Booking Through Thursday – Size Matters

Hosted by Booking Through Thursday

What’s the largest your personal library has ever been? What’s the greatest number of books you’ve ever owned at one time? (Estimates are fine.)

Is your collection NOW the biggest it’s ever been? Or have you down-sized?

What’s the fewest number of books you’ve ever owned (not counting your pre-reading years)?

I have absolutely no idea how many books I have, but my collection is currently at its smallest for quite some time, as I’m now only keeping books by certain authors and the occasional exceptionally good stand-alone that I think I may read again ni the future.

I used to keep all my books, regardless of whether I had enjoyed them, as I just couldn’t bear the idea of parting with a book. This, of course, led to me having precious little room for new books! I had several bookcases stuffed to overflowing, books in cupboards, books under the bed, and box upon box of books in the attic.

At last, I decided to have a good clear out. I donated many books to charity shops; sold many online; left them in the wild or at bookcrossing sites with a log number; gave them away to family and friends. Yet I still had many books lying about the place – and this was before I had a monstrous pile of unread books (now known as Mount To-Be-Read).

Enough was enough, I made the executive decision to take things down to the bare minimum and donated around 200 books to a local library that has no book acquisition budget. While I was at it, I took another look at Mount TBR and added a bunch of those to the pile for the library as I no longer had any interest in reading them.

Now I have a more manageable amount of books – one very large bookcase in the livingroom which, with books doubled up, has plenty of room for more books as I add to my standing collections. Mount TBR is now more of a hillock, as I’ve reduced it to around sixty or so (down from more than 250!). I’ve also started using the library more to try new authors.

Now, if I can just keep up the good work…

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14 responses to “Booking Through Thursday – Size Matters

  1. Wow! I am proud of you. I don’t know if I could part with my books but I love that you donated them some place where they will be loved and taken care of. And so many more people can enjoy them.

    My BTT answer.

    • I enjoyed so many books from that library when I was growing up, so it makes me feel good to ensure there are more good books there for others to read too. 🙂

      Give it a try – you’ll be surprised at how easy it becomes once you set your mind to it, adn if it’s going somewhere in desperate need of books, you get a lovely feel-good glow too. 🙂

    • It’s the public library, but it’s also the school library for the academy I attended. I spent a LOT of time in that library and it meant a lot to me to be able to go there and escape the turmoil of secondary school, so I like the idea of giving something back.

      I’ve continued to collect up the books I’m not keeping as I finish them and regularly send them over to the library. Makes me feel good inside. 🙂

  2. That must have pinched a bit…doing that kind of downsizing. I did give away some books to the library before Christmas…but I think I’ve more than replaced them with new ones!

    Here’s MY BTT POST

  3. Downsizing books can be so difficult. I tend to have an urge to want to keep a book right after I’m done reading it, but find in six months the enthusiasm has waned for most. I tend to have a major clean out every six months or so and make a trek to my local used book store…I swear they sigh when they see me coming. Anything they don’t take goes to the Friends of the Library because I can itemize it off my taxes.

    • I’ve actually stopped giving them to local charity shops because many of them won’t take any more due to having so many! That’s how I ended up taking them to the library. I wish I’d done that with ALL of the ones I’d sent to various charity shops too, because over the last couple of years, I must have downsized by at least 600-700 books. When I think that they could have all gone to the library, my heart sinks, so I just keep sending the ones I’m finished with. 🙂

  4. I’m trying to give mine away, too!

    Ubiquitous…that’s books for me…Booking Through Thursday: Size Matters.

  5. Giving to charities and libraries is a good way to downsize.

    here’s mine:

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2011/06/booking-through-thursday_30.html

  6. I still have a very difficult time trying to clear out books. However, I must say I hadn’t thought of donating them to a library in need. That might just be the thing that helps me downsize when I need to.