Monday, January 28, 2013

What Have We Done?

For more years than you can count on two hands, we've been saying we MUST sort through our nearly fifty years' accumulation of books and pare down the numbers.

During the past year of remodeling our kitchen and living room, we had to pull books off the shelves and pack them away in boxes.  Some of the books were put back on shelves as we constructed them, but not in much of any rhyme or reason order.


We've still got all the books on the shelves over the three double windows in the kitchen and about five boxes that have been packed away since we moved here (going on sixteen years ago) to sort into stacks.

Oh, and I just remembered the small book shelf area in the bathroom to bring out to the sorting areas, too.


As soon as we have ALL the books initially sorted through, we'll work on categorizing them on shelves and in bookcases thinking that (duh!) we might then be able to actually find a book when we're looking for it.


The plan is to get rid of ones we no longer want to keep.  Yep, we're going to be ruthless in paring down the number of books we have.  Wish us luck on that because have you noticed it's hard to get rid of a book you've lived with for so long?  It's going to be harder on my dear husband because he's definitely more of a "but there might be some information in that book that we'll need sometime" thinker than I am.


This morning we ate breakfast standing at the kitchen counter because . . . well, the table was full of books.  It's still full of books.  Maybe more books even than this morning.

Good grief, what have we gotten ourselves into?

33 comments:

Tombstone Livestock said...

Oh now that looks and sounds like a fun project .... LOL

Sparkless said...

Ohhhhh I love books! But with the internet you pretty much don't need reference books anymore or cookbooks. You can find all that stuff online. With that said I still have a ton of reference books and cookbooks. I keep telling myself to get rid of them but I just can't.
Good luck weaning down your book collection. It looks like a pretty extensive one.

DFW said...

I have so many boxes of books that I never unpacked after our remodel, mostly fiction, but still. when I open one of those bins it smells like the library to me. Good luck Mama Pea!

Erin said...

We think alike! I spent the last 2 days reorganizing and paring down the bookshelves. I was ruthless too, I only kept mostly non-fiction reference type books, a few photo heavy books on home design/decorating and a very FEW novels, the ones I liked so much I'm saving to give to my mom next time she visits :)

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

This generation of e-reading kids wont even know what all those squares are on your table.

Lisa said...

I love books. I pared down a lot but still have my younger girlhood horse crazy books and Cherry Ames set. My favorite set is my 30 books in the Elsie Dinsmore series. I m not sure those will ever go anywhere. Sad part is out of 5 kids not a one cares about them or wants them. Too sad!

Myrna said...

Boy, I am sure glad you can't see my house. I don't easily part with books. I do use Book Mooch, great web site, but you can also request books there. Not so good!

Lisa said...

Gosh, this is so strange because I've been going through our books these last few days. Oh it's hard work for me as each one is my "friend"...... *sniff*..... but am trying to be ruthless here too, particularly in my workroom, to make room for fabric and yarn and other sorts of wonderful goodies. Good luck Mama Pea!

Lisa said...
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Lisa said...
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Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - Define "fun." ;o]

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Because you love books you know what I mean when I say it's just "different" looking things up on the Internet compared to holding the book in your hand. And thanks for the good luck wish . . . we're gonna need it!

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Yepper, our love of books is a special thing, isn't it? That's why I can't get really excited about the newest technology available for reading without holding a book in my hand. Call me a dinosaur, but that's how I feel.

Mama Pea said...

Erin - We have only a handful of books that aren't how-to or reference or such. And since we don't KNOW all the information in them, it's SO hard to say we don't need them. Arrrgh.

Mama Pea said...

Jane - Personally, I think that's a very sad thing. :o(

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - The books of yours that you named are treasures! As far as none of your kids caring about them, they may change their mind in time. Stranger things have happened!

Mama Pea said...

Myrna - There are a lot worse things we could be addicted to than books! :o}

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - That's just it . . . when you love books, it's like getting rid of friends!

P.S. Please don't remind my husband of my quilting books in my quilt room. THOSE are not included in this purging! Shhhhh.

Freedom Acres Farm said...

My daughter and I logged ALL of our over 3000 books onto excel a couple years ago. It was a lot of work but fun too. We weed every once in a while and we continually add to our "collection" LOL Books are our friends! I can not cuddle up to the idea of reading a good book on a screen.

Oh and Sparkless, I wouldn't get too chummy with the internet. No guarantee that it'll always be here and then you'll need those reference books. Just sayin......

Simply Scaife Family said...

Wow..there is a major undertaking. We did that a few years back and I don't ever look forward to doing that again. There is a reason I am not a librarian :)

Trailshome said...

Isn't that one of life's rules? Just like, "All tasks will expand to fit more than the total time available" don't, "All book collections expand to outgrow any and all shelf space available"? Good luck in the sorting. Trying to choose books to get rid of is like deciding which friends to drop. A very tough task.

Stephanie said...

That was one of the hardest areas to pare down for me, before my leap to NC. Good luck!

Kristina said...

I recently donated a good amount of books I had. I too, have them in abundance. I decided to donated many to a hospice care facility, where they are used by family and patients who can't sleep and need a good book. I also gave some to friends and family, and donated the rest to the library book sale and to a thrift store.

Mama Pea said...

Freedom Acres Farm - I asked hubby how many books he thought we had. He said (facetiously) a couple hundred. I'm thinking it would be more like your number! Should we take the time to count??

Mama Pea said...

Simply Scaife Family - I keep thinking if we ever had to move . . . how many boxes of books would it be for us??!

Mama Pea said...

Trailshome - Hubby and I have reached the point where we're realizing that "possessions" tend to weigh you down, both psychologically and physically I think. And let's face it, whatever you have in the way of material things, you have to spend time taking care of them to one degree or another. We have a yearning to be "free-er" to get out and do . . . as opposed to being home dusting books (or building shelves for them!) for instance. Yes, wish us luck!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - I can just imagine what you went through. It's not as easy to replace a treasured book as a bedroom dresser!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - IF we manage to part with as many books as I hope we can (!), a lot of them will be donated as you have done. Our library has a FANTASTIC book sale every summer and they gladly take and sort through any books anyone wishes to give them.

Susan said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I suppose you could blame it on the lack of sunlight? Cabin fever? I made myself go through all of my cookbook collection and I have downsized it from three bookcases to 3/4s of a bookcase. It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't easy, but it feels better now. Your library will love you!

Patty said...

LOL! That looks a lot like our house! :)

Mama Pea said...

Susan - In dealing with this obscene number of books we have, I actually feel like we ARE a library! I have about 50 (yes, I'll bet there truly are that many) cook books I should/could let go, but I'm not even going through them right now. (Please don't alert Papa Pea to this fact.)

Mama Pea said...

Patty - You house could NOT look like this much of a disaster area!! Trust me.

Freedom Acres Farm said...

Yes of course. Everyone should know how many books they own LOL