How to Cull Your Books

I have recently gone through a rather large book cull – that’s about 70 books, in case you were wondering! Therefore, I think I have a little bit of an idea about how to get rid of books. Even if I don’t, here are some of the tips I used to get rid of ones from my own shelf!

If you’ve read the book

Hopefully, if would be nice if all of your books you’re getting rid of have already been read and (hopefully, but of course not always) loved!

  • Is it sentimental? Of course, not everything has been kept, but if you’re not ready to part with a book just yet because of sentimental reasons, unless you have no room or have to get rid of it for other reasons, then keep it.
  • Do you think you are going to reread it? Obviously, in that case: it’s a keeper.
  • Did you enjoy it? If not, why on earth is it on your shelf? If you did, then think about how much you enjoyed it. For example, was it a 5 star read, or a 3.5 star read? Therefore… which one are you more likely to want to keep?
  • Do you think someone else would enjoy it more than you? 🙂
  • Is it worth keeping it on your shelf? You don’t have to keep every book. If in 10, 20 years down the line you decide that actually you would like to reread this book, then you can always get it anew or borrow it from your library. Unless there is value in that particular copy, you don’t have to keep it!

If you haven’t read the book

Now, I know that this one is a touchy subject. When my mum looked through books I was getting rid of, some of them haven’t been read by yours truly. What you have to remember, though, is that when you’re a teen – or, indeed, at any time in your life, but especially from ages 10 – 20 – you change so much that it is important to remember your reading tastes will change too. Whilst I might have bought a book even 2 or 4 or 6 months ago, I might have changed so much in that time that I won’t want to read that book anymore. It’s nothing to be ashamed of: appreciating this is a great way to appreciate yourself. Remember that you’ll be donating your books – or selling them – so someone else will also enjoy the novels.

  • How long has the book been on your shelf? 2 months? Perhaps it could be worth keeping. 6 months? You need to seriously think this through. A year? Two years? Hmm…
  • Are you ever going to read it? …Seriously?
  • Do you think that someone else will enjoy it more than you?
  • Are you scared of letting this book go because you “might” read it? How long have you been saying you “might” read this book?

Some things to always remember when you cull books:

  • You can always pick it up again! Bookstores and libraries exist!
  • Someone else might enjoy it more than you, and isn’t that incredible?!
  • And it just means more shelf space for a book you might absolutely love rather than a 3 star book instead. 🙂

So tell me: how often do you get rid of books? What’s your process?

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