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Thursday, May 03, 2012

And Then I Hit Fiction Part 3

Some last thoughts on pruning my book collection (see previous 2 blog posts). I mentioned that I had more than 5000 fiction books in my collection. I cut more than 2600 books out of my library. I know if I'd had more time and could have done a second run through, that I would have culled even more.

In my previous posts, I talked a little about the emotion involved. About how difficult it was for me at first to part with a title and how that changed. I didn't expect to feel a lightness over shedding the books.

I do have an answer for part of it. My TBR (To Be Read) pile (and I use that word tongue in cheek) was over 1000 books. Let's face it, I was never going to read all of them, but I'd bought them and I couldn't get rid of them. So they sat there, quietly chastising me with their presence. I couldn't just give them away, right? I mean, I'd paid for them, they had to be read.

But everything changed with the move. Now I had a reason to get rid of them unread—I can't take all my books to Georgia. Getting rid of so much of the TBR pile was freeing.

While reducing the TBR drastically leads logically to lightness, I haven't figured out why getting rid of books I already have read gave me that feeling. And it did because I noticed it before I conquered my shelves with the unread titles. I'm still mulling that one, but maybe it was simply a matter of reducing stuff?

In case you're wondering what I'm doing with all the books, I'm donating them to the Hennepin County Library. They'll sell them and raise money to fund their programs.

This is the library system that I grew up using. It's thanks to the Hennepin County Library that I was able to go in and find dozens of books on sharks, Mars, becoming a writer, and all the other topics that interested me as a child/teen. It's a combination thank you and a gift to the future. I hope some other eager-to-read kid can find the same welcome, the same wondrous portal to information that I found.

So if you live in the Twin Cities, you might want to keep an eye on the library sales. My books are in pristine condition and some of them are hard to find. Yeah, I know I could have gotten more selling them online, but sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet and let it go.