Russell and I both freely admit that we have a bit of a book-collecting problem.1 Our books were here there and everywhere in our old place. Many were packed away in boxes and we had bookcases packed in most cases two books-deep nevertheless we had freestanding piles. I refuse to let things continue that way in the new place.
I want books to be on bookcases and organized in such a way that we can actually find something when we want to read it. And, I'm willing to weed mercilessly in order to make that happen.
I did get rid of around 300 books (mostly to a book drive) before we left, but I still have far too many. I'm trying to weed as we unpack book boxes. I've come up with some general rules for myself and I'm trying (though not always succeeding) to be ruthless.
If I've already read a book, I'll only keep it if I genuinely think I'll reread it or if I need to have it around for reference.
When I encounter a to-be-read book, it will only be kept if it meets one of the following conditions:
- It's a classic that I really do need to get around to reading.
- I remember its premise and am still interested.
- Its synopsis appeals to me right now.
- It came highly recommended from someone whose opinion in books I trust implicitly.
- I have to say that at least on my part BookCrossing is partly to blame. When I decided to participate I thought it'd be a good way to get rid of books. It was in fact a catalyst for book acquisition. I started picking up free or unbearably cheap books to bookcross, there are affiliated sites that aid in the trading of bookcrossing books, and once people knew that bookcrossing was something I did they gave me books they no longer wanted so that I could bookcross them. The problem was that often these books never left the apartment, even those acquired expressly for bookcrossing.