Pruning the books

I’ve been thinking for some time that I should reduce the size of my book collection (currently about 2,000 volumes). For one thing it wouldn’t be fair to my family to have to dispose of them if they had to do it in a hurry. For another, the little room which I laughingly call my study is crammed to bursting; books I finish reading are consigned to the loft, and I know in my heart of hearts that I’ll not read many of them again. The problem’s been brought to a head by our decision to move house. When we retired we assumed we’d need less space, so we downsized. We were wrong. The thing about retirement is that we’re both at home for far longer than we were when we were working. We need more living space, not less. Whatever house we move to, there simply won’t be room for all of my book cases and the books they contain. Much as I loved being a librarian, I don’t want to live in a library.

So I’m wondering how to go about it, and one specific area is my poetry collection. The magazines will be dumped for recycling – few would be interested in taking them, I’m certain. However, I’ve got around 600 poetry books, of which I might keep 100, and dispose of the rest. I’ve got some ideas, but I’m wondering if readers have any suggestions?


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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12 Responses to Pruning the books

  1. Jim Murdoch says:

    It's a time thing really. Shoving them all in the boot of your car and heading off to the nearest second-hand book shop or even charity shop would be the quickest. You could stick them all on eBay but that would involve hours of work on your part.

    I've thought about this too, specifically in connection with my classical CDs – I have hundreds of them and I doubt my daughter would appreciate more than a handful not that she would probably know which ones to take. I think I'd like them to go to a school when I die, some place where they would get listened to and maybe appreciated.

  2. Colin Will says:

    The time issue is crucial Jim. I really don't have time to list them all.

  3. Rachel Fox says:

    Book sale for a charity? Donate them to SPL (or somewhere else that might appreciate them)? Donate them to a good Oxfam bookshop?


  4. Colin Will says:

    I'm sure SPL will have most of them, but I can check their catalogue for my rarer titles.

  5. Emerging Writer says:

    Why not donate them to doctor's/dentist waiting rooms or similar. It would make a pleasant change from Golfers Weekly, Hello Magazines from when Brad and jennifer were still together or leaflets on The Menopause.

  6. swiss says:

    or give them to the library?

  7. swiss says:

    wait a minute tho, what am i thinking, you could give them to me!

    esp if time's an issue. i could be in dunbar at vert short notice….! lol

  8. BarbaraS says:

    Or maybe old folks homes? Or hospitals, or places like that?

  9. apprentice says:

    What about a sale, invites to to all T&E poets, with proceeds going to the community garden? You could include the mags. Anything left goes to charity.

  10. Colin Will says:

    Giving them to friends is an option that appeals to me. When this week's madness is over I'll think about the best way of doing it.

  11. swiss says:

    vanishing comments!

    t had suggested some sort of book crossing style giveaway where you divvy up the books to people who then put them in interesting situations

  12. Colin Will says:

    If it were only a dozen or so volumes, but I'm talking 500!

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