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Readers have many opinions on how to cull your book collection — and also why you never should

Readers had fairly a couple of emotions about this most up-to-date essay, chiming in with recollections about culling their very own private libraries, recommendation on what books should keep and go and opinions on why you should never — underneath any circumstances — eliminate your books. Some received philosophical, others sensible. “What is more important, the physical book or the words in it?” questioned The Continental Op. Responded Fred Gee: “Being able to find the door in a fire.”

Fair level. Here are another ideas:

Tips on how to cull a library

“It’s a dilemma all collectors of books face at one time or another,” writes commenter RBSchultz. “When I last moved, I gave away to the local library my vast collection of World War II and Vietnam War books so that others might enjoy them. After I moved, I decided that my collection of photography books was too heavy and large in volume. These went to my local Friends of the San Francisco Library where the sale proceeds supported the library. My vast collection of polar and mountaineering books will ultimately go to auction. There are many ways to declutter your library. you just have to choose what makes you feel gratified as to their ultimate destination.”

Sidneyf “is a ruthless culler and downsizer from way back, but if there are even slight differences between your books, they are not duplicates, as they are not the same. Each evokes different memories and appreciation from you; find a way to keep them all.”

“Our culling strategy included putting up a Little Free Library,” writes George of the Asphalt Jungle. “With overflowing bookshelves in each room, we’re ready to guarantee it’s at all times well-stocked. We have quite a lot of foot site visitors on our avenue; some folks even drive up to put in or take out books. The finish result’s that we have found new authors, intriguing nonfiction and funky cookbooks! I’m undecided the variety of books in our home has really declined, however who’s counting?”

“From my viewpoint, the value of the worn paperback with your initial impressions in the margins of a book you love is far more valuable than the first edition with the good dust jacket,” 11-03-2020 Vote weighs in.

hwoldke provides: “If you have multiple copies of the same title, the proper question isn’t which one to keep . . . but whether each of these volumes has something unique that is important to you. You may end up with four copies of ‘Moby Dick,’ but so what? You keep one because of its annotations, one because of its illustrations, one because of an insightful ntroduction, and one because it was the first ‘big person’ book you ever bought . . . But a word of caution: Be careful about getting rid of any book because you think you’ll never read it again. I say this, having gone through spots of culling several years ago, only to have gone out since and replaced a good deal of what I got rid of. My younger self was ignorant of what my older self has wanted to reread.”

Why you should preserve all your books

“I have the curse (mental illness?) where if I open most any random book to most any random page, it will say something ‘profound’ to me. Hence I have trouble getting rid of books. But there are worse vices,” writes Yossarian of Newark.

“Keep them all,” suggests grrrltuesday. “This collection is too good to be destroyed. Create a trust for the local library or historical society. Something. Anything. People need this kind of obsessive encapsulation of literary goodness. Seriously.”

“In mid-March, I culled my books, taking boxes of them to the garage,” writes 1Dancer. “By late July, most of my expensive pals in these containers, have one after the other, reappeared in my house as I learn them once more. . . I discovered pleasure in eradicating them and extra pleasure in welcoming them again.

“You want to lie down until this passes,” recommends LadyManx. “It is a fallacy of the ‘Kondo World’ that we want to eliminate our books. Our leaders don’t learn. Look what that has gotten us. While it’s fantastic to transfer so-so books alongside, books love us and whisper their ideas to us, as we cross their covers. Can an ereader do this? Trying to discover a favourite phrase or vignette in an e book is a time-wasting fraud. My actual books fall open to what I would like. A book purchased a protracted whereas in the past won’t name to me until years later and I’ll surprise how I knew to have it for simply such a second.

Finally, do you dare query Dr. Who? “You need weapons? We’re in a library! Books! Best weapons on the planet! This room’s the best arsenal we might have. Arm your self!” Never, in these currant occasions, have we would have liked this recommendation extra.”

Why you should eliminate all your books

“Except for irreplaceable technical references, the Kindle has alleviated me of any such concerns,” writes Ainsley Lowbeer. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos personal The Washington Post.)

“I was forced to discard 98% of my worldly goods fifteen years ago (the other 2% were of course my “most memorable” possessions),” writes Curtis C. Morgan. “I’ve never regretted it, in fact, I recommend it highly. It’s just. . .stuff.”

Other phrases of knowledge

“I fully agree with that quote, ‘There are people who collect books, and people who read books,’” writes Sarah Mother of Poodles. “I am the latter while my husband is the former. We have several thousand books, many of which are moldering away in boxes in the un-air-conditioned garage. The smallest bedroom has no furniture — just book shelves and piles of books. After 25 years of marriage, I realize that my husband will not change; he will never be happy with the ~500 books that I would be happy with. At this point, I am just planning on using them as his funeral pyre!”

When Jacques Caillault complained that the native library had little interest in a private library, commenter gareilly supplied some useful alternate options:

“I don’t suppose you could be prepared to ship your books right here, to The Friends of the Temple Public Library, in Temple Texas. When our world isn’t falling aside, we have two gross sales a 12 months of donated books. The cash funds a book cellular (we’re saving to purchase a second one), child and grownup packages within the library and particular wants, comparable to putting in a “Free Little Library” at an area elementary college. If you aren’t prepared to reward us with your stash, search on-line for a library group nearer to house. Talk to them, not the primary librarian, who most likely has extra on their plate than we all know. A volunteer group would have the members to kind your stash. Once, we received hundreds of books from a chess grasp who handed on. That donation, correctly marketed introduced our group hundreds of {dollars}, however I’m certain the top librarian would have turned it down if she’d seen the specialty chess books within the collection. Our group had the assets and time to be certain that these books discovered good houses.”

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