Winter Shelf Cleaning


As a librarian, I have become used to deaccessioning library collections, to make the collection easier to use and make sure that the information remains relevant, topical, and easy access. With my own collection, though, I find it more difficult...


Started up a bit of a weeding project for my personal shelves lately, attempting to purge my shelves of unneeded materials. I found myself out of shelf space once again, and now that I’ve packed up everything and moved to an apartment half the size of my old one, this undertaking has taken on an urgency that it did not have before. Still, it is hard. I know. I pause over each book on my shelf, holding it in my hands, flipping through a few pages, smelling the paper. Pondering. Considering each title. I hesitate. Maybe I’ll just hold onto this one for awhile. Then I think of the upcoming book sales, the fact that so many books are available at the library, the place I work at daily, the place I discover new titles at each hour. Again, I review each book. Will I ever read this again? Do I intend to ever read it? Will I ever even refer to it once? Is it just sitting there on my shelf collecting dust? Why keep it then?

Nostalgia, perhaps. I remember the time and place where I got many specific titlers, a good time in my life, perhaps. It was a good deal, snatched up with a whole pile of good deals from some fall book sale in my hometown, lovely autumn weather, I had tea afterwards. Picked it up from the British Museum on that one trip to London I took. How could I discard that? Sometimes, I just need to let the book go, return them to the library book sales from whence they came, allow others to own them, cherish them. Maybe, a few select titles I could sell at Half Price Books, make a few dollars cash (or, of course, just trade them in for different books!). Slowly, I have been trimming my collection, taking a few loved but, now, unneeded books; I’m sharing a list, here, in case any readers are interested in adopting any of these books now in need of a good home. Also, I saw a little free library on the walk home yesterday, seems a good place to share a few!