#ShelfLove Challenge Update: The Hard Decisions of a Book Hoarder

Posted on September 1, 2015 «
Categories: 2015 Discussion Challenge, 2015 Shelf Love «
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No Book Buying Challenge

Before starting this challenge, I don’t think I ever considered myself a book hoarder. My “itty-bitty living space” and OCD-tendencies have prevented me from accumulating a lot of physical books (it’s hard for me to double stack books on my shelf). Now my e-books, that’s a different story! My right finger can’t resist a FREE book. I cannot believe how many e-books I’ve accumulated. According to Calibre, I have 101 unread e-Books.

Now I will admit that I have way more e-Books than that, but I decided that I needed to make some choices because honestly there were books I was never going to read. Or books that I had tried reading, but never finished. So I created 2 additional Calibre libraries, one for my Read books and one for my Abandoned books. I have 99 read books—not bad. Then I moved 17 books to Abandoned.

Next I took advantage of the Collections feature in the Kindle app on my iPad mini and created collections of the same kind there (to-read, read and abandoned). Now it’s a tad easier to see the books I truly would like to attempt to read at some point. 101 still kind of freaks me out, but I’ve made progress in learning to let go.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

And the files aren’t gone in either case; they are just hidden from immediate viewing.

Since I made some great progress with my electronic collection, I decided I need to make some choices about the books on my physical shelf. Here are the books I’ve decided to say good-bye to.

Reflex by Stephen Gould
Hated Jumper the movie. Loved Jumper the book. Hubby read Reflex, the sequel. It’s been on my shelf for ages. I think it’s time to let go. I’m not interested in continuing Davy’s story.

Invasion by Mercedes Lackey
I was really into City of Heroes and I miss it a lot. But this a novelization of the game…eh. It was a gift. And I don’t need to relive the nostalgia of the game I loved do dearly. Time to let go.

The Ruins of Ambrai by Melanie Rawn
Um, not sure how this even ended up on my shelf. But goodness, it may have been 2008 when my friend purged her book collection when she moved and let me go through the books she didn’t want to truck across town. Maybe she wants it back?

Through Time by Andrew Cartmel
I’ve read about 43 pages of this one and never picked it back up. The bookmark is a movie ticket from September 2014 (Cowboys and Aliens, if you wanted to know). I think it’s time to send this one back to the TARDIS library or donate it to the charity auction at ICON 40.

The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
I was just getting into tracking my reading when this blew up in the blogosphere. I hunted for a copy and found this ARC for sale (now I know that you shouldn’t do that!). The receipt says 2013. I think I wanted to read it to be a part of the It Crowd. Now I look at it a go, Meh.

The Emerald Tablet of Amun Ra by Joshua Silverman
I won a box of random books from a blogger and this was the only one I kept. Ancient Egypt is a soft spot of mine. Looking at the book now I see it is a series and it’s long. The blurb doesn’t grab my attention any longer.

The Collector of Dying Breaths by MJ Rose
I’ve outgrown the series. I read book 5 earlier this year and was less than thrilled with it. Ciao, Jac.

The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
A find of my husband’s. He read about thirty pages and said this is more my speed. It’s been collecting dust ever since. I need to learn to tell him no sometimes.

The Cozy Chicks Kitchen
Another blog win. I’ve been meaning to page through this one. But it’s small size, lack of pictures and inability for it to lay flat when you are trying to make something turn me off.

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World by Susan Veness
Yes, I’m a Disney fan, but I’m not a fan of reading books about the parks. It’s not the same as being there. Sorry, Hidden World, you are not Orlando.

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
This was recommended to me by a bookseller at The Red Balloon in Saint Paul. I started reading it, didn’t connect and put it down. I almost took it to Half Price Books and at the last-minute saved it from the to-be-sold-pile. Every time I look at it, I think, “Why did I keep you?” Looks like I got 122 pages in and never picked it up again. Adios, Montmaray!

I’m taking The Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix and Living Longer Than Hate by C.S. Ragsdale off my shelf as well. However, I own a lot of stuff by Nix so this one will stick around. I tried reading it. It was confusing and too military focused for me so I never picked it up again. Ragsdale’s book is signed and is non-fiction work of a Holocaust survivor, Bill Morgan, whom I met in college. So I won’t be able to part with it either. All the other books I pulled will head to Half Price Books or I’ll send them along to my sister to see if she has an interest in reading them.

Strangely enough this purge wasn’t as difficult as I thought. It was freeing and now my physical bookshelf is looking a bit more open.

February 23, 2015
Making progress on my TBR shelf #ShelfLove
August 23, 2015
hard decisions book hoarder

How about you? Do you ever go through the you physical TBR pile and purge books that no longer appeal to you? What justifications do you make to save a book vs. getting rid of it? What do you do with the books that don’t get to go back on the shelf? What hard decisions have you had to make as a book hoarder?

hard decisions book hoarder

Check out all the books I’ve read that have counted towards the #ShelfLove Challenge.


17 responses to “#ShelfLove Challenge Update: The Hard Decisions of a Book Hoarder

  1. Since I have my tablet, I rarely buy paper books nowadays. But like you, I’m a hoarder and bought waaaaaaay too many e-freebies before it occurred to me that I really should stop. Now I need to purge, too, so I contemplate asking my fellow bloggers about their opinions on those books. I have already deleted some, but I’m too much afraid to be missing on an unknown marvel… Kudos for your purge !

    • Depending on your tablet/eReader, you might be able to back the files up to a cloud or something like that. So if you delete them from your reader, they are saved some place and you can access them if you want to later. 🙂

  2. I didn’t do this challenge but I think I really need too, your little 101 is nothing! I have 600+ physical books and that is after I got rid of about 200! We don’t even want to talk ebooks…lol. I am like you I have a hard time saying no to freebies. 🙂

  3. I probably should do a physical purge, but then I would be moving truckloads of books somewhere else to donate or sell, and that sounds like too much work. Great job with all your shelf organization!

    • When I moved over 10 years ago, I got rid of a lot of books I had collected. Many of them were donated to the library. I don’t think Half Price Books was open in our area yet so that wasn’t an option. Since that point, I haven’t collected a lot of physical books. I will say that this challenge has been good at teaching me to stop and think before I buy.

  4. Wow, impressive! I have moved Kindle books off my carousel but not out completely, which I probably should. I don’t even know how many unread ebooks I have. Including ARCs, I’d say around 300? As for physical books… I don’t even want to say hahha. Ummm probably also around 300. Maybe 250 unread? I don’t know, it’s BAD. I basically get rid of them (not frequently, of course) if I either read them and hated them, tried several times and DNFed (super rare), or acquired and then lost interest in/read horrible or deal breaker things about. Clearly, I have an issue 😉

  5. I tried organizing my ebooks onto shelves. Then I couldn’t see everything at a glace – just the shelves. Though, maybe it’s different with the kindle app? (I use the nook app.) I should probably try it again.

  6. I actually just went through my physical TBR shelf tonight. Took off a few books family members had given me that I KNOW I’m never going to get around to reading. Gave them to my Dad since he wanted to read them when I was done. Not wanting them anymore counts as ‘done’ yes? *laughs*

    Moved a few books that are 2-4th in a series that I don’t have the first books in those series for onto a different shelf. All but one of those books were ones I still wanted to read. I just have to read them in order. So the ones I’m keeping I moved since technically they aren’t “to read” since I don’t have book #1 in the series’. And the ones that no longer sounded like something I wanted to read got put in the pile of books I’ll be giving away on my 1-year blogaversary.

    I’m now down to only 20 books on my physical TBR shelf. This is down from about 33-35. eBooks I still have around 300-ish? And that’s AFTER my purge a few months back. (I was closer to 700 then!)

  7. I never give up books. Even if they don’t appeal to me anymore. It’s either because they were gifts or they have pretty covers, or I bought them on special occasions, or simply because they were written by authors that I love and I want to support them even if that particular book didn’t appeal to me…There’s always a meaning behind a book that I own, independent of the story inside it, and for that reason alone, no matter how much I don’t like the book, I can’t give them up.