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I am caught between a rock and a hard place! I have to move in less than month, I must go thru an accumulation of 'stuff,' can't take it with me and don't need it, anyway! But, the hardest part is giving up my books! I must have 1,000 or more books and I have culled them once or twice before! Allowed my children to take them. All, except the ones that were dear to me! Now I am down to the 'dear to me' books! But books are heavy and I want have the room and why would I store them! I feel like the knowledge that I gained from my books...will somehow go with them...when I must part from them! This is one thing, that I wish I could leave to be disposed of, after my death! This is very difficult...

By Freedompath
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Books are meant to be read. Give them to school libraries, or hospitals, or battered
women's shelters.
Imagine the joy they've given you being passed onto someone else.
Think of the minds that can be expanded by the stories you love.
Sometimes, if we are able to shift our perspectives, even just a little bit,
we can accomplish the things we think are too hard to do.

KKGator Level 9 Feb 12, 2018

Really like this.

I know...it is the turning loose that is the hang-up...

Yes when I went back to try and find the ones I sold they were not there. They had found another place to be.

@Freedompath I get it. Giving up something you love is never easy. You'll always have the memories of the pleasure you derived from them, and the satisfaction of knowing you've given a tremendous gift to others.

@KKGator that is true...I realize they gave me so much... back in the day, but life does go forward not backwards...and I want to be lean and simple now, so...I think that I can get this done!

@Freedompath Good on ya!!!

I recently saw a concept whereby the donor stuck a note on the front of a book then left it in a sheltered place where people may find it. The note says something like " I have read this book and loved it. I leave it here for you to take and enjoy as much as I did. When you have read the book please leave for the next person to find ... perhaps in a bus station, airport lounge, courtroom, ...".
Tailor the note to the book. Leave a disposable email address asking for the holder of the book to drop a line about the books whereabouts in 1, 5, 10 years.


Here, most libraries cull the books every time a new edition is released or after a given number of years with only one or two copies being held in stacks for the whole state.


Books will eventually get silverfish eating the spine glue or mold/mildew between the pages. Stop thinking of them as a permanent life fixturse. You can get all of them at your library and/or your computer!

AnneWimsey Level 8 Feb 12, 2018

I know, I have read 100s and 100s from the library!
I got that, 'stop thinking of them as a permanent life fixture,' lol. Those words caught me! At least there is one step toward...I know I must, I just didn't know this would make me ill!

@Freedompath you know you can use them to make shelves & coffee tables...will that help you keep a few more?

@AnneWimsey ha!ha! Is this like an alcoholic? ..'I will just have a drink on the week-end.' Lol. I do feel addicted to my books! Lol.

@Freedompath I don't struggle myself with letting things go; however, I know that the struggle is VERY REAL and can be emotionally debilitating for a lot of people.

If there is not a hurry, try baby steps. Maybe make a commitment to yourself that every Saturday you are going to GIVE A GIFT of just 20 donated books.

Another way to get started is to maybe INVITE people to come browse to see if they would like to receive any books. I am thinking that maybe seeing somebody's eyes light up at the possibility of reading "x" book, will make the process easier for you.

You'll get there.


I definitely understand that. Is there any way you could donate them and share that knowledge with others?

JimG Level 8 Feb 12, 2018

My library has so many books, I did donate a large portion of my art books...second hand books nooks are full...this is a retirement area, so people have lots of books to donate here. I think that I will check out our women's prison...most all my books are non-fiction! With some classics!

@Freedompath the prison will so appreciate that

@Freedompath that's a terrific idea.


Also realize you can probably visit any of those titles through an online library. I too have an accumulation of printed books. But I know have an equal collection on my Kindle - where I have no need to make room for them.
If you have a regional library system they should be able to get most of the books for you as well.
And yes I'd find that hard too. Some books go back to my childhood or even further.

RavenCT Level 9 Feb 12, 2018

I love books, they way they smell, feel, sound when you are reading them...but I have mostly given them up in lieu of online books. Now I have them wherever I go and no matter how many I have, they never weigh more than my phone or tablet and they never take up extra space.

AdorkableMe Level 7 Feb 13, 2018

Yes, there is something about books...


I had the same problem when I moved to Thailand in 2010.
I donated all the new, illustrated educational books to my home schooling niece, and donated the rest of them to my local library, for tax benefits.

I now also follow the advice of Mari Kondo, in her book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing."
The trick is to sort similar items into piles; screwdrivers, scissors, notebooks, etc. Then get rid of duplicates.

Next, go through your clothes, shoes, etc., by category, picking up each item. If you don't feel joy when holding it, give it away, no matter who bought it for you, or how much it cost.
When you are done, your house will never be cluttered again.

birdingnut Level 8 Feb 12, 2018

Yes! I know that process and am giving up more than i thought that i could! Giving up gifts from 5 children isn't easy either...not to mention the cards! I am working through, remembering they do not want this job after I am dead, either! Thks


“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

273kelvin Level 8 Feb 13, 2018



This is exactly why I switched to e-readers years ago. I have my entire library carried in a device of a few ounces, to be read anytime, anywhere. I can find passages or specific words with the search function, I can highlight and annotate things without permanently marking up a book, etc.

It took me about four years to convince my wife to let go of her attachment to paper books and now she thanks me for it almost every day and wonders what she was thinking. We both read ourselves to sleep with our iPads every night smile009.gif

mordant Level 8 Feb 13, 2018

There's a book called "the life changing art of tidying up". In it the author says the best way to get rid of things like that is to literally hold it, and thank it for what it gave you, and pass it along. I've done that with some things, it's quite cathartic.

Taijiguy Level 6 Feb 13, 2018

I imagine you have some rare ones that are probably out of print. I dread the same problem and sometimes ending up buying it again. If you have any friends who have similar likes then you should parcel them off to them to dispose of which I am sure they will do as you wish. If they are classics or out of print you can see if someone would be interested in buying them. If you look them up on line you will find sites who will buy them or at least offer to buy them, but you have to see what the going price is and how rare they are. Its a fun thing to get involved with and you find some you never knew about. I would go with your friends or a club if you belong to any as another way to lessen the load.

Nevermind345 Level 7 Feb 13, 2018

Sorry to hear that. I think you're handling it well, considering. What do you plan to do with them? I like KKGater's idea.

VictoriaNotes Level 8 Feb 12, 2018

I have a similar problem. Lots of great books, no place for them to go. Boxing them up and listing the contents of each box is a first step. If you can afford a storage locker have them transported to there. If you have a reliable friend ask them if they could store them.

Dwight Level 7 Feb 12, 2018

I do, but then my children will be faced with the job after I am dead...not that I am leaving anytime soon...

@Freedompath not a job for the children, an adventure. They will rediscover who you were by revealing to themselves the books that helped shape the who that you became. I did it for my dad once.

@Freedompath I remember one chap left so many books that his wife and daughter had to open a small bookstore.

In Clunes not far from Ballarat there are almost more second hand bookstores than street lamps. Every year they have a weekend book fair and more shops open. It's a bibliophile's paradise!

@FrayedBear... there are written treasures out there...that may only be written once!

@Freedompath I have an acquaintance whose mother photographed paintings for an early 1900's art book. He saw his mother's copy when growing up but hadn't seen it for 70 years when a niece showed him her family copy recently. A book may be written once, rewritten many times and copied many times but if never read or read and not comprehended it is all to no avail. What knowledge and wisdom is lost when libraries burn down or books are censored?

@FrayedBear it is painful to think about!

Hmmmm......I really don't understand the purpose of boxing them up and also paying for storage. The would sit unused and unread and taking up space for how many years before the children would "rediscover" their mom?

If you were talking about pictures, cards, written letters -- I am 100% on board. Otherwise, I am puzzled by this idea.

@BlueWave not sure how much longer Freedompath will live, so can't say how long. The books are important enough to store rather than discard. They must be put away somewhere for some time due to space limitations. The books that play a critical role in someone's development say as much about that person as cards or letters might. I was specifically responding to Freedompath's dread that it might be a burden on the children to deal with the books and used my own experience as a guide. I not only relished the opportunity to go through my dad's books after he and my mom died, but I kept most of them and passed a few on to my own children.


I’m having this same problem. Which art books do I keep and what do I get rid of as I downsize?

VitamAma Level 4 Mar 25, 2018

I agree with @KKGator 100%. When I moved from Seattle to Louisiana, I sold some of my boxes and boxes of books to Half Price Books and gave some away.

In the last nine years, I have kept very very few books because I want to share books the same that I would share food, a recipe, or any recommendation.

They gave me joy in the reading and, since I know I won't read most of them more than once, they get passed on for others to enjoy -- and HAPPILY so.

BlueWave Level 7 Feb 14, 2018

Donate them to a public library when death takes you..

Charlene Level 8 Feb 14, 2018

And then as Churchill is reputed to have said:

FrayedBear Level 8 Feb 13, 2018

if you donate them to the library you can always go back and take them out again - at least worth a talk with your local librarian

jacpod Level 8 Feb 13, 2018

I culled a TON when I moved. I feel your pain! There are still a dozen boxes in my attic that I couldn't part with. Eventually, I'll be able to get rid of some of them too. It's a process. Don't feel that you have to get rid of them all at once. If your new place has a spare bedroom, but up some shelves and fill them with your books. Even if your place is small and the shelves are an eye-sore. Then, once a month, pick one (or more!) to donate to the local library. Ours has an ongoing used book sale. Your desire for less clutter will help you decide which ones to eliminate. If you have some unusual ones, consider selling them on eBay.

carlyhorton Level 7 Feb 13, 2018

Good advice, I can keep the ones that I consider 'dear'...when I read your word 'eye sore,' my first thought was, books are never an eye sore to me (you didn't say that), I do believe that...I could live in a place with only books and a place to sit, with a light, lol...I would feel perfectly happy!

@Freedompath You're right, I didn't mean that books are an eye-sore. In my former tiny apartment, I had some very lovely (and massive) shelves and they were packed with books. It took up a huge part of my living room! For a long time, I really liked it. But after a few years, I realized that I hadn't actually touched most of them in years! A few, yes. But the massive shelves eventually started making me feel cramped and cluttered. So in my new place, I just have a small book case in the living room and everything else is in the attic.


We have a new branch library in my neighborhood, and they are glad to get the books I have been donating to them. Have seen several on the shelves, and some in the book sales to help keep the place going. We have access to all of the books in the counties system. Might make a list, and see if in the library, so if you give them away, can always get the book to read. Might work, except for any inscriptions in your books.

Or-Humanist Level 7 Feb 13, 2018

They have full house...I did donate some nearly new art books...we have a constant book sale going on...and I don't need to go in there at the moment!! Lol I think this has progreased into an addiction...the books will have to go!!


Does the printed/ written word have greater validity than the reproduction of the same thing on a computer screen?

I suggest the answer emotively is yes, practically yes but factually no.

I recently received my electricity bill. We have so called digital "smart meters" recording usage complete with the current balance on the register. The sum of my off peak and normal meter totalled about 30600 kWh of electricity consumed to the commencement date of the bill. The closing reading was about 500 kWh. The company had charged me for about 700 kWh. consumption. On enquiry into this phenomenon I was told that they had zero'd the voltage to the meter which resulted in it resetting to zero. I therefore asked "what day did this occur?""We can't tell you, sir!" Beware when they start to call you sir - a very large piece of bullshit is heading your way! "Well when you zeroed the meter did you record what the closing count was?" "Oh no sir! We work off your daily consumption now, it's measured in half hour increments."
"So you are running an unethical or corrupt business that cannot prove what it says it has supplied?""Certainly not sir. We are very honest!" "Lol, so honest that you are unable to stand before a judge and say "here is the opening balance, here is the closing balance and one subtracted from the other is the consumption?"
So I have made an opening gambit claim that they owe me about $7000 for my supply as evidenced by the power company figures on my bill...the ombudsman asked "how can you prove that miracle?""Now we are getting religious! But my entitlement, in a land of equality, requires the same consideration as their claim that I have used 700 kWh''. He declined to admit that we do not live in a land of equality.

FrayedBear Level 8 Feb 14, 2018

What is the world coming to? We are just supposed to believe because it said so! My meter is auto too and I have not had a problem in 7 years I have lived here. Thank heavens!


Several times I accumulated book only to have to give them up for a move. I now just use libraries.

It is a shame that many libraries don't take book conations, but have a policy of buying books that are newly printed. However, your local librarian may know of options of what to do with your books, so they don't go to waste and are used for a good cause.

snytiger6 Level 8 Feb 13, 2018

Too many paranoid obsessives afraid of germs and even information contrary to their beliefs.

@FrayedBear You could always try to donate them to a prison library. Help inmates leave god behind. (Joke)


Every six months our local school has a book fair. Books costing upto $150 are sold for $1 each. At the end of the fair the tons of unsold books are loaded onto a truck and carted to the tip.
That sadly is what today's people seem to think about printed books.

FrayedBear Level 8 Feb 13, 2018

Here to...now how can I live with a vision like that! Lol. I will do this surgically!


I empathize with you. At one time, I had at least 2,000 books, Predominantly non-fiction. My wife urged me to deeply prune my collection to make space for other things. That was painful. I threw away all of the insignificant books, gave away several hundred to book organizations, sent boxes full to my daughters. I am down to less than 200 books which mean a great deal to me. I will not prune any further. Due to vision problems, I don't read books anymore, but those books were my friends, my mentors my fellow seekers and conveyors of thought.

wordywalt Level 8 Feb 13, 2018

That has been my story as well...almost word for word! Lol I did not mention, the years of National Geographics, years of art magazines. ..lol.

@Freedompath If we had had the space, KI would not have gotten rid of more than a handful of books. I looked at my library with affection and pride. In could pull out a book and think, "Ah, I know you well. You taught me a, B. and C and gave me such pleasure -- and I still love you for it." I miss my reading so much.

@wordywalt I also fear the time when reading will become impossible. At one time I read and recorded books for members of the blind society who paid a nominal fee to have it done - the readers did not get paid. I now receive information from a company producing aids to assist people with eyesight deficiencies. The prices are constantly dropping and technology improving. Organisations such as the Gutenburg library now have about 50,000 books available, some in spoken format and curently all free.


I always wonder why I keep books I've already read. I never read them again and they just take up space. I would love a good excuse to get rid of them. It looks like this is your chance.

Eazyduzzit Level 7 Feb 13, 2018

A good excuse to get rid of books? Pass them on....donate the books to a school or to a local library...sell them in a garage sale (many people can't afford bookstores' prices)...a community center will receive them with open arms......

Same here..LOL. @Eazyduzzit


Good suggestions. I need to look into doing that.

Those reasons are exactly your excuse, Eazy -- you won't read them again and they are taking up space. smile001.gif


You took the knowledge you needed from them and I think it's nice to share knowledge with others and there's the internet to help you now to help you. you got to do what you got to do. you can't always have what you want.

LeighShelton Level 8 Feb 13, 2018
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