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to give all my books to the charity shop?

(246 Posts)
Boomba Sun 19-May-13 22:31:08

I'm fed up with all my clutter. I'm not really a hoarder, but very short on time and want to streamline so I can keep clean and tidy.

Ove got loads of books. In the sitting room 2 bookcases stacked 4 deep on each shelf.

I don't have time for reading anyway ant more. I've got a kindle

I feel strangely attached though. And a bit sad, that I don't have time for reading

Do you keep your books??

Numberlock Sun 19-May-13 23:04:22

Your house sounds like my idea of heaven SirB.

bonkersLFDT20 Sun 19-May-13 23:08:06

I was forced to give loads away when DS2 was born as we needed the space, but they were ones which didn't have memories for me.
I couldn't do it with most of them because when I'm looking through the shelves they conjur memories of what I was doing when I read the book.

I now borrow from the library a lot more so tend not to make those sorts of memories in the first place.

If I HAD to give them all away I'd write down the titles (or take a photo of them all or something) so I could remember them.

Peanutbutterfingers Sun 19-May-13 23:08:26

If you're not going to read them again get rid, only instead of charity shop find out if any residential homes or community centre would like them

mrspaddy Sun 19-May-13 23:08:35

I love books and own a significant amount. I have recently thinned out my bookcases. Charity shop pile (novels), I kept my textbooks from University (sentimental) and I teach so my school books are the biggest collection. I bought polypocket folders and photocopied the only pages I use out of them, slipped back to back.. slimmed 2/3rds of them. Have a few for reference.

Kept books my husband bought me, three bibles (communion/wedding gifts).
I am now very happy. Also going to go back to using the library.

ShadowStorm Sun 19-May-13 23:09:16

I only keep books that I love, think I will read again, or are useful as reference books. All the rest get given away.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 19-May-13 23:10:54

I did this after falling in love with my kindle. The charity benefitted and i have far more storage space. I dislike bookcases though so to be fair they were all hidden away so you cant see any difference visibly.

Unami Sun 19-May-13 23:11:36

I could never think of books as clutter - it worries me that people could. To me clutter is all that stuff that you can't find a use for - the lamp stand that just needs a new shade - the soda stream you might get out one day - the bag of clothes that don't fit anymore.

Books aren't clutter, because they aren't useless, or purposeless, unless you know in your heart of hearts that you're never going to read them again, use them for reference, or wish to pass them on individually at the right time.

I know some older, very bookish, people who got rid of their life's collection of books, and it was actually very sad, as if they were preparing for death, or turning their back on life, or simply declaring that they didn't need their education anymore.

It also depends on the books. If I've bought something for light reading and wasn't impressed, and don't really want it around, then I would get rid of it to a charity shop or amazon, as soon as I was finished with it. But there are collections of books I will never get rid of, that I will gladly move from place to place, because they mean a lot to me.

If the books are just stuff to you, then sure, get rid of them. Though I
I know some proper hoarders, and can honestly say that having a lot of stuff you like, or that means a lot to you, is not the same as hoarding.

If space is becoming a real issue, then I would do an inventory and divide your books into three lots. Those that you definitely want to keep, those you can easily get rid of, and those in-between. Get rid of the one's you won't miss and see how you feel about the rest. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

TigerSwallowTail Sun 19-May-13 23:12:22

Do it, I give mine away all the time, it means I have more space for new ones. I get a lot of my books from charity shops to begin with though. I have a kindle too but still like to have a book physically in my hands to read through too.

Unami Sun 19-May-13 23:20:28

Also, I couldn't get a fraction of the books I want to read from the local library or charity shops. Charity shops around me only seem to have the same old copies of Bridget Jones' Diary and Man and Boy. The library isn't much better. They're all 99p books.

Kindles and tablets are handy for reading on the go, but I'd never rely on them as a repository, as I'm fully expecting all new platforms and software to become obsolete/outdated very quickly. I feel that if I relied on digital formats, I'd end up having to rebuy books fairly often throughout my lifetime. Paper books take up a bit of space, but they last.

Boomba Sun 19-May-13 23:24:51

Do it. Don't do it. Do it. Don't do it....

You lot are no help at all! grin

ComposHat Sun 19-May-13 23:26:50

Don't do it. How will anyone coming to the house know that you are dead, dead clever?

I have borrowed a kindle and hate the fact that no one on the bus can see that I am the brainiest person on the bus with my big and difficult books.

Now for all they know I could be reading a Dan Brown novel or one of those endless volumes of Jeremy Clarkson' s idiotic rantings.

SirBoobAlot Sun 19-May-13 23:27:27

Numberlock my idea of 'sorting through' my books is changing them from subject to alphabetical order... grin Drives my mother around the bend.

Not helped by the fact that there is an amazing second hand book shop in my nearest town, with a spiral stair case and everything, which tends to sell books on my specific interest very cheaply... Oops.

usualsuspect Sun 19-May-13 23:28:24

Do it, they are just books.

Nothing bad will happen if you don't have a houseful of books.

Jan49 Sun 19-May-13 23:30:01

I've cut right down on books after several house moves involving downsizing. We probably had 2000 at one time and I liked the idea of having our own personal library but it just became impossible to fit them in the space and having to pack them all up for moves felt like a burden. I did a major declutter a few years ago.

We now have about 400 books - just 2 tall bookcases in the living room and 1 small bookcase in my ds's bedroom. I don't bother to keep books unless I think I'll use or read them again. I've also read more books since having less. If I want a book to read I only have to look at one bookcase of fiction. Maybe it's easier with less choice. I think anything can be clutter if you're never going to use it and don't get pleasure from keeping it.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 19-May-13 23:38:39

Do it. If you're not going to read them again and someone else would, then it's best to pass them along.

ThisIsMummyPig Sun 19-May-13 23:41:40

I did this just over 3 years ago, as I wanted to put DD2 in the room.

I didn't count the books, but there were five shelves, each about 8 feet long, full of books, which went. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and I sobbed.

I bought some of them back blush. I was very hormonal.

I now have two normal sized bookshelves, and I haven't missed them one little bit.

mum2bubble Sun 19-May-13 23:43:17

Keep good, interesting factual books. Get rid of the bulk of your fiction (only keep a few sentimental re-readable ones).

StillInBigKnickers Sun 19-May-13 23:50:01

What kind of books are they?

I know the proceeds will go to whichever charity shop you donate to, but you could also donate to an old peoples home or hospice or similar direct. Bit more leg work, bit more of a rosy glow afterward smile

ZacharyQuack Sun 19-May-13 23:55:11

Do it. The books want to be read, to be loved, to be wanted.

They don't want to sit in dusty retirement, to be resented and thought of as clutter.

If you love them, set them free.

MidniteScribbler Mon 20-May-13 00:38:30

I recently did a big clean out. If I didn't have an emotional attachment or if wasn't one of my read over and over books, then out it went. That included a heap of house renovation books, gardening books, craft books, etc. I took them all down to the local residental care and respite centre. They were so thrilled. I knew I did the right thing when one of the residents who had helped me unload the car came running up to me in the shops, threw his arms around me and said "I love you for giving us books." He still does it every time he sees me lol!

SwedishEdith Mon 20-May-13 00:50:34

Kindles and tablets are handy for reading on the go, but I'd never rely on them as a repository, as I'm fully expecting all new platforms and software to become obsolete/outdated very quickly. I feel that if I relied on digital formats, I'd end up having to rebuy books fairly often throughout my lifetime. Paper books take up a bit of space, but they last.

I have a kindle but don't rely on it for completely this reason.

iclaudius Mon 20-May-13 00:56:08

Do it

pollywollydoodle Mon 20-May-13 01:31:06

don't do it...unless you want your fuel bills to go up when the extra insulation goes

try pruning gently and see how it feels

justwondering72 Mon 20-May-13 06:37:57

Do it. We moved several times in a couple of years, and its very hard to justify lugging piles of paper and glue and ink around - it really feels like dead weight, especially knowing that most of them never get opened. So we gave away virtually all our fiction, except for the ones that do get read over and over, pruned all the non fiction and still have several shelves of travel/cooking/history etc to browse through or refer to when needed.

I do like the look of nice bookshelves, but felt very liberated when 90% of them were gone. We rarely hang onto fiction these days.

Numberlock Mon 20-May-13 06:39:00

Numberlock my idea of 'sorting through' my books is changing them from subject to alphabetical order...

Loving your work SirB.

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