We are currently doing our spare room up. This has meant once again putting all the furniture from both bedrooms into one. I’m getting re-accustomed to living in a room crowded with furniture, and enduring plaster dust and builder noise.
The room, when finished, will have its own built in bookshelf. Because of this, when consolidating our furniture, we got rid of one of our two bookshelves. No point making space for something we aren’t going to keep anyway.
It has meant making some difficult decisions about my book collection. I’ve been able to put some of my reference books downstairs in the living room, but I’ve still got far too many to fit onto one bookshelf.
I’m pretty good about donating books to charity. I consider it a donation instead of a monthly direct debit. I can share the love around the charity shops in my home town (though I favour the Cancer Research shop, a charity close to my heart) and over the years I’ve probably donated far more than I would have otherwise in cash donations. Books I keep, I keep because I love them and have a sense of connection with them.
But with the need to reduce my collection, I’ve had to reevaluate what makes the grade. I’ve been reading a lot of books that I know won’t make the ‘keep’ grade, or books that I’ve borrowed to make some space, but as fast as I try to get through them, it’s still a slow process.
Easy to get rid of were those trilogies that I had only two of the books of. I’m never going to buy the last one if I’ve already read it from the library… why am I keeping an incomplete set? Not so easy, making decisions about series I’ve acquired over the years and loved. This time it was the Shiver trilogy. I loved the trilogy and had been keeping hold of it. But when I thought about how long it would take to re-read, and how that time could be spent reading something I haven’t already read before, I realised it was the right time to be getting rid of them. Unlike Feed by Mira Grant, or Fire by Kristin Cashore, that I would gladly dedicate the time to reading again, Shiver was never going to make the grade, despite how much I enjoyed it when reading.
I’m looking at my shelf now – particularly at my Kelley Armstrong collection. I’ve already got rid of my copies of her YA books (two of the series where I didn’t have the complete set) and I’m looking at how much space her adult books take up on my shelf. Will I ever read them again? I keep them because she was my favourite author for so long, and there are a few in the collection that I still haven’t got round to reading. But if I can’t find the time to read the new ones, realistically, I’m not going to find the time to re-read the old ones, am I?
We all have to have our weaknesses. For now they can stay. But maybe next time…