I had an exciting Saturday night. I went through all the books in my tiny home office. My stacks piled higher and higher, threatening to topple and crush me under their weight. Thus the great post Book Expo American book purge began. I didn’t take a before photo, but I should have. I had books stacked on every flat surface in my office, including some on the floor. I did post some of the progress on Instagram.
Getting rid of books is HARD. Especially books I haven’t read yet. But as any book lover knows, we don’t have enough time to read all the books we want to. Yet we always want MOAR books! I’d rather give my unread/unloved books to friends who will treat them better than I have.
What I learned during MY Great Book Purge
1. Clear a big space because it’ll get messy.
I moved my big rolling chair out of my office and moved the basket of clean laundry into the living room. (Perks of your office being right next to the washer and dryer means I get to ignore laundry.) I cleared a huge space on the floor and started pulling out all the books, bin by bin.
2. Create 3 piles: Donate, Keep, Maybe
This is why you need to clear a big space. If you have a box or bag, place the Donate books directly into it. Out of sight, out of mind. I try to make my Keep pile smaller than my donate pile. The goal is to get rid of books, right? My second biggest pile were the Maybes. Books I’ve been meaning to read or friend has recommended. I want to keep my book purging momentum, so if the book doesn’t illicit an immediate Donate or Keep, it goes into a separate pile for a second pass later.
3. Refreshments make purging easier: wine and ice cream
Maybe your refreshments are different than mine, but make sure to reward yourself. Why wine? Because it was Saturday night and my kids were finally asleep! Plus the wine relaxes me so I’m more likely to put items in the Donate pile.
When you’re about halfway through or don’t think you can make any more decisions about your precious books, take a break. Treat yourself to some ice cream or chocolate.
Now I have a HUGE box of books to donate to friends and my local librarians. And another stack to giveaway on the blog (coming soon). I have more space in my office so unboxing my BEA haul won’t be as overwhelming. Whew!
What’s your preferred method to purging books?