Getting Rid Of Books

Nothing hurts my heart quite like realizing I have to get rid of some books.

I think I feel the same about books as I do about cats – if I’ve committed to them, if I’ve decided to take them home, I want to keep them. I want to hug them and love them and squeeze them and call them George….*cough* Anyway, I like books.

You may be saying to yourself, “If you like books so darned much, why get rid any?” Well, I used to have 3000 books crammed into this place. Now I think it’s probably closer to 3500 and growing. I find that I don’t have “rooms” anymore. I have paths through my house that go to various places.

There’s a scene in my book (HOLD ME) where Katie sees Luc’s bedroom for the first time. No, it’s not for that – get your mind out of the gutter. This is her description:

But she had to admit what really surprised her were the books. Not only were there bookcases full of books, there were piles and piles and piles of books in every position, covering every surface, seemingly on every topic. She wandered farther into the room, intrigued and, in a way, enchanted. There were books on the floor, books on the dressers, books on the nightstands, and an impressive stack of volumes teetering next to the bed.

This, my friends, is taken from life. I have books EVERYWHERE. And it’s time to cull the herd a little bit.

The first step is the hardest – figuring out which books to keep and which books should go.

For example, do I really need a book on grooming horses? True, I’ve never even ridden a horse, but what if the zombie apocalypse comes and all machinery fails and I need to rely on my trusty steed to escape from having my brain eaten? Shouldn’t I know how to use a curry comb?

And, yes, I have 15 books on herbal remedies, and yes, they all basically say the same things, but what if I get rid of some of them and then I get a rash or something? What if I only have 5 books to refer to?

Then there are the romance novels. What if I get rid of books I don’t read or don’t like and then find out they’re part of a series and I want to read the whole series in order and the library doesn’t have the book or I have to WAIT to read them until I can borrow them?

I think you understand my dilemma.

There’s also the problem of where to put the books while you decide what to do with them. I always end up with boxes of books sitting around, get tired of looking at them, and put everything back on the shelves.

As a side note – that’s one of the big advantages of a digital reader, as far as I can tell. You can have thousands of books and it never takes up more room.

Fortunately I have many potential good homes for my books. In fact, I might even be able to sell some of the reference books and make a little money.

And if I don’t get rid of some books, I will find myself smothered under a pile of art and knowledge.

Getting rid of books. It’s hard. But if I’m strong, then maybe, someday, all of my bookshelves will look like this:

For a few minutes anyway.


  1. I feel exactly the same way, Betsy. Well said!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Nancy: I have five photocopy paper boxes full of books in my spare bedroom now. And so it begins. But this time I told myself that I have to deal with those boxes before I move on to more bookshelves. We’ll see….I just hate to let them go…

  2. Here’s a partial solution – donate the books to your local library. Then you know where to go if you do want them back someday!

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