Musing Monday – Keeping Books

Today’s Musing Monday questions asks:
Do you keep all the books you ever buy? Just the ones you love? Just collectibles? What do you do with the ones you don’t want to keep?

Well, prior to my discovery of book blogs a little over a year ago, I would say that I kept every book that I bought.   I tended to read books for school rather than for pleasure, and so every book that was purchased I planned to reuse over time.  At that time books bought for pleasure were judiciously scrutinized to ensure that I would absolutely love it, or I wouldn’t invest in a personal copy.  

On occasion I would experience a spring cleaning mood where I would want to clear away the clutter of the home, and periodically I would scour the bookshelves for any potential give aways.  These discards would either find their way to Goodwill or donated to the library’s used book sale.

Over the past year, however, I have seen my personal book purchases escalate by leaps and bounds.  I blame this on blogger irresistible reviews as well as the opening of three Half Price Bookstores within 20 miles of my home.  My TBR list is constantly growing, and the clearance shelves at the used bookstore practically give away the titles.  Consequently, my once rather manageable personal collection has gained considerable weight and periodically (about 2-3 times a year) I feel the need to put it on a diet.

While I always keep books that I absolutely love (because I harbor these fantasies that I will one day re-read all these books again), I also keep books that I do not have time to read now, but anticipate a time in the not-too-distant future when I will have more time to read and I do not want to be at a loss for subject matter.  The books that I am willing to part with tend to be those that were enjoyed at one point in time, but that I do not think I will want to re-read.  This results in few books given away and more bookshelves being built.

How about you?  Do you find it difficult to part with books – or do you read and promptly pass along to someone else?


  • Sandy Nawrot

    I tend to hang onto the five star books, but eventually I know I will have to part with them. I just don't have the room. Awhile back I purged my shelves, and got rid of things I shouldn't have. And of course now I think I need them back to re-read (yeah right like that would happen).

  • Anonymous

    I keep a few as I do tend to reread at times. However, I mostly pass them along to someone else, the library, Half-Priced Books, etc. Like Sandy, I just don't have the room. And I have a lot of room in my house. 🙂 That tells you something.

  • caite

    Like you, since the start of blogging the number of books I have has just grown and grown…and I want them all!
    Realistically, I know that is not possible and someday will address it. Someday…soon.

  • Bonnie

    My TBR books are becoming a mountain and I have to be more selective in which books that I buy, accept to review etc. I have trouble doing that as there are SO many books I want to read. I do save some favorite books that are my favorites but usually pass the others on. I feel like a true book addict when I look at my bookshelves and piles of books waiting patiently to be read!

  • Jillian

    I tend to just borrow from the library, or someone else. Also, Borders allows customers to read in their store, so I usually do that and hang out there.

    I never buy books anymore without ever reading it unless it's from a used bookstore. If I like/love the book, then that's the only time I know what I'll be paying for is worth it.

  • Anonymous

    I can't bear to give books away…and I don't. Except some times I do…but then only books I hated, or will never read again (mysteries, generally, except for those I'd lend out). I like the way books look – on a shelf or stacked beside my bed. I'd rather have more books than new shoes.

  • Jenners

    I'm a giver and a swapper. A book really has to stand out for me to keep it … mostly due the strict rules instituted by my husband. Thank Goodness for the Kindle … I can keep them all on there!!!

  • Kathleen

    I used to have over 4,000 books but then I went through a phase where I didn't want to house them anymore. I was simplifying everything and getting rid of the books was part of that process. I donated a ton to my local library and sold some on Amazon. Now I have a few hundred. I give away ones that I don't think I will reread and keep the ones that I think I might.

  • Alyce

    I used to keep everything, but when I started blogging I just got too many books sent to me. Now I give away or trade all but my very favorite books, and yet my collection still keeps growing.

  • Lisa

    I had pretty much given up the idea of being able to keep all of my books when I moved the first time after we got married–from a two-bedroom house with full basement to a two-bedroom apartment. I really had to make some tough choices.

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