There’s all kinds of stuff which I need to sort in my house as part of the Unclutter Diaries, but there’s no doubt that books are the dominant problem. Here’s how I’m going about sorting and redeploying them.
The good thing about books is that, when all else fails, I can chuck them into a recycle bin (after removing hardcover bindings in extreme cases) and know they’ll have a better fate than being landfill. However, that’s still very much a last resort. Here’s the categories I’ve found my books naturally falling into as I’ve sorted them over the past couple of weeks. (The pictured sample books fall into each category.)
Books by authors or on topics I collect: Even if I’ve read these dozens of times, they won’t be going anywhere (other than a specially designated shelf where they’ll be sorted in chronological order of publication).[imgclear]
Reference works I can imagine using again: These might not be cherished as much, but I’m still pretty confident that they don’t contain information I can easily access via a simple Google search, so I’ll also find shelf space for them.[imgclear]
Books I’ve read once but don’t imagine I’ll read again: In the past, I’ve tended to hold onto books with a reverence bordering on the insane, but the clutter factor (and the fact that I’ve had them locked in a garage for a year and haven’t cared) means I’m now ready to pass them on. My current thinking is that I’ll gather these together and distribute them with BookCrossing tags — a subject I’ll revisit in the near future.[imgclear]
Books I’ve never read but which still appear relevant or possibly interesting: On the whole, I’m seeing these as charity shop fodder. If there was something really interesting or unusual I might contemplate eBay, but in truth if I know that much about the book, it’s more likely to belong in the first category.[imgclear]
Out-of-date reference works: While these might have minor interest for social history, they’re the hardest ones to deploy in a meaningful way. They’re a waste of space for charity shops, and I can’t imagine passing them on to anyone else. This is where I suspect the recycle bin is the only option.[imgclear]
Any adjustments you’d suggest to this scheme before I start flooding ferries, cafes and Vinnies with my unwanted tomes?