Welcome to my blog - a collection of thoughts and musings on the world of writing, books and all those wordy type things.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Clearing Clutter - Do You Give Books Away?

I'm a firm believer in 'clearing the clutter'? Do not mistake me for a minimalist though - I probably still have as much 'stuff' as everyone else but I really don't get on if I'm surrounded by clutter. It seems to make my brain go a little bit wobbly so I try and make sure (nearly) everything has a place and that the 'stuff' doesn't get a chance to pile up too much.

Of course, this is the ideal and there are still plenty of days I'm looking a a pile of 'stuff' and thinking 'Now how did that happen?'. I do, however, take a small pleasure in sorting through said pile and either reducing or clearing it. It makes me happy, what can I say?

Now when it comes to books, I used to keep everything, pretty much. In a previous house, we took one wall of the dining room and fitted it entirely with shelves. Which I then fitted entirely with books. It looked fabulous and was definitely a talking point when anyone visited. I loved it. I could just go in and look at all my lovely books and it made me smile. When we moved from this house, we were going abroad and I had to reduce - dramatically. Although I still had plenty of boxes of books when I finished, (something the removal man just could not understand: 'Are you actually going to read all these?' he sighed. Hard to believe we were actually paying this bloke. At which point I would also add, if you value your books in the slightest, pack them yourself. Lesson learned.)

Both the local libraries and the charity shops did exceedingly well out of me from that move. Something which has continued. I probably buy less fiction than I did anyway, these days, preferring instead to try and support our support our libraries (and our bank account). I've also bought a few things on my Kindle which obviously takes up little room. But I also am now happy to give away any books that I just know I'm not going to read again.

I think this came in conjunction with the decision not to force myself through a book I'm not enjoying, something I wrote about here. What's the point in hanging onto a book you didn't enjoy, or didn't even finish? Most of my 'giveaways' now go to the Heart Foundation shop, primarily because my Mum volunteers there and it's easy to pass it on. So, not only am I making space in my house for a book that I do love, but I'm supporting a good cause. Like most things in life, just because a book isn't to your taste, doesn't mean it won't appeal to other peoples', so pass it on. Clear the clutter and do a good turn - and you can feel virtuous all day!

Do you give your books away, or can you just not bear tp part with any?


  1. I give novels to charity shops but hang onto any non-fiction. This is on the basis that I never read a novel twice but might want to refer to a non-fiction book. When I got my Kindle my husband forced me to have a massive bokk clear out and the more I do it, the easier it is to give the books away (unless they're a signed copy).

    1. Ooh no, you can't give signed copies away! I think, as you say, once you've made the initial 'push' of giving some away, it does become easier...and of course, leaves room for more!


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