Monday, August 10, 2009

Throwaway Pile/Keeper Pile

I don't technically have a throwaway pile. I mostly just stack the books I've read on the shelves until they get

A) Unsightly
B) To be a crushing weight
C) There's a So. Cal. Blogger get together and I gather them up to see if I can find good homes for them.

But which ones do I get rid of...and why? And why, for that matter, do I keep the ones I do?

I have quite a few books on my shelves that I've read that I wouldn't take to a desert island with me if I had the choice. Are they good books - absolutely. But not so damned good that I would want to read them over, and over, and you would have to do on the aforementioned desert island (assuming you didn't have the vast libary that we do here on DIK). But why do I keep the ones I do? I have no answer. I think it's just a feeling. A feeling that I had when I read the book and when I see the book on my shelf that feeling returns - and it's a good one.

That leads me to my throwaways. These are the books that I have no problem sending on to their final reward...uh, I mean, passing on to the next person (let's be clear - I've never actually thrown a book away). These don't instill quite the feelings in me that the keepers do. It's more a meh feeling about whether I keep it or not. Not that I didn't like the book but I don't particularly care to read it again for whatever reason. Then there's the feeling that when I look at a book I just say - wow, can't get rid of that fast enough. I don't have many of those feelings, thank the gods and knock on wood.

So do you have a throwaway pile and how do you decide what to give away? And the keepers? Are they all DIK's or not?


Jenre said...

I don't have a throwaway pile cos I have no-one to throw them away to! I do have a 'sell 'em on' pile of books that I have advertised on a site called They donate 50p towards planting trees for every book which is sold. It's only in the UK though - sorry.

The books on this pile are the meh books that were OK but which I don't necessarily want to read again. I have slipped up on occasion and sold a book I then wished I'd kept!

Sarah said...

I don't tend to get rid of a lot of books, I hoard. Truly rubbishy ones go to the UBS. That photo of the shelves is so cool. Shelf smut!!

Kris said...

My rule of thumb is anything I liked enough that I know - not think, but KNOW - I'll reread I'll keep. Everything else goes to the secondhand book store.

D. B. Reynolds said...

Oooooh, I never throw books away! I do GIVE them away, however. I ship them via Operation Paperback to various U.S. military troops. And I trade them away at The only ones I keep forever are those I know I'll read over and over again. Otherwise, my house would be filled with books!

Carrie Lofty said...

If you're looking for a place to send your non-keepers, try Share the Love. It collects and distributes romance novels and other books for women's shelters. I learned of them through Hope Tarr's Madame X Salon, where they donate all proceeds from their reading nights to that charity. Just sent a big box off to them this past week--had to make room for all the new books I received at Nationals!

sula said...

paperbackswap. Any book that I don't absolutely love and know I will want to read again gets posted on my shelf at PBS. Depending on how new and/or popular the title is, it might not get requested right away, but I've found new homes for a lot of books that way. And acquired some of my own of course. hehe.

Lea said...

Hey Tracy:

I have a lot of trouble parting with books be they keepers or not but it has gotten to the point where I have to part with some.

So, what to do? Three designations; one are my DIK and I will never part with those; second are great books but not keepers, those I trade off with friends or give away to a nice used book store down the street; the third is my eh stack or DIF and those go to the used book store or library.

Then there is the TBR which is a whole other story... lol

Thing is most of the time I don't have the time to organize the "stacks"... lol

Sorry I didn't address your question yesterday very well. I'm under the weather right now. I re-read it this morning and realized my answer made no sense whatsoever... ack...

Best To You..


Tam said...

I don't buy many paper books, for years I was a library freak and now I do e-books mostly. I do have a pile in my basement that is someday going to make it to the trunk of my car and to the charity shop.

I'd say 90% of my books are give-aways. But like you the ones I keep just give me a feeling. They are likely books that I have read more than once. Just because I'm giving it away doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I'm an easy reader, I like 99% of the books I read to some degree. Very few are DNF for me, I'm easy to please, but that doesn't mean I LOVED them. If I can't remember the names of the characters a few days later, likely means I didn't "love" it. In one eyeball and out the other? (That phrase doesn't quite work. LOL) I would often buy mysteries on sale for $5 at the bookstore just because it was cheap and sounded interesting. After I'm done, its a thing of the past.

I do have a quest to head to Ikea for more bookshelves, but mainly for my daughter although I have a few as well. I have collected a few paper m/m books, usually as prizes (squeee, with my name and the author's inside *fangirl faint*) and I only buy ones that I LOVE LOVE and likely will never open but I want to HAVE it in my hot little hands. And since I only have access to one small shelf on our bookshelf I thought it was time to be a big girl and get my own. :-)

Tam said...

D.B. Reynolds: That is a cool idea about sending them to the military. I don't think we have that here, not sure they'd be into romance. LOL but I do have a fair number of mysteries. I should check if we have something similar in Canada.

Tracy said...

Jenre - About the slippage - yes, I've done that before too and kicked myself quite soundly afterward! The sounds wonderful!

Sarah - A hoarder! How do you find all the room. You probably buy a fair amount of ebooks too, right?
Isn't that shelf amazing? I showed it to my hubby and he even thought it was pretty cool.

Kris - Very nice. Do you get credit for your books at the SHB?
We have a UBS in town that I used to give things to but I can never get there when they're open (bad hours). I still have a credit there from a long time ago but can't ever use it!

DB - I never throw books away ever either! That's just wrong imho. :) I usually give them to my friend who's father was starting a library in a small town that didn't have one. In fact I take all the So Cal blogger books that they don't want there too. The romance section is probably bitchin! lol
Operation Paperback? I'll have to check that out. Thanks.

Carrie - Share the Love...another great suggestion, thanks. As I said the ones I don't keep normally go to my friends' dad's library but this is a great option too.

Sula - It seems a lot of people use Paperback Swap. Something to look into. Thanks.

Lea - I put the books I've read all on the "already read" shelf and then when it's time to figure out which goes where that's when I have the issue with what to do with it. :)
And your comment yesterday made perfect sense - silly woman. :)

Tam - I like most of the books I read as well. I call myself a forgiving reader - but easy works too! lol
And girl..YES you need to get yourself a bookshelf just for you! :)

Mary G said...

Luckily I have many favorite authors who all have their own websites. You can read about books, read excerpts etc. I can pretty well tell if I'm going to love a book (if I feel meh then - I don't buy it)It's rare that I don't buy a keeper. I do share & lend with like-minded readers.

Anonymous said...

I give away or garage sale occassionally. After I read a book, if I never, ever want to read the book again, I fold ths first page on the inside cover and drop it in my book stack. It's the mark of death. Later when it's time to discard, I mean sell, I can find them easily and off they go.

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

I just wanted to pop in and tell you ladies that I have an award for you all at my place!!!
Hope you alll have a great day tomorrow!

Kytaira said...

I would give them away and take them to the UBS. Can't stand any of the local UBSs where I live now so I rarely go to them. And any book I wanted to buy at them would be a cash only book anyways.

I'll find some way to give them away on the net probably. Or maybe try the paperback swap online. Problem is that I want books in really good shape only.

I currently have boxes full looking for a new home.

I am trying to get rid of more books. Since I'm a horder that's tough. My goal is to only keep books I plan on readling again.

Tracy said...

Cecile - thank you!

Kytaira - Does your local library take used books? I know mine does and they sell them for about .25 cents which is very cool. Either that or you may try the suggestions from this post - Operation Paperback or Share the Love.

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