Author Topic: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(  (Read 2787 times)

Free Spirit

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 157
  • Be water, my friend.
Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« on: April 18, 2018, 06:17:01 PM »
We've been battling mold and mildew in this house for almost 5 years so the time has come to get out. I'm going to be purging most of my belongings (not that much tbh) and it feels more like a relief than a burden, however, I am very upset about getting rid of my book collection. I've just gone through most and found some book lice so I probably should but is there anything that can be done to save them? If not all, maybe at least save a few of my absolute favorites? *sigh* I am so sad right now. :/

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8360
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2018, 06:22:54 PM »
We've been battling mold and mildew in this house for almost 5 years so the time has come to get out. I'm going to be purging most of my belongings (not that much tbh) and it feels more like a relief than a burden, however, I am very upset about getting rid of my book collection. I've just gone through most and found some book lice so I probably should but is there anything that can be done to save them? If not all, maybe at least save a few of my absolute favorites? *sigh* I am so sad right now. :/

Put them in  the freezer.

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1223
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2018, 12:30:06 PM »
I was a book hoarder for a long time. Then I pared down. It really does feel good to let others read them - I gave most away on my neighborhood by nothing page. Similar to art, books should belong to everyone, so just hoarding them in a shelf to me was really a waste. I did keep a few of my favorite travel and hiking books with maps that I draw on, etc. My cookbooks I've significantly pared down. I only used a couple recipes per book, so I just took a photograph of them and off they went.

I utilize my library regularly, and always have new books I'm waiting for. Using their electronic system is so easy.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4842
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2018, 05:45:27 PM »
If the books have visible mold, yes, they have to go. If they only smell musty, sometimes they can be rehabbed. Freezer, black plastic bag in the sun, baking soda sprinkled in the pages combined with a plastic bag, light spray with vinegar and then set in front of a fan or in a closet with a dehumidifier. All these may help.


ETA wipe the covers with a cloth barely dampened with a bleach solution. Throw out any paperbacks you have a good chance of replacing used. Sorry you having to deal with this.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 05:49:42 PM by Rural »

Free Spirit

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 157
  • Be water, my friend.
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 09:18:09 AM »
Thank you all for the suggestions. As sad as it is, I think I'm going to donate the majority of them. The ones that are 100 years old I will try to rehab but I've accepted that they might have to go. There isn't any visible mold but with the presence of book lice it means it's definitely there. I just hope donating isn't setting someone else up for disaster. Going to do the freezer/vinegar/UV treatment beforehand so hopefully they will be ok.

@honeybbq Thanks for the face punch. I actively try to not be a hoarder but books is one area where I fail. I wasn't allowed to buy many books as a kid and dissuaded from the library after one too many overdue books so it is an emotional attachment for me.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8360
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2018, 09:36:14 AM »
Thank you all for the suggestions. As sad as it is, I think I'm going to donate the majority of them. The ones that are 100 years old I will try to rehab but I've accepted that they might have to go. There isn't any visible mold but with the presence of book lice it means it's definitely there. I just hope donating isn't setting someone else up for disaster. Going to do the freezer/vinegar/UV treatment beforehand so hopefully they will be ok.

@honeybbq Thanks for the face punch. I actively try to not be a hoarder but books is one area where I fail. I wasn't allowed to buy many books as a kid and dissuaded from the library after one too many overdue books so it is an emotional attachment for me.

They will require at least 24 hours in the freezer to kill the eggs as well as the bugs.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8011
  • Location: United States
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 09:36:41 AM »
I was ready to come into this thread and tell you that you don't have to get rid of anything, and not everyone needs to be a minimalist, etc.

But reading this- eww gross. If you belongings are in disrepair, yeah, you do really have to get rid of them. 

Also- please do not donate moldy books, things infested with book lice or silver fish.  You will just be ruining all the other books too.  Unfortunately, because they are in this condition, they are trash.


fatcow240

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 176
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Dallas
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 09:40:27 AM »
I used to keep books.  I got rid of almost all of them.  The only ones I keep are the regular lending books.  Examples:  The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement or The Simple Path to Wealth.  I haven't missed the others.  I still have access to them at the library or online/kindle.

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1223
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2018, 09:49:10 AM »
Thank you all for the suggestions. As sad as it is, I think I'm going to donate the majority of them. The ones that are 100 years old I will try to rehab but I've accepted that they might have to go. There isn't any visible mold but with the presence of book lice it means it's definitely there. I just hope donating isn't setting someone else up for disaster. Going to do the freezer/vinegar/UV treatment beforehand so hopefully they will be ok.

@honeybbq Thanks for the face punch. I actively try to not be a hoarder but books is one area where I fail. I wasn't allowed to buy many books as a kid and dissuaded from the library after one too many overdue books so it is an emotional attachment for me.

I get it. And I actually allow myself around 20 bucks a year in 'late' fees. I figure that is the cost of a single book on amazon. Because sometimes the books I borrow, I can't get through in time and new releases they don't allow renewals.... so when, for example, I was reading Hamilton, I just kept it an extra week and paid the $2 or whatever in late fees and I try not to worry about it. I also try to get movies there, books on tape, and really utilize it as much as possible. I think it'll be hard but you'll find it freeing after awhile. I also allow myself to use the little free libraries and exchange books there so that everyone gets a chance at a book.

Free Spirit

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 157
  • Be water, my friend.
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2018, 09:53:03 AM »
*sigh* Upon further research I think I'm going to end up tossing everything. I'm even paranoid about the others that don't have any book worms, they are probably infected anyways. Funny, I don't care about throwing out all my other belongings but the books has me in tears.
 
The sad part is my landlord doesn't believe there's a moisture problem in this house. I feel bad for the next renters.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8011
  • Location: United States
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2018, 09:57:03 AM »
*sigh* Upon further research I think I'm going to end up tossing everything. I'm even paranoid about the others that don't have any book worms, they are probably infected anyways. Funny, I don't care about throwing out all my other belongings but the books has me in tears.
 
The sad part is my landlord doesn't believe there's a moisture problem in this house. I feel bad for the next renters.

I'm really sorry :(

Could you consult a lawyer? If the conditions are due to your landlord, and not you- they may be liable for your loss.
Or your rental insurance? And entire collection of books is A LOT.

BookLoverL

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 328
  • Location: England
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2018, 10:00:01 AM »
As a fellow book-lover, I am also sad that you have to throw away your collection of books. Are there any that were stored further away from the others that are not in as bad condition that you could save?

Also I agree with the suggestion of looking into whether the landlord might be liable, though I have no idea about law so I don't know if they are or not.

specialkayme

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
  • Location: Mid-South Atlantic
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2018, 10:11:44 AM »
I was a book hoarder too. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō (checked out from the library, I might add) really helped me in this regard. I'd suggest you check it out from the library and read it yourself.

In a nutshell, it shows you how to keep the books that truly bring you joy. When you walk into a room with a bookshelf and its full of things that bring you joy, it makes you happier. You'll find that right now you get more pleasure out of owning something than you do from the something itself. The joy you get from owning something fades, and eventually the items end up owning you.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4550
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2018, 01:45:10 PM »
I'm sorry about your books. Thank you for deciding to toss rather than donate. I work in a library and I am imagining someone seeing one of those lice and having to jump into "bug protocol." (It involves double-bagging the books and rushing them to an outside trash area ASAP, whether they are donations or library books.)

Working in a library has made it easier for me to release most of the books I own. The library will always have better books than anything on my shelves. Why would I keep something at home when if I saw it at work, my job would be to toss it? I only kept a few of the most interesting/visually appealing books.

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1255
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2018, 04:20:03 PM »
I'll join you in a moment of silence for your book collection. :(

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3199
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2018, 11:27:44 PM »
I used to keep books.  I got rid of almost all of them.  The only ones I keep are the regular lending books.  Examples:  The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement or The Simple Path to Wealth.  I haven't missed the others.  I still have access to them at the library or online/kindle.
Thanks for lending out The Military Guide, FC!  Please let me know if there's questions or feedback for the next edition.

@Free Spirit, I used to own over 3000 (three thousand) paperbacks and hardcover books dating back over a century.  I hauled them tens of thousands of miles with the military through 30 years and over a dozen duty stations.

However Hawaii's tropical climate inevitably made the book room smell like the silverfish playground that it had become.  When we decided to get rid of them (both the books and the silverfish), even the "collector's" editions weren't worth much on eBay.  We ended putting most of them in the trash, where they were burned at the local electrical-generation utility.

Before we did that, we went through the titles and entered them all into a spreadsheet (yes, it took hours).  My thought was that I'd replace most of the paperbacks with the Kindle app on my iPad. 

That was nearly eight years ago, and I've only bought one of two of my old "favorites".  It seems that I keep discovering new books to read, and I don't miss the book baggage one bit.


SnackDog

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Location: Latin America
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2018, 05:51:50 AM »
We try to avoid paper books but if we end up with one, we read it, enjoy it, then give it away.  No point having a house of books you have already read. We don't re-read books.  As for references books, that is all better and more current online.

Cali

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 163
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2018, 06:11:40 AM »
I am so very sorry. Although I finally defeated my own book-hoarder gene I understand the sadness. Just remember digital books and libraries are pretty fantastic.

Free Spirit

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 157
  • Be water, my friend.
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2018, 10:12:44 AM »
Thanks for the sympathy everyone, I thought there might be a few book lovers among this crowd. ;) Definitely feeling better about tossing them after reading more comments, although I do feel guilty that they can't be recycled. Thankfully I wasn't a super hoarder and it was only about 100 books. I've got 3 in the freezer that I'm having trouble letting go but after thinking on it more, they are probably headed for the trash. This whole ordeal has been an eye opener for me. I've realized I had my identity wrapped up in my book collection. I know I was making up for the lack of books in my childhood, it made me so happy to browse my little library every day. But I'm a grown up and can go to the local library whenever I damn well please!  And that's so much better than spending a bunch of money on books and then having to worry about upkeep, storage, and the eventual loss.

My new mantra: "I have a wonderful and vast collection of books, I just keep them at various libraries around the world." :D

Kyle Schuant

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 810
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2018, 06:55:51 PM »
If you belongings are in disrepair, yeah, you do really have to get rid of them.
Agreed.

If you really loved your books, you would have taken better care of them. Now you know for your next lot of books.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4616
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2018, 02:09:51 AM »
I'm sorry for your troubles.

Libraries are awesome, but my nearest one is a 30 mile round trip, and I re-read a lot, and also confess to an emotional attachment to having books.  I live by the sea with high humidity so taking care of the books means more heating than is probably mustachian and a serious emphasis on ventilation (windows opened every day).  Even with these precautions the books I know are high monetary value have gone elsewhere.

You've made me think what I would replace if I had to lose them all.  I'd certainly start with the shelf of poetry - there's only so many poems I have by heart, and reading poetry on screen is not the same as seeing the words beautifully laid out on a physical page.


jim555

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2083
Re: Do I *really* have to get rid of my books? :(
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2018, 06:47:34 AM »
Take a picture of every page, that way you can read on the go without a physical book.