You may have noticed I own quite a lot of books. Around this time every year I go through everything I own and clear out the ones I don’t want. I do this mostly because I have limited space and there is no point keeping something just for it to sit on a shelf. So today I am going to share my process for purging books.
CHOOSING WHAT BOOKS TO GET RID OF
The first thing I do is just look at my shelves. It may seem pointless to mention it but this is what I do. I go through each shelf and pick out the books I’ve read and didn’t like. This is the easy bit. I then go back through my shelves and pick out any books that I’ve read and don’t have a close connection to. This is a bit more complicated. These are usually books that didn’t make me feel something.
Maybe it will be easier to explain my criteria for keeping a book:
- It was a book I loved and may want to read again at some point in the future.
- I have some sort of memory associated with that book (this doesn’t need to be a book I’ve read).
- The book contains something I find interesting (I like collecting books that have been written in).
I go through this clearing out process a number of times. Usually not on the same day. This is because on the first pass I may have decided to save a book, but after going away and thinking for a while I realise I don’t actually have any reason to keep it.
WHERE TO GET RID OF BOOKS
Now the most difficult bit. Actually getting rid of them. I do a mixture of donating them to charity and selling them. I don’t use websites like Amazon or Ebay. You could quite easily put yours up for sale, but in my opinion that is far too much hassle.
In the past I have used webuybooks.co.uk, this makes it really easy to sell books in bulk. You scan each barcode and the app will tell you if they will buy it and for how much. Then once you’ve scanned all your books you just box them up and arrange for a courier to collect them.
Websites like this won’t accept all the books you have for sale. Usually because they have too many copies of the book you are trying to sell or because it’s not worth anything. These I donate to a local charity shop. People have all sorts of reasons why they choose specific charities but I take mine to my local Oxfam because one time the manager gave me a bunch of free Star Trek novels.
I do this process once a year but I know of others who do it more regularly. How fast books pile up really just depends on how much I’ve been reading, and this can be frequent if you’re a book blogger. Now if someone would like to tell me what they do with their ARCs that would be great.