Friday, February 6, 2009

To Keep or Not To Keep

My home is full of books- piled in corners, packed onto shelves, strewn across coffee tables, stacked on nightstands, and wherever else you look. I go on binges and buy more books than I'll probably ever have time to read. I am usually reading two or three at the same time- right now I'm working on Jodi Picoult and David Sedaris.

I also have an enormous collection of children's books that are spread throughout my kids' bedrooms and in baskets next to our favorite reading spots in the house. The really special ones are easy to pick out, broken in with all of the love they have seen over the years.

The question is....what do you do with all of your books once you have read them or your children have moved on? My friend Sandy, a self-described pack-rat, refuses to get rid of anything. She hangs on to every report card, note, newspaper clipping, and art project not only from her child, but from her own childhood.

This was a HUGE problem when she married her husband, a self-proclaimed minimalist. One day Sandy walked in the front door to find her husband leaning over the trash can in the kitchen. She watched him for a moment, trying to figure out what the heck he was doing. She quietly approached him and realized that he was reading the final pages of a book. When he finished the very last page, he dropped the book into the trash and started to walk away.

Absolutely dismayed, Sandy asked, "Why did you just throw that book away?" To which he replied, "Well, I finished it and it wasn't all that great."

Something about throwing a book in the trash just doesn't seem right, does it? No matter how terrible, boring, offensive you may find it...a book is a book is a book, and it must be of value to someone!

So, what do you do when you are done with your books? Take a quick poll on the right. I want to know!


  1. I voted in the poll :) I keep my faves but the rest I list on The Paperback Swap to earn credits for new books to read! AS for the kids books, I keep most of those, but I do weed out some from time to time and donate to the school. I also have tubs and tubs of children's books stored here at my house from my classroom library.

  2. I am the same - I keep all my books and then in a cleaning frenzy will donate my less than favorite ones to our local library. We have only just started my daughter's "library" and am begining to wonder where we are going to keep all of them!