Archive for the ‘Books and their issues’ Category

Is it worth keeping the books you’ve read once but will probably never read again?

I buy only the books which I think sound interesting and will actually read (aside from school and university when I had to acquire the books I had to study, whether I wanted to or not), and then they tend to stay on my shelf.

When I was a teenager, I went through a (stupid) phase (which I find ridiculous and unimaginable now) when I pretty much pulled most of my books off my shelves and gave them to charity, in a fit of showing that I was “growing up” and wasn’t going to read childish and YA books anymore. That was me getting rid of books whether I liked them or not. Obviously, some books survived the purge, such as Harry Potter, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, and my collection of Beatrix Potter books, because they will always be special to me. I actually regret this phase, and have started buying some of the books back, such as “The Chronicles of Narnia” because I now wish I’d never got rid of them! I think I went temporarily insane!

I haven’t got rid of many books since I left university, only the odd one which I decided I was happy to let go, one example being “Bridget Jones’ Diary”, which I studied at uni, because it was a rubbish read and the film version was so much better!

I’m in that mindset where I just want to acquire books and not get rid of them. I go into a bookshop and try not to buy books but I usually buy at least two at a time! I buy books I think I will like, and then read it once, only to not read it again.

I’ve also been passed a load of books by my parents when they’ve had book clear-outs to free up room on their bookshelves. I get first dibs because I like some of their books and I want to read them again!

My main issue is that I currently don’t have a lot of space to store books, and my shelves are already fairly full. A while ago, I redecorated my bedroom and painted my existing bookshelves, but I only have four of these and the fourth one formerly held my DVD collection. The DVDs were taking up valuable space so they’ve been relegated to boxes under my bed, and my ever expanding library now has a new shelf, which is now full!

I recently ditched my old desk and bought a new storage unit/shelves, which has now created a new home for all the junk that was stored in and around my desk in two neat boxes and for some of my larger hardback non-fiction books. This has freed up a bit of room, but I still have a lot of books knocking around!

Do I get rid of some books? Do I keep them and hope I can afford to get my own place and have more space for shelves? Do I be brutal and get rid of anything I’ve only read once and will probably not read again? Do I just keep my favourites which I read all the time? Do I keep the literary classics which everyone has supposedly read?

I still have a bunch of non-fiction books from university when I studied the English Language which I only dip into every now and then. I still have the two huge French and German dictionaries from when I studied languages at A Level.

I like to think I have a fairly even mixture of genres on my bookshelves, from literary classics and mainstream bestsellers, to obscure random novels and some slightly trashy novels.

I like to have a good purge of old stuff every once in while and give things to charity or bin them, but books are the main thing I keep hold of. I do sometimes pause by my bookshelves and think ” should I get rid of any of these?” before feeling guilty and pushing the idea to the back of my mind!

I don’t even have that many books when you look at them. They’re all sat in one place. They felt like more when I had to pack up my room for redecorating though! Some people have way more! And I’m jealous of these people with their vast libraries!

I do hope to buy my own home at some point, and I know that the first room that will be decorated will probably be my library!


This is what goes through my head when I walk into a shop and make a beeline for the books!

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Huge Row of books at the University of Illinois Undergraduate Library during rearranging (via Pinterest and Flickr)

Thankfully, my personal library isn’t quite as big and therefore not as much of a challenge as this one! However, I would quite like the challenge of rearranging a huge library: I like to use my organisational skills!

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