Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Culling the herd

As I am slowly creeping up on my one year blogoversary it has come to my attention that I may have a problem.  A growing problem.  It is called the TBR pile.  The damn thing has grown exponentially over the past year!  I know, it is the natural course of things when you start a book blog.  The thing is, I have not acquired all of these books willingly.  Quite a few have been passed along to me by well meaning coworkers and friends.  While I am wildly appreciative of free books (who isn't?) I think I have reached a point where I must cry uncle.  That pile is never going to shrink at this rate. 

So I decided it was time to cull the herd.  This literary Leaning Tower of Pisa had a solid foundation of "must read soon" books and authors: Kleypas, Showalter, Christopher Moore, La Nora, etc.  Unfortunately, the structural integrity of this edefice was being undermined by some real stinkers.  I won't go into detail, but let's just say I couldn't even make it through the backflap of most of the books. 

Since I am planning to move by the end of summer, I decided it wasn't too soon to start weeding out some of my excess belongings.  The entire TBR Tower was relocated from the office/large storage closet (I mean really, if it has no closet it isn't an actual bedroom) to the family room.  Two hours and a couple Buffy episodes later, the books had been sorted and organized.  I had piles, y'all: Contemp keepers, ParaRom keepers, Historical keepers, other-stuff-I-like-to-read keepers.  It all was transferred back to the desk in the front room, but this time in tidy piles for easier access.  What was left behind?  Three Trader Joe's bags full of books to discard. 

Now, ever since I was little the idea of throwing a book in the garbage has given me hives.  That was someone's hard work.  I may not have liked the story, but the book represents months or even years of work by the author.  And who knows, someone else may want to read it and will like the book.  Since the dumpster was out of the question I decided to take the books over to The White Elephant.  I mentioned this store about a month ago.  It is the second hand store/fund raiser for Children's Memorial Hospital.  It is the lovely place that I struck gold, purchasing eighteen books for about $15.  I figure this way I get to donate the books to a store that helps fund medical treatment for critically ill children, and allow another reader the chance to get their hands on some books.  I think it is a win-win situation all around. 

Now I just need to adopt the same approach to my clothes closet.  I am SO not going to pack up and move all of those shirts I haven't worn in three years.  Can you say "pack rat" anyone?


Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I am with you. The thought of throwing out a book makes me sick. Donate or put a box outside your house with the books and say FREE.

Nicola O. said...

Good job on all that purging!

And I hear you about the pile getting out of control.

JenB said...

I would never throw out a book that was still in good condition. That's crazy!

I'm a compulsive culler. I go through my TBR every 4-6 weeks and pull out at least 5 books I know I won't get around to reading.

But, um, I have about 330 books on my TBR shelf at the moment, so you can see how effective my method is. LOL I just like to pretend I'm organized.

Aymless said...

Oh I feel your pain! Blogging has definitely been detrimental to the TBR pile.

I have a hard time parting with any book much less throwing them out. Its good to donate, at least that way you know someone will benefit. Lucky (or unlucky) for me there are two used bookstores close to me so I'm able to trade, which really doesn't help the TBR either.

Sarai said...

Yeah I always donate to the library or trade into the Half price book store for more books? Kind of a win and lose situation for me LOL

Katie Reus said...

I feel ya! Just donated another two boxes to the library and (sorry for the shameless plug Shannon *g*) decided to have a contest on my blog (tomorrow's the last day) to get rid of the ones that were great and I knew peeps would enjoy :)

Tracy said...

Congrats on taking the plunge and getting rid of those books you know you will NEVER read. It takes guts to do this and it's difficult! But damn don't you feel so much better??? :)

The clothes! I go through my closet once a year and donate all those clothes that I haven't worn in the past year. Try it - it's free-ing!

Bev(QB) said...

Shannon, we should form a support group. I'm just about finished going through my closet and weeding out old clothes. Many were from (more than) several sizes ago, way before I had kids. Not unusual unless you consider the fact that my oldest kids are now 22 YEARS old. Some day I will be strong enough to tackle the baby clothes. It's amazing how much you can accumulate with four kids! In my case, saying I have underwear older than JenB is NOT hyperbole! hee

Now those 5 bazillion books I've got? Baby steps. So far, I've got a few boxes of duplicates and "sweet" historicals to get rid of. But I WILL do more. IwillIwillIwill!