpacked box after box of books from my move and I realized I haven't read a fairly sizable portion of them.

For some reason I rarely think to pick up a new book from my own bookshelf!  That is going to change, starting today.

Thanks for the motivation.

misschedda

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 06:47:19 AM »
I just did this over the course of the last few months. It was so satisfying! Good luck on your gauntlet!
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firelight

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 07:29:54 AM »
Am in!! We just cleaned up boxes of books and I have a sizable chunk of books to read. Looking forward to months of reading!

mrfilthyrich

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 01:02:31 PM »
Just last week we donated two big boxes of books.  It would have been much more but my mother in law couldn't bear to get rid of some. I.E. "We can't possibly get rid of that series.  That could be an heirloom." That was her talking about the Harry Potter series!
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Lanthiriel

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 04:56:59 PM »
I'm in! I have way too many unread books from a library book sale last year. My only exception is I'm allowed to buy book club books from the credit I have at the used bookstore. Good luck, everyone!

somecobwebs

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 11:17:06 PM »
Hooray, glad to see that I'm not alone!

I have one library book to read first - my hold just came in - so I hope to begin this weekend. I'll post here when decisions are made, one way or the other!


Knapptyme

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 12:10:51 AM »
For those of us with cluttered bookshelves, especially full of books we haven't "yet" read.

I am going to go through and start to read/reread every book I own, and then do one of the following:

- If I can't bear to make myself start reading it after one week, I am never going to read it. Donate.

- If I start reading and can't make myself finish it, donate.

- If I read it and feel less than considerable enjoyment, donate.

I know the feeling, and I've been doing this same thing for years. I don't limit it to a week, but if the book is even in question, it hits one of my online selling sites like Amazon or half.com. If I don't read it by the time it sells, oh well. If it doesn't sell in a year, then I donate it. While not a large profit, and maybe not an immediate space-saving de-cluttering process, I've probably grossed $1000 from passive book sales in the past five years.

jmount24

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 07:56:53 PM »
Love this post.  Don't know why, but I keep books I've never read and don't intend to.  Some of them belonged to other people and I keep them in memory of them, but the majority just stay there b/c I can't help but think that I'm giving up something valuable when I donate a book.  Even though I'm not making any real use of teh value.

deborah

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 11:07:41 PM »
Sounds good - I'm in!

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 11:56:40 PM »
Great idea, I will partake . :) I have decluttered my bookcase quite a bit, however I have been meaning to read some I have yet to read. Also love the idea of rereading to see if anything still is of interest. I was able to thin out the shelves by about half recently because many of my "favorites" did not even appeal to me anymore.
I have seven library books to read first, then I will get started.

Exhale

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2015, 10:18:22 AM »
For those of us with cluttered bookshelves, especially full of books we haven't "yet" read...I live in a city with an excellent library and I am constantly being given books as gifts, so rather than buy a new bookshelf, I'm going to start streamlining the books I have.

Does your library hold a book sale? Ours does and they warmly welcome book donations.

You are in good company:
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NinetyFour

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2015, 10:23:28 AM »
I would love to join this challenge.  Perhaps after this semester ends, I will!
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Señora Savings

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2015, 05:31:47 AM »
I'm in!  Although, I'm not sure what order to go in.  I have so much Asimov!  Maybe that's a sign that I need to donate most of it.  What are other people doing to pick out their book of the week?

firelight

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2015, 10:48:09 PM »
I random pick a book - if I feel like reading it, I do! If not I ask myself if I see myself reading or in a month. If not, it goes to donate pile.

I should say my donate pile is growing faster than my read in a month pile.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2015, 07:20:25 AM »
Man, can I sign my wife up for this? :P

Though I do need to go through my old academic stuff. A lot of it (philosophy) is stuff I can use when homeschooling after the kids get old enough, but some of it is more technical than I'll ever try to read with them, so I should purge it.
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Wupper

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2015, 07:38:19 AM »
I love this idea. Great job, and thanks to somecobwebs.

I'm all in.
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Señora Savings

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2015, 02:56:25 PM »
First book finished.  It was great, I'm so glad that I read it.  Second book started.  It's The Lays of Beleriand.  Unfinished epic poems about Middle Earth by Tolkein.  It is occasionally interesting, but in all honesty, I'm enjoying it even less than I usually enjoy poetry.  I am getting rid of it (it has to be true because I said it online).

Sibley

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2015, 05:35:50 PM »
First book finished.  It was great, I'm so glad that I read it.  Second book started.  It's The Lays of Beleriand.  Unfinished epic poems about Middle Earth by Tolkein.  It is occasionally interesting, but in all honesty, I'm enjoying it even less than I usually enjoy poetry.  I am getting rid of it (it has to be true because I said it online).

I don't get rid of anything that's Tolkien. I have a cat named Arwen if that helps explain why. Other books, fair game.

dorothyc

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2015, 05:47:17 PM »
This is a great idea. I moved house a few months ago, and donated the bookshelves I had, knowing I was downsizing. Most of my books are still in half a dozen boxes in the garage. I have yet to buy a new (to me) bookcase until I see how many books I have to make room for, and this will be a great way to trim down.

I don't keep much fiction, but my downfalls are recipe books - I like buying solid classics that have some background story or food science in them, but some of them I have yet to make even one recipe from; and sewing and craft books.

I've also been meaning to chose one cookery book and making one new recipe a week from it to decide if it is a keeper.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2015, 07:45:30 PM »
This is a great idea. I moved house a few months ago, and donated the bookshelves I had, knowing I was downsizing. Most of my books are still in half a dozen boxes in the garage. I have yet to buy a new (to me) bookcase until I see how many books I have to make room for, and this will be a great way to trim down.

I don't keep much fiction, but my downfalls are recipe books - I like buying solid classics that have some background story or food science in them, but some of them I have yet to make even one recipe from; and sewing and craft books.

I've also been meaning to chose one cookery book and making one new recipe a week from it to decide if it is a keeper.

With cookbooks, I've taken to flipping through them and taking a digital picture of pages that interest me. If I make the recipe from that picture and I like it, then I'll spend the time to transcribe it into my Evernote recipe book. All of my in-use recipes are digital (or memorized). An iPad is way easier to keep around the kitchen than a print cookbook.

I do own some cookbooks still myself but I'm trying to keep to the library only from now on.
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somecobwebs

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2015, 10:44:44 PM »
Update!!

Will be donating: all my old garfield comics (may they make some kid as happy as they made me!) and a book I reviewed for work and didn't enjoy.

In the middle of El Cuaderno de Maya, which I will be donating when I am done with it - but I need to finish :)

Taking a break from that to read Reaper Man by Terry Prattchet :) I'm already suspecting that I will be keeping it, but we'll see how I feel at the end!

I think in general I am going to alternate between rereading something and reading something new, to keep my motivation up.

firelight

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2015, 11:25:12 PM »
Read and donated a box full of books! My bookshelf is lighter and clearer.

I'm wondering if I should cull out more stuff from my shelf.

MATSG

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2015, 09:28:50 AM »
This was already a 2015 goal of mine, so I am in on this challenge.  I tend to move around a lot - I love a good change of scenery - and I find myself packing up books and carting them here and there only to put them back on a shelf without having read a single word.  To prep for my next big move - which I am planning for 2016 - I am wanting to streamline all of my belongings.  Getting read of most of my books is a must.

jengod

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2015, 08:09:00 PM »
Oh goodness, I need this challenge. I mock women who have six closets and "nothing to wear," but I'm just like that with books. Working on it!

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somecobwebs

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2015, 12:31:03 AM »
Book count since beginning this challenge:

Donating: 7
Keeping: 1

My new place will have less bookshelf availability, so I'm glad I'm working on this! I want a full bookshelf where I love every book, not three full bookshelves that I barely look at. Plus, it's nice to discover books that you love.

1967mama

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2015, 01:04:16 AM »
What a great idea! I'm in!

firelight

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2015, 02:18:59 PM »
Ever since I started this challenge (a nice break coincided too), I've gone through 25 books and donated all but two. Down to the last ten in that pile. Now my bookshelf can hold all my books. No need to put them in boxes! Excited!

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2015, 03:39:05 PM »
Ive doing a massive declutter and donated my bookshelf, so............:)

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2015, 03:40:48 PM »
Had a big stack of library books to read when I discovered this gauntlet. I'm finally on the last one & VERY excited to begin reading , rereading, and donating my books!

jengod

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2015, 09:58:40 AM »
Thank you for this challenge. I now have 20+ books on my bedside table and that's not even all of them. I am determined not to buy/borrow any new books for myself until I have disposed of the stack.
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somecobwebs

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2015, 12:34:29 AM »
Thank you for this challenge. I now have 20+ books on my bedside table and that's not even all of them. I am determined not to buy/borrow any new books for myself until I have disposed of the stack.

Yeah, I'm the same way. Trying to bribe myself with library books. "When I finish THESE 10 books, I can check a book out from the library!"


Elle 8

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2015, 06:48:16 AM »
I'm doing something like this.  When my daughter moved out she left probably over 100 books.  I got rid of the ones I had no interest in reading, but there's still about 50 I might read.  So I'm working my way through them.  At about a book a week, I won't need a new book for about a year!  Oh, and then there's my own bookcase I also need to do this with.  Hoping to be able to consolidate into just one bookcase.

Oh, and don't get me started on cookbooks!  My SO has a cookbook problem.  He likes to buy old cookbooks at estate sales.  He has more books (all cookbooks) than my daughter and I combined!

somecobwebs

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2015, 10:40:23 PM »
Progress Report:

Keeping: 3
Donating: 17

How's everyone else doing?

firelight

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2015, 12:08:44 AM »
My books have multiplied :( I donated 90% of my books last month and my book shelf was just right. Now with my husband traveling and picking up books, me shopping library sales and being gifted books, my bookshelf is again overflowing. I need to restart the challenge

Kerowyn

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2015, 02:10:32 PM »
Ooh, I'm in on this too! I've been trying, and mostly failing, to read through my unread paper books for years. It's become easier in the last year or so since I moved and haven't signed up for the library in my new state. I probably won't be able to resist forever, though. Plus, I have another move expected, and it would be nice to cut down on the number of books I have to pack up. The collection expanded greatly last month when my absolutely wonderful friends and sisters each brought a book as a gift to my bachelorette party... But I do have a number of books piled up for donation. I'm currently reading a slow-going nonfiction book and when I've finished with it, I may well be donating both it and another book by one of the same authors.

I actually have a Beeminder goal https://www.beeminder.com/claredragonfly/goals/read related to this. It helps keep me from buying more books (especially used paper books and on-sale ebooks), at least some of the time...
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Boganvillia

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2015, 03:06:38 AM »
Late-ish to this Gauntlet!

I am in, too.

I hope this will also arrest a bad habit I am developing of reading online content instead of books.
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katesilvergirl

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2015, 07:58:31 AM »
Also late to the gauntlet, but excited about this!

A few weeks ago we went through all our books and separated out the ones in the "read and then donate" category - usually books of particular interest or gifted books, but probably not re-read or hard to find books. I really wanted to know how many "permanent" books we own so I could figure out how many bookcases to ultimately keep. Now all the "read and then donate" books are stacked in a tidy (5 ft. high) pile next to the bookshelf. When I want something new to read I go to that stack instead of wander around the house wondering what I should read next or getting distracted by my housemate's books.

I am also an avid user of all the little libraries in our neighborhood, but I've put myself on a little library (and public library) hiatus until we've gone through all our own books. But since it will likely be years before we get through that stack, I keep slipping up and checking out and binge reading stacks of murder mysteries. Then I feel guilty and go back to our pile full of interesting (but more serious) books.

The goal is to finish the pile before our next move (1 to 1.5 years from now)!

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2015, 08:49:55 AM »
3 down, maybe a dozen unread to go . later I'll reread the others as well . most are favorites I've read several times ... But I've also already slimmed those down significantly as well..

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2015, 08:55:27 AM »
By the way, of the three I read, ,two I donated and the other is being lended out to a couple people as well, then kept ( for a while at least as is nonfiction and a current topic of interest worth studying deeper. )

somecobwebs

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #41 on: July 06, 2015, 01:43:36 AM »
Just donated two big bags of books, and have already filled up another box :) Still working at it, slow but steady!

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #42 on: July 06, 2015, 09:15:23 AM »
I hav to admit I keep getting drawn to the lure of library books. But I hav finished them , so back on track . one of shelf read and to donate , one kept as is nonfiction I will refer back for further studies. On to the next today .

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2015, 09:18:32 PM »
Two down... One to be donated of the two.

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2015, 11:23:02 PM »
One more book read and donated.
When I return home from my trip I will take note of how many more books I hav to read  . first I am reading those I haven't read, then I will reread the others ( or donate if there's no appeal left ) .

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #45 on: July 29, 2015, 01:28:05 PM »
To read: 14
To reread: 14
Reading one new read off shelf now, will donate after.

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #46 on: August 03, 2015, 12:42:04 AM »
One more "new" book read and 3 I decided not to read.so 4 donated :) . am reading another off the shelf.

firelight

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2015, 02:22:12 AM »
Read through half my new books (I bought them at library sales) and decided to keep one. Rest are going back to donate pile. Can't wait to be done with the rest.

Rosy

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2015, 07:58:40 AM »
Been sort of half heartedly doing this for the past year - picking up the gauntlet to clear two of my bookcases so I have room for a few new finance books.

One thing I instituted a few years back, that has helped me tremendously is no fiction books - any sci-fi, romance, mystery and other fleeting interest book I will read, but never becomes part of my bookshelf - read and donate. End of story.

My issue is that I tend to have mini libraries on certain subjects that interest me and I do re-read and use those all the time. But over time you add new books and while it isn't easy to let go - if I have better books on the subject or it no longer interests me - I have learned to let go and make room for the best of:)

I'm in - following!

riverffashion

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Re: Read Your Bookshelves
« Reply #49 on: August 07, 2015, 08:47:15 AM »
Been sort of half heartedly doing this for the past year - picking up the gauntlet to clear two of my bookcases so I have room for a few new finance books.

One thing I instituted a few years back, that has helped me tremendously is no fiction books - any sci-fi, romance, mystery and other fleeting interest book I will read, but never becomes part of my bookshelf - read and donate. End of story.

My issue is that I tend to have mini libraries on certain subjects that interest me and I do re-read and use those all the time. But over time you add new books and while it isn't easy to let go - if I have better books on the subject or it no longer interests me - I have learned to let go and make room for the best of:)

I'm in - following!

I'm keeping a few fashion and fashion illustration books as well, for reference.
Otherwise , as I read thru my bookshelf , most are getting donated.