I had a big weed today. Oo-er: careful how you read that! A big weed. A big deaccession. Out of a shelf of books and my travel section, I have about 20 to join the reshelved children’s books section in the guest room, and about 20 to go off into the world via BookCrossing. Added to the Biography weed I had a few weeks ago, and the great Wendy Perriam chuck-out of early January, that’s about 50-60 books off the shelves.
While I would like to say that that’s 50-60 books I can ADD to the shelves in the future, it’s more like the piles of books in front of their relevant sections can move onto the shelves, the sports books are all shelved vertically and Social History, Villages and Books About Running a Hotel have their own tidy section. There are a few gaps, though.
Why all this weeding? I blame (thank) the Month of Re-Reading that I do every January and July. OK, it slows up my TBR demolition, but planning my re-reading and then doing it has made me focus on what books I keep. Before Bookcrossing, I used to keep pretty well everything, unless it was utterly rubbish. I discovered Bookcrossing when I came to move up to Birmingham with Matthew, realised that about 80 books had languished in my storage unit unread and unwanted for a couple of years and was looking for creative ways to pass them on, and since then, I’ve been pretty good at not keeping anything that I wasn’t likely to re-read in the future.
However, that left books purchased before 2004 (i.e. Before Bookcrossing), plus ones that I thought I might want to re-read in the future. Going through picking books to add to the Month of Re-Reading has really seemed to focus my mind on what I do want to read again, and has made me less anxious about getting rid of books I won’t read again. Sometimes, re-reading a book to check whether I still like that author has led to deaccessions – but not as many as these latest culls have produced.
The mind works in a funny way, doesn’t it, and I note that it was when I was popping downstairs for a work break drink that I suddenly found myself picking books off the travel section and making a pile to give away, rather than in early January when I was picking re-reads. But, whatever: it’s another reason why I’ll be continuing those Months of Re-reading!
Have you done some deaccessioning recently? How has it felt? Do you find it easy to pass books along?