It seems I’m in a constant state of book sorting, purging, cataloging. New books come into the house, and I have to find places to put them. There’s only so many times that problem can be solved by building another shelf — especially in a 700-square-foot house. Hence the constant ebb and flow.
Some books it’s relatively simple to know I want to keep them. I loved them, they’re now a part of who I am. Or they speak to me in some way, at least.
Others it’s a relatively simple decision to eliminate from my collection. I read them, they didn’t resonate — or maybe I even outright hated them. I used to have a tough time destashing (to borrow a fibery term) books I hadn’t read, but I’m getting better at that. If I’ve had them for several years and my interest in them has greatly waned, though, I’ve started to add them to the find-another-home-for stack.
Then there are the books I haven’t decided what to do with. Or I decided to get rid of them, but they sat around for a few weeks and I begin doubting that decision. At the moment I’ve got quite a few books in this category, my undecideds. I’ve started, in conversation with my husband, calling this state Purgatory. I can’t decide their fate, whether I’ll keep them or purge them. A big part of my Book Purgatory’s current population boom is a stack of books I started but didn’t finish. I was reading them in an extreme deadline situation, so they don’t quite qualify as books I felt weren’t worth finishing, but I also haven’t picked them up again in several months.
Do you have a Book Purgatory? What are your criteria for getting rid of books?