I have recently undertaken a project to free up some space on my bookshelves. I don’t have the most shelf space in the world. As much as I would love to have my very own dedicated library, I don’t feasibly have the space! I have plans to upgrade my shelf space in the future, but that’s a way off yet.
So, how do I go about deciding what I keep and what books I unhaul? That’s what I’ll be discussing today, as well as specific books I’m unhauling right now.
What books are on my shelf?
Generally speaking, I buy physical books that are parts of series or by authors that I know I love. They are books that I intend to read more than once. These are typically the books that will stay on my shelf.
That’s not always the case though. Sometimes I will use vouchers to buy something new, or something that caught my eye whilst shopping. Or, I’ll buy a physical copy of the book if the kindle price is negligibly different. That way, if I do go on to really like it, I’m not then having to buy the physical copy in addition to the electronic copy I would have bought.
I also have some advanced reader copies of books on my shelves, though not as many as I used to. Whilst I don’t actively seek these out anymore, or at least at the moment, I do have some on my shelves that I am yet to read.
These are the kinds of books that will typically come off my shelves and ultimately make their way to a new home with a friend, or more commonly, a charity shop.
What Am I Unhauling and Why?
My bookshelves don’t fill up too rapidly, so I can get away with a sort out every couple of years or so. The last time I went through the books on my shelf for an unhaul was before I moved into my current house in 2020.
With the shelves starting to fill up, I started going through what I had on my shelves on a bit of a whim. Turns out, there are quite a few books that I’ve decided to donate to a better cause than cluttering up my house!
Some examples include books by C.J. Tudor (The Chalk Man and The Taking of Annie Thorne), a few of my paperback penguin classics (as I’m now collecting clothbound), and other assorted books. The rest are books that I have read, but I’m not likely to pick up again.
For example, I have a book by Neil Gaiman in the pile to unhaul – Norse Mythology. Whilst I did enjoy this one more than any other book of his I’ve tried, I’m not so interested in his work that I want to keep it. A number of the books I’m unhauling fall into this category. Vox by Christina Dalcher, The War Within by Stephen Donaldson and The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker are all good examples.
There are a handful of books I am getting rid of because I didn’t enjoy them that much. Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski and my recent read, The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean fall into this category.
I have to say, books don’t often fall into this category. But, it inevitably will happen at times. The best thing I can do is help them go to another good home.
What do you do with a book once you have finished it? Do you keep it? Do you unhaul books by giving them to a friend, or donating to a good cause?