Being cooped up indoors for much of this year has made me re-evaluate some things: specifically my book collection. Maybe it’s a bizarro cabin fever, but I’ve been looking for things to unhaul and so decided to prune my books. Let’s jump into what I’ve decided to get rid of:
City of Ghosts– a bit disappointing for me personally, but a Middle Grade that younger children might enjoy.
Grace and Fury– I was so disappointed with the sequel, I just didn’t want the first one in my collection (no matter how pretty it looks).
Kingdom of Ash– this one’s a bit of a *shocker*, especially cos it’s signed, but I was left underwhelmed by the ending and won’t be rereading the series.
A random assortment of books:
Milkweed– I remember it being fine… but not much else. Besides, it’s a holocaust book, so I won’t read it again.
Danny Abse poetry– not really for me.
The Promise– I liked this, but I won’t reread it.
Sociopath Next Door– another one I actually liked (you can check out my review here) but I don’t need a copy and won’t pick it up in the future.
Old childhood books:
Cherub– I haven’t even put this in the right order, cos I couldn’t remember it and don’t care enough to check. I never owned the first two as well- which would make rereading a problem (not that I plan to). Some of these aren’t so memorable and the ones that are I remember well enough to know I enjoyed them at the time. Now it’s time to let go.
Snakehead– I didn’t ever finish the Alex Rider series and wasn’t a fan of the later ones- so it’s kind of a no brainer.
Apocalypse– this is a shame cos I like Bowler’s other books, but really didn’t like this (and this is the one I had signed which is the only reason I held onto it for this long)
Series of Unfortunate Events– I was never a superfan, didn’t get through the series and outgrew this a long time ago.
Blood Bones and Body Bits– ditto. Not much to say about it.
Deenie– ah I liked Judy Blume back in the day… but also this one makes me feel lowkey queasy.
And ones I’m unsure about:
Nemesis series– this is the one I’m on the fence about. Like the Cherub series, it’s incomplete. But unlike the Cherub series, I really loved it. That said, I’m not going to read it again- so not sure I should hold onto it…
Which is why I’ve decided to put this one to the vote? What do you think I should do with the series? And what do you think of my unhaul? Let me know in the comments!
Last month, I decided to read my sister’s Marie Kondo book. If you’re not familiar, it’s basically an *extreme* tidying up method. Though I’m not much of a hoarder these days, I did need a kick up the butt to get rid of a few things, which the book provided- thanks book! Now, (because I can’t resist doing a mini review), this isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the book. It had some downsides:
It’s a bit extreme (for instance, it suggests ideal number of books for a person is 30… haha no!) It vaguely says that if you’re an academic, you can keep more of your books, but I just think there are plenty of other people made exuberantly happy by large book collections. I also think this a pretty subjective opinion to state as fact.
Not everything will “spark joy”, no matter how much you need it/probably shouldn’t part with it. And, when it comes to books, some books have a very negative vibe. Sticking to the subject of books, Solzhenitsyn, for instance, doesn’t exactly make me want to sing and dance!
It also (perhaps accidentally) encourages people to rebuy things they mistakenly discarded. But most people can’t afford to just purge and rebuy! In a similar vein, it argues that if you haven’t read a book you’ve hoarded, you never will. Granted, this will sometimes be true- but sometimes it’s just about committing to it (and unhauling and rehauling something you’re genuinely interested in isn’t a good plan).
HOWEVER I do personally think there’s an upside to thinking more critically about decluttering books- as Bookish Villainy discussed in her post “How Minimalism Has Improved My Book Collection and My Reading”. So what are my reasons for trimming down my collection?
Limited space. If you live and rent in a city, you’ll know that space is at a premium! Having too much stuff can create stress. There’s not only the issue of storing them in the short term, but also how overwhelming it can be in the event of an (inevitable) move etc. As much as I love having lots of books, I have to be mindful of how many I own.
Letting go of things you don’t love is healthy. For me, there’s no point keeping hold of things I don’t like/won’t read again. Sometimes it’s gotta move on in the great circle of book life and find people who will love it.
I like having a collection I truly know and love. I like the idea of enjoying everything I own. I love looking at a bookshelf where I can ogle my favourites and feel happy about having them there. I never get tired of looking at the books I adore 😉 (the downside, of course, is whenever I look at my bookshelf I’m tempted to reread something 😉)
So, those are my reasons I unhaul books. Do you unhaul books? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments! I’d be interested to hear your views!
Spring is in the air and I’ve caught the cleaning bug- which means I’ve been going through my bookshelves (and endless boxes) hunting for anything and everything I can rehome. I might even be going a little overboard this time, cos these aren’t necessarily books I disliked- in fact I liked a lot of them- I just can’t see myself reading them again. So, time for the HARDCORE UNHAUL!
Let’s start with City of Heavenly Fire, because that very much comes into the category of “liked at the time I read it, but meh, I’m over it”. While I have fond memories of this book, I’ve sadly outgrown Clare’s books and where I might once have felt the need to reread one of these series, I don’t see that happening (especially after I’ve read so many incarnations of the same story in her other works). Plus, I only ever had the last one in physical form, which looks super out of place with all my other books.
The Falling Kingdoms series is next to be dropped (oof bad pun, sorry about that 😉 ). As much as I once liked this series, I sadly fell out of love with it and now I don’t see the need to hold onto the books (which I had an incomplete collection of anyway).
Pandemonium I’ve kept for a really long time, because I really LOVED this series. Still love it if I’m honest. But that doesn’t mean I want to keep hold of this stray middle-book-in-the-series when I don’t own the others and won’t reread it. I can recommend this series if you want a good YA dystopia and like Lauren Oliver as much as I do!
The Darkest Minds on the other hand sadly didn’t enamour me. It’s not a bad book by any stretch of the imagination- and in fairness my sister read and enjoyed the whole series- but for me it was too similar to Shatter Me and a few other dystopias to really stand out from the crowd. So this one I feel the most confident getting rid of.
On the other hand, I did quite like Incarnate and feel sad letting go of because *WOW THAT COVER*. I might still save it from the unhaul pile at the last minute. Plus, I did like this and think Meadows is a great writer. Still, I didn’t like it enough to continue with the series though and it keeps ending up on my pile of books I don’t want to keep… before I recognise it cos pretty cover is pretty… Moving on…
Lastly, I have this big pile of the Remnant Chronicles. I bought this second hand and was never sure I was going to keep hold of it- and when it failed to *wow* me (review to come) I knew I’d be saying bye bye to this little collection. Don’t let my photo fool you either- there’s not much magic in this series. Perhaps a controversial opinion for such a popular series, but what the heck, you’ll hear more about it when I get to the review anyway.
That was probably the most positive unhaul posts I’ll ever do! Have any of you unhauled anything recently? And have you ever parted with books you still liked but didn’t have room for? Let’s *let it go* in the comments!
So I’ve run out of space… again… which means it’s time for another unhaul! And since this is such a major unhaul, I’ve decided to break it down into categories. (Plus since I’ve reviewed most of these, you can click on pictures for reviews…) Buckle up- we’re here for the long (un)haul!
Let’s start with…
Uni was a long time ago…
The Norton Anthologies– I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and get rid of these. I didn’t want to for a while, because they were a big piece of uni life, but in all honesty, I’ve flicked through them a number of times and they’re just not useful for reading. Most of it’s out of copyright and available on Project Gutenburg- plus a lot of the stuff in here is only extracts (this only has only a couple of books of Paradise Lost for instance- what use is that? Even while I was at uni I had to get the rest of it elsewhere) And as one of my professors always said, they’re more like doorstops than books anyway.
Pretty on the Outside… Ugly on the Inside
Okay, they’re not ugly per se but I didn’t actually like most of these, so couldn’t think of a reason (except the pretty covers) to keep them. Now I want to let them go.
The Miniaturist– So starting off with a pretty meh read. I actually asked you guys whether to keep this when I mentioned my dilemma over how I liked the cover but not the story. The overwhelming response was to get rid of it, so now I’m finally taking your advice.
Queen of the Tearling– Same with this one- I *did not* like this at all, but was seduced by the cover to hold onto it- but you guys said it’s gotta go, so it’s gotta go 😉 Given the hype though, I like to think someone’s gonna be chuffed with this find. That’s the dream anyway.
Three Dark Crowns– I actually didn’t mind this one and plan to read the second one at some point… But that doesn’t mean it has to take up valuable shelf (or rather box) space, cos I’m not that keen on it.
The Girl on the Train– You know, I think the only reason I kept this one was cos I bought it new (which is rare for me). Paying almost full price (okay it was discounted) for a book made me reluctant to give it away- but I wasn’t even keen on this and the cover’s not pretty so…. Bye!
Caraval– Annnnd this one has the *most gorgeous* cover in the world. Plus I bought it with gift vouchers so I was almost sentimental about this one…. ALMOST! It’s just massively overhyped and in the end the cover is not a good enough reason for it to stay.
Books I Like But Won’t Reread
These were hard to part with for an entirely different reason- namely that I actually liked these books- but since I have no intention of rereading them (and no space left to debate about it) I decided it was time to let them go and find new readers to give them some love.
The Vampire Lestat– I liked this book! But man, that cover’s ghastly. And it’s not something I feel like I’ll ever get the urge to pick up again.
The Fall– Everyone and their mother know I adore this author’s work- but this one wasn’t my favourite of his, not by a big margin. Plus for reelz I don’t even own physical copies of my all-time favourite series by Nix, so I think it makes sense for this one to budge over and make room.
A Suitable Lie– This is probably my most highly rated book on this list. But I struggle to read stories on this topic even once- there’s no way I’m gonna be able to reread it. That said, I’m feeling quite good about giving this one up, because I like the idea of someone else getting to read this story next.
Ready Player One– Again, I liked this book- it’s really well done. Still it took me ages to get into and it’s not something I’ll ever feel the urge to reread. I considered keeping it for my sister- but she’s told me she’s not interested.
The Sandman– Another toughie- and probably the only one I’m still on the fence about (maybe I’ll even rescue this one from the heap…) Thing is, I rarely read graphic novels and the ones I have are rated 5*. While I’ve looked through the gorgeous illustrations a few more times, I don’t actually want to reread it, hence the reason it’s in this pile.
And the rest…
Most of these I literally have no reason to keep.
The Killing Fields– Okay, this probably belonged in the previous category, cos it’s a good book, I just have zero intention of rereading it. Can’t say I enjoyed it though, it’s very heavy going
The Outsiders– Ditto with “Killing Fields”- it’s a good book, the writing style just really wasn’t for me, so I won’t reread it.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian– This book was a resounding NOPE for me. I didn’t like the style, the voice or anything about it really.
Dorian– I found this in a selection of books I thought I’d already combed through- I’ve not got the faintest idea why I kept this all these years because it’s TERRIBLE! This is legitimately one of the most detestable books I’ve ever read- it’s smarmy, pretentious drivel that reimagines and ruins one of my favourite books Picture of Dorian Gray. I actually feel bad about putting this one back into the world, cos whoever picks this up is gonna suffer. I hope that whoever picks it up has done something really awful to deserve it, like run over a puppy or killed someone (it’s that bad)
And that’s everything? Agree or disagree? Should I save any of these from the pile? (haha I’m just looking for excuses to back out, aren’t I?) Let me know in the comments!
Well hello there! And hello Spring!! I cannot believe that April just crept up on me like that- where the hell has ¼ of the year gone already?!
Anyway since it’s spring, it’s time for me to *spring clean my bookshelves* aka do a massive unhaul!
I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a limited amount of space for books, so every so often, some of my books have to *make way* in the great Circle of Book Life!!!
As tough as this is, I do like to think of my books going on to bigger and better things (and I’m beginning to sound like I’m about to be parted with my children instead of just my books… AH WHO AM I KIDDING MY BOOKS ARE MY BABIES!!!) Okay, let’s get started before I get (more) emotional!
Let’s start with something I have zero guilt about: The Age of Five Trilogy. I had high hopes for this trilogy, but in the end it did very little for me.
I actually liked this book- but I didn’t love it and I just know I’m never gonna read it again. So… it’s with a little regret that I’m gonna say goodbye. Still not too much regret cos it will be sacrificed on the altar of Making Room For New Books *and* I’m pretty sure whoever picks this up will enjoy it
I never actually reviewed this book, cos nothing about it really stayed with me- except that it was weird and I didn’t get it at all… I just don’t think this kind of magical realism is for me (especially considering my feelings about One Hundred Years of Solitude). Can’t say I’ll be sorry to see this one go.
This one’s a bit of a shame, cos I had looked forward to it for years… and I didn’t like it. And since it seems to be a habit that I didn’t review the books on this list, I’ll give you a quick rundown on my thoughts. To be honest, I found the story and the characters were massively cliché. Great if you’re fond of descriptions of castles- sadly not for me though. Funnily enough, I actually did end up enjoying the last one in the trilogy more than the others- which is strange cos that’s the one most people hate- I guess I’m just a total oddball. As for giving up this book, I am only sorry that this was such a pretty edition. Ah well- I’m sure whoever picks this up is bound to appreciate what’s inside more than me.
Another one I liked- like most Dianna Wynn Jones books, it’s sweet. It just wasn’t a favourite and I have to be pretty ruthless right now regarding space.
This turned up in my old collection of books (that I was briefly reunited with). I don’t actually own any of the other ones, can’t see myself reading it again, and hadn’t meant to buy it in the first place… Fun series though- if anyone’s thinking of checking it out! (Boy am I sending mixed signals here)
A bit superfluous to the Chocolat storyline if you ask me.
I don’t really remember this book- except that it was about an old lady? And twins? Maybe?!
This one was just AWFUL!!! This was described as a “pageturner” and that was one hundred percent true- I just kept turning the pages waiting for it to be over!!
I was recommended this by a good friend and I can see its merits- I JUST DID NOT CONNECT WITH IT AT ALL! I was tempted to hold onto it, cos *wow that cover*, but no, it’s gotta go!
This post is really making me seem like I have some problem with Joanne Harris, isn’t it? But I swear I don’t- I actually liked this one too- as you’ll see in my review– but it’s just another one I didn’t feel strongly enough to keep.
I’m giving my copy of Watchmen to a friend that likes graphic novels. I got this second hand- so *no guilt* about giving it away, especially since I know it’s going to a good home!! 😀
But wait- there’s more!As usual, I need your help with whether to discard a couple of other books:
As you may or may not know, I did not like these books *in the slightest* BUT I’m still debating over whether to get rid of these two, cos the covers were perty and, unlike most of the books on this list, they weren’t second hand… so?!
What do you think? Should I give these away too? Or can I assuage my guilt for another few months before another purge? Let me know what you think in the comments!!