Book Culls

Astro Pen

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When you look at your overloaded bookshelf how do you make decisions about which books to cull?
Buying, as we know, is extraordinarily easy. Reducing not so much.
Newly single I was faced with a move to a smaller house and the realisation that my 4000 books were not going to fit, no way, no how . I had to get down to maybe 1500
My keeper criteria were
1 Sentimental connection,
2 Must have classics
3 Rarity. ie how easily could I buy another copy if I wanted to.
For me 3 was the biggest help, though it required a fair bit of internet spade work to ensure that there were enough of each specific edition / cover art kicking around abe and ebay. I knew I could donate without later regret.
How about you? Have you ever culled or do you just keep them all to build kitchen extentions and stairs to the attic?
 

HareBrain

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I recently had to do similar.

My keeper criteria were
1 Sentimental connection,
2 Must have classics
3 Rarity. ie how easily could I buy another copy if I wanted to.
1 and 3 for sure, 2 not so much, as classics are often easily replaceable. I would add:

4. Look good on the shelf (so most hardbacks stayed, but ...)
5. Do they take up lots of space (so A Dance With Dragons was out)
6. Can I see myself reading it again in the next few years? (so A Dance With Dragons was definitely out.)
 

Foxbat

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I have one simple question that ask myself. Will I ever feel the need to read this book again? If the answer is no, it’s binned.
 

Extollager

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I've given away several hundred in the past few years, to my children, to students (I was a college teacher till two years ago), to friends, a university library, and to sidewalk book cupboards.

(Do you see those book cupboards where you live? I haven't been out and about lately, but I wonder how they are faring in this time of social distancing. In our little town of about 2000 or less, there are three of them that I know of -- none being mine. I'm kind of proud of us.)

There not being any genizas, so far as I know, in rural North Dakota, I have a few worn-out Bibles that need to be burnt -- is that what you'd do, Parson?

I've thrown away a very few books that were in pieces -- a paperback of Middlemarch comes to mind, despite my very extensive annotations therein.

I remember throwing away an sf/exploitation-type book that had been given to me.
 

tinkerdan

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I've managed to keep mine for quite some time.
I did once do the; what books will I never read again.
I was wrong about some of them.
Oh well; at least I could get those in kindle in most cases.

I even paid $110.00 US to ship them across the country from California to Michigan.

It seems like a lot; but to get them from Michigan to California by truck was much more expensive in the sense that I had to rent the truck; however there was a lot of property on that truck. The trip back I was minus one wife 4 kids and all the property. It was my second marriage and the children were all step-children and my two daughters were in Michigan, which is why I returned to Michigan when the second wife started running around with a guy who was ten-plus years younger than me(and her).

That library has since grown.

I did have to replace the complete Sherlock Holmes and the Complete Edgar Allen Poe after the books arrived--go figure.
 

Finch

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If you read a book every week , it will take 76 years to get through them all . I would sell any valuable ones online and sell the rest at the next car boot sale , if we have a next one?. You can't take them with you .
 

tinkerdan

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yeah
But I can leave them to my daughters--they'll love/hate me for it; but they'll never forget me.
I raised them on Star Wars-Indiana Jones-Star Trek and Transformers.
 

Parson

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There not being any genizas, so far as I know, in rural North Dakota, I have a few worn-out Bibles that need to be burnt -- is that what you'd do, Parson?
It's at least not what I've done. I've worn out more than a few. If the cover is falling off and pages are falling out, I put them in the trash. Christians should remember that we do not worship a book. It is the Holy Spirit in working in our lives which turns very fallible human writing into the word of God. --- I will admit to having double digits of Bibles. (I'm not going to go around counting them) --- So I haven't worn out as many Bibles as one would think and in the last maybe 20 years almost all of my Biblical research has been online and I wear out computers rather than Bibles. My before bed read the Bible, Bible, is now on it's 6th? run through and looks good for many more years.

-----

As to reducing my library of novels I threw 100's of them into the trash when we moved into our retirement home. My commentaries? Well they are all on shelves in my office.

(You might notice David Weber books did come along. Bottom right.)

commentaries.jpg
 

Extollager

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I find that it can take a bit of effort to weed books, but I've rarely felt real regret afterwards -- though not never.
 

BigBadBob141

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If those were my bookcases I would have books standing ( their backs against the back panel of the bookcase ) behind the books, taking up the full width of the shelves, plus a load piled on top of the case and still need room for more!
P.S. Then I would stack books laying flat on top of the shelved books to use up the vertical space between shelves, must utilise all the space you have available!!!
 
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Brian G Turner

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The trouble with getting rid of books is that I always find some I get rid of as unwanted end up later as being wanted, because my priorities have changed. It can then become difficult to find them again.

For example, when I first starting reading about Ancient Rome, my mum bought me a book by Plutarch. At the time he was completely off my radar so I ignored it and it got cleaned out. Now I'm studying it properly, Plutarch keeps coming up and sounds like a seriously interesting read. I could buy one of his books, but it has to be *the* book I got rid of. Only thing is I can't find it again.

And then there was The Living Countryside, a magazine that ran in the UK during the 1980's. I had either all or most of the collection in binders, but again, it all went to charity shop. Recently I've been getting into environmental science and wanted to re-read it. Real copies aren't common and very expensive, but I was able to get a PDF copy of the collection from eBay. :)
 

HareBrain

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And then there was The Living Countryside, a magazine that ran in the UK during the 1980's. I had either all or most of the collection in binders, but again, it all went to charity shop. Recently I've been getting into environmental science and wanted to re-read it. Real copies aren't common and very expensive, but I was able to get a PDF copy of the collection from eBay. :)
I've still got all those!
 

HareBrain

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