I have become increasingly serious about getting rid of books over the last few years. I find myself reaching a junction in life where the answer is not more bookshelves but less books. Right now I have six boxes of books that I will be donating in various ways. Sold off a couple other boxes of books yesterday–and didn’t buy more.
One of the things I’m discovering is that the more I cull books from my personal library, the easier it gets and the more ruthless I am about what stays. There are books I’ve not read that I just have to admit to myself, “I’ll never read that,” as interesting as it looks. There are times I’ll put a book back on the shelf, and a week later say, “no, I really do not need this.”
Increasingly, I find myself asking, “which books are like old friends, that each time I visit them, the experience is richer?” Many are books I bought years ago, and a number are classics of history, literature, and theology.
Some of the easiest to get rid of are the “trendy” books–when the trend is ten years old or older. I suspect they won’t get picked up by anyone else either. I look back and wonder why I hadn’t been more selective.
There are other books that still are good reading. But the subjects and the lessons are ones that were of greater interest in earlier seasons of life. Seems best to me to get them to people who are facing those seasons.
I wonder how others who cherish good books as I do deal with the realities of parting with them. How have you made these decisions? Was it easy, or hard? Maybe we can learn from each other.