Monday, 15 August 2011

Too Many Books?

I was browsing the radio stations on the tv Sunday morning- one of the joys of digital you can listen to the radio without needing a radio-and I came across a half hour programme on Radio 4, Too Many Books.
It looked at the difficulties that people face when they decide to reduce the number of books they have as a result of downsizing, death of a partner, or not enough room for newer books.

Don't know if you're like me, but I am very very reluctant to dispose of any of the books on my shelves-I have bookshelves full of books of all sizes and assorted subjects. (Admittedly some of the books do belong to my other half.)

Recently I've been thinking about sorting through them- I'm meant to be on a reorganisation spell at home- and have decided that I must get rid of some of the books I have, dust all the books and the shelves and rearrange those I'm keeping.

I suspect it will take a long time and in the end I won't have got rid of that many.

There are still books on the shelf that I bought in my late teens and early twenties and am very attached to, M M Kaye's 'The Far Pavillions', 'Shadow of the Moon' and 'Trade Wind', plus a number of her shorter 'Murder In...' stories.  Also the Poldark books by Winston Graham that I worked my way through after the series appeared on tv all those years ago.

(Sadly Kaye died in 2004 and Graham in 2003, both authors were of the same generation, born a couple of months apart in 1908. (Their books left me wanting more every time.)

They're only paperbacks but I'm certain they will be staying with me to the end...


  1. I'd just blogged on that very subject the other week on The Writers Vineyard! It's the one part of our recent decluttering that brought me to a standstill as I just can't get rid of enough books yet. I suspect this will be ongoing for some time!

  2. Glad it isn't just me Rosemary. :-)
    Perhaps writers develop short-sightedness on how many books they have because they are an extension of what we are- they're essential.

  3. I have the 'too many books' problem as well. I've now realised that although I keep them, I rarely re-read novels - so gradually I'm letting them go...
    But non-fiction - that stays because one day I might need to look something up (& a book is friendlier than the web!)

  4. I certainly agree on the non-fiction not letting go, Sally. You can guarantee a few weeks or months after you've let a book go, you'll need to look something up that was in that book. :-)

  5. I only hold on to fiction books if the book itself has sentimental value or if I think it might be difficult to get hold of another copy should I want one. Thanks to that ruthless trait, I can get almost half of my books on the shelves.

  6. I must try and be more ruthless then Patsy.
    Though I wonder what you do with the other half of your books that don't fit on your bookshelves. :-)

  7. I just HATE getting rid of books ...


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