Feb 3, 2014

To Keep Or Not To Keep...?

During January I did a major clean-up of my office.  Not only the surface areas -- the accumulated materials from my last project -- but this time I opened every cupboard door and pulled out every drawer to take a long hard look at the accumulated junk.  

Well, okay, only some comes under the classification of junk.  There is also valuable research material -- magazines and newspaper cuttings and other items of interest which I go through every so often for inspiration -- and my keeper shelves.  During my clean-ups I generally close the cupboard door on my keepers.  They're classified as "keepers" for a reason.  They stay.

But this time I got to thinking.  Why am I keeping these books?  80-90% of my reading these days is digital.  I've started to recollect my favourite authors, favourite series, in digital format.  Do I need the paperback version when I'm not selecting my reading material from these shelves?  

And so I got to work.  



I couldn't let go my absolute favourites.  I still have a reduced-by-half keepers cupboard.  Many are hardbacks and/or signed copies.  Another selection of favourites was moved into this box, currently located beneath my writing desk.  It could take a little while longer to convince myself to let them go for good.


So, tell me, are you a keeper?  Has the shift to digital reading changed your "keeping" habits?  And which one series -- or author -- could you never part with?

26 comments:

  1. Oh, Bronwyn, you have done what I desperately need to do, But letting go those books is near on impossible. My office is bursting with books that I've read once or twice, and those I have yet to read. I can't let them go. Then there are the stacks of to-be-read notes on all sorts of things that are going to improve my writing. Or my days. Or my goals. Or my butt when I follow the how-to-move notes. My office is my sanctuary and as messy as it is I do not want to change a thing. I am a keeper of lots of lines and things.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you're happy, then you definitely shouldn't change a thing. My purge came about because I'd been looking for something -- something important that I *had to* find for the accountant -- and I knew it was there...somewhere. I like being organised and get irritated with myself when the system fails me. Because I've been slack and let the filing slip.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Bronwyn

    You have done what I really need to do as well I have way too many books in my house read and TBR and one the things I must find time for is to sort all of this out there are books I would never part with signed copies and my favourites but I too pretty much read all of my books on my e reader and am also collecting my favourites this way, I am sure my sister is going to be exstatic with the books that I plan to give her as soon as I find time :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Helen

      I think you've hit on the only way to part with favourites...by finding them a good home, with someone who will appreciate them. Perfect. I'm going to have to employ that method to part with mine.

      Delete
  4. I hear you on parting with books and other things. I find most of my book purchases are digital these days unless they aren't available to Aus/NZ in ebook format.
    At this stage, I'm still keeping the paperbacks of most of my favourite authors and focussing mainly on getting the newer titles by these authors.

    I don't have a series that I wouldn't part with. Instead, the books on my bookshelf that I refuse to part with are the ones that I received signed by authors. I would say the one I feel is the most difficult to part with would be His Bride for the Taking by the late Sandra Hyatt/Hyde.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, Lyn, my eyes are all misty now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bronwyn, those photos of the box and the shelves being emptied are giving me hives! I do most of my reading on paper - partly because I'm usually battling eyestrain and even a kindle can tip the eyestrain into a headache. But I also still love paper books and the way they look on shelves. I'm going to be a dinosaur soon!

    And I'm really itching to go through your boxes. If you lived any closer, I'd drop by. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel, here. Take this calamine for the hives.

      I am in the process of listing what's in the box (currently it's a LONG scribbled note) and once done I will share. I would love to find new homes for these favourites.

      Delete
  7. I have not actually switched to digital. I read on my laptop, but still primarily print. And I have a LOT of books, but I really can't part with them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharlene.

      I never thought I would switch to digital, having been reading paper for a LONG time. I started with reading on my laptop and progressed from there to a dedicated reader. So you never know...

      Delete
  8. Oh, I really need to do this- but I can't bring myself to make decisions like that- I'd feel as if I was giving away my friends!! LOL. If I *really* want a particular book/author I buy a paper copy that I can loan out, then a kindle copy to keep just for me! Crazy, I know! Like you I do have boxes and boxes of books but no place to keep them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, Louisa, that's exactly how I felt as I sorted through them. But knowing I was replacing them with a shiny new digital version assuaged my conscience. Somewhat. The idea of handing them to enchant new readers is even more soothing.

      Delete
  9. I did exactly the same thing as you over the summer holidays, Bron. It started with the books and then I must have been on some sort of "de-clutter" high and ended up clearing out my wardrobe too. With six people in our family, books, old clothes, everything piles up quickly. Having said that I've just split off all our ebook accounts as our Kindles were nearly exploding with all our books in one place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES, Barb, that's exactly what I did! Office, wardrobes, "spare" room storage, I purged. LOTS of bags went to Vinnies, mostly clothes but I also took a big box of books there. That said, far too much stuff has been only moved to the garden shed and/or various other places (such as the box under my office desk) but it is a start.

      Delete
  10. There's nothing quite so satisfying as a major clean out, is there Bron? My shelves are bursting too and they do need a bit of a sort out.
    But books that I love or that are signed (which usually fall into both categories) I will keep forever and ever amen so I'm just going to have to find room for them....which is a bit of a problem cos I don't tend to keep books that I haven't liked. They go in a pile and when the pile gets big enough I take them down to Lifeline. So I'm pretty much looking at keepers.
    But I think I know the solution to my problem - build more book shelves :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More bookshelves is a fine solution, AA. Out house is REALLY dusty -- the down side of living where I do -- and so open bookshelves lead to one of my least favourite activities. Housework, sub-section: dusting. So mine live in cupboards and I have no more rooom. Otherwise I might never have reached this point.

      Delete
  11. I'd love to do this, but I'm a bit like Rachel -- love the look of physical books on shelves…but I will never have enough shelves. I need a compactus. Mind you, the thought of fitting a whole library on a Kindle or ten is very attractive.

    One collection I could never get rid of is my Anne of Green Gables series that I inherited from my grandmother. There's even a first edition in there of Emily of the New Moon. Love those books. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, a compactus of keeper books would be so special. You should totally do that, Michelle!

      Anne of Green Gables. From your grandmother. Including a first edition. Now THAT is a keeper collection.

      Delete
  12. Congrats on the clean out, Bron. It is so tough to do. I'm in the same position in that all our bookshelves are completely full and as I'm alway buying books, we are slowly (well quite quickly really) being overtaken. Must take action but I just can't seem the part with them!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jen, you can do it. Put it on your to-do list. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm serious "keeper" of stuff, Bron, but especially of books and papers! So I'm feeling a bit like Rachel with hives at the thought of de-booking! I think I might plant the seed though and give myself some de-sensitisation time because a clear out is looooong overdue at Chez Archer!

    You are my inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really do like the idea of being anyone's inspiration, Sharon (*preen*) but I reckon it's a personal matter between you and the books. They might be perfectly happy where they are...and you might be perfectly happy for them to remain.

      Delete
  15. Bronwyn, Well done! A thought so you have space under your desk for you feet and leg; close up the box, dated it and put it somewhere you store your good items. If with in a set time period say six months to a year and you haven't gone book-hunting take the un-opened box to your favorite re-use place. In the States, local libraries have marvelous annual book sales.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have a big desk with room for at least three large boxes and a bin and my footrest...which is probably not a good thing because it becomes a midway staging point when I should just take a deep breath and move them on.

      Our library also has an annual book sale. That would be the perfect place to take them. Thanks for reminding me, Deb.

      Delete