To Un-Haul … Or Not To Un-Haul …

As a voracious reader, blogger, bookseller and just generally book enthusiast, I’ve accumulated a large personal library. I love it. However, after buying a LOT of books in lockdown last year (books make me happy), and not reading for a good portion of the year, my shelves are looking VERY heavy right now and I’ve been struggling to fit new books in my bookcases. I’ve also been struggling recently with the very real fear that I will never be able to read all the books I want to in my lifetime. Which has caused me to rethink my collection and shelves and consider un-hauling books.

I have a number of bookshelves housing my personal library and all are sorted by genre (except for my special signed bookshelf) and alphabetical order by Authors surname. It’s a system that has worked for me for years (though I really want to try rainbow shelves at some point) and I love it. However, my books are double stacked and sometimes I forget what books I have on there if I can’t see them. I dream about one day owning Ikea bookcases to house my books, but for now, I’ve settled on Kmart bookshelves and they’ve been working great … except now I have no more room for books and need to do an un-haul.

I’ve never been against un-hauling books, nor am I the type of reader who wants to own every book they have ever read. That said, I find it difficult sometimes in getting rid of books I haven’t read yet or have lost interest in, simply because I’m a mood reader and am afraid I might drastically change my mind in a year and want to read that book I un-hauled.

To overcome this, I’ve started this year periodically doing small un-hauls. Mostly these have been books I’ve read and no longer want to re-read, books I haven’t liked as much as I thought I would, or books I have lost interest in. I’ve been donating these books to street libraries and charity shops where possible and making sure the books are moved on, rather than simply disposed of. Just because I don’t want to read it anymore, doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t.

However, after doing a couple of these stress-free un-hauls, I’ve noticed an annoying habit where I would cave on some of the books I had previously chosen to move along and would find myself squirrelling away a few titles for a later date … only to not choose them again on my next low key un-haul or pick them up to read.

To overcome this, this month I’ve been thinking of ways to productively overcome this non-helpful habit of mine, and have decided to do bi-monthly small un-haul challenges, with a bigger un-haul project in the style of Becca and the Book’s These Books Will Self Destruct in Twelve Months to be established during Blogmas this December for the coming year. I’ve also decided the best way to stick to this plan of mine, is to make sure that I post here about my wins and fails so that I can stay accountable and get this done right the first time.

Do you un-haul books regularly? Or even at all? Let me know in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “To Un-Haul … Or Not To Un-Haul …

  1. Liz Dorrington says:

    To un-haul or not un-haul? This is a question thaI struggle wirh continuously, whether it be with my own books or books my kids have grown out of.
    I’ve also been doing small unhauls to little free libraries but we only have 3 in my area and I ‘ve also dropped a lot off at charity stores. I have to say though that I have the same problem of the “what if’s”. I don’t feel like I’ve done a book justice if I haven’t read it or even tried to read it before getting rid of it so currently my shelves are overflowing and I have several, I mean several extra large cartons of books stored in my garage. What’s a book hoarders to do?

    • Jess says:

      Hey Liz,
      I hear you! So glad I’m not alone in this. I’m not one to DNF a book either, so it will sit there until I do eventually finish it regardless, but it just adds up. I love the little libraries and am always on the look out for more to donate too.

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