Recently I got rid of an entire trash bag full of books to donate. Anyone who has ever stepped foot into my bedroom at home knows that this is a surprising feat because I rarely part ways with books. Books are something I’m usually very sentimental about, which makes it hard to get rid of them when there are so many stories behind them all. But with the help of these five questions, I finally purged my bookshelf! Like I’ve been saying I would do for so long!
Ah yes, we’ll start off with the easier question to answer. Of course, this does come with two branches of further questions. If you have read it, did you enjoy it? If you didn’t enjoy it, then you’re likely next step is to throw it in the donate bag. If you did enjoy it, move onto the other questions. If you haven’t read it, why not? Are you going to read it? If you have no plans whatsoever to read it, then your next course of action is simple: toss it in the donate bag.
For those who don’t often reread books, this may seem like a bit of an irrelevant question; however, as someone who loves rereading books, this question is essential. To me, the sign of an excellent book is the desire to read it again at some point in the future. If I don’t want to reread a book, is it really worth keeping it on my shelf?
If you’re a sentimental bookworm like myself, then you know that where you got a book can matter just as much as the actual book itself. Books that I was given by friends, that I bought while traveling, or that remind me of specific scenarios or times in my life are very unlikely to find themselves tossed in the donate bag.
This question is an attempt to challenge my pack-rat ways. Let’s say there’s a book that I liked but won’t read again, but for some reason I’m clinging on to. Where could I go to read it again? Would I have to buy a new copy, or is it likely that a local library would have it or that I could easily buy it used for cheap online? If it’s easily accessible, then chances are that it doesn’t need to be kept on my bookshelf.
I like saving this question for when I know that I should get rid of a book from a logical standpoint, but can’t seem to part with it emotionally for some reason. If I haven’t thought about this book in months or even more than a year, then chances are that whatever emotions I’m feeling in this moment won’t last. Basically, if I haven’t missed this book already, then I probably won’t miss it much in the future.