Friday, March 26, 2010

Discarding Books from my TBR

I have a lot of books.  For those who know me this is not news at all.  Back in June I confessed the total number of books in my TBR.  I've read a whole host of books since then but I've also gotten a boat load as well so the number probably is very close to accurate.

Now of these books I have in my TBR there are quite few that I will never read - mostly print books, but some ebooks as well.  They were given to me as gifts by some poor misguided relative with excellent intentions or they are ones I bought and I've had for a darned long time and have just never read.  So why are these books on my shelves when I know, deep down inside, that they will never get read?  I know that they'll never be read but yet I have a hard time letting them go.  Why?  Is it the small hope that one day I will get to them?  Probably not, but I have a hard time discarding books that I haven't read.  Yes, I've done it in the past but it's not something I like to do.

So what do you do? How do you do it?  Are you ruthless?  Do you just give away the books that you know you won't read? If so, how do you decide which ones go? 

Or are you a hoarder like myself and keep them long past their expiration date? 

Also, I never get rid of ebooks even though there are some in there that I'll never read as well.  I think because storage is so simple the thought doesn't even cross my mind.  Do you get rid of ebooks?


Anonymous said...

I never get rid of a book until I at least TRY to read it.

By that I mean read the first few chapters.

I can be very disciplined with book purchasing when I see my TBR stack getting out of hand - I simply STOP buying any more books until I've read more of what I've already got.

I figure I bought all those books for a reason and I owe it to the authors to read their books that for whatever reason captured my interest at the time of the purchase.

If I keep buying more books I do a disservice to the authors of the books I already own and to myself by potentially missing out on some great stories.

The new books will still be there a month later for me to purchase - I can wait most of the time (unless its one of THOSE books- like when I was waiting for each Harry Potter book to get released).

Once I've read the books, if they are not shelf keepers I either give them away to friends or donate them to book drives/charity tag/garage sales etc.



s7anna said...

I'm a bit of a hoarder & a scrooge...I've never managed to give away a book that I've paid full retail price for...I recently gave away about 500 books to a local charity and they were all books that I'd accumulated over the last couple of years from used book stores as well as books I've found downstairs in my apartment building (people put their unwanted books on the bench in the lobby so lots of goodies scored that way).

My way of selecting the ones to give away was by re-reading the blurbs...evaluating whether I would ever read it or re-read it...was I too attached to it?...and then forcing myself to put it in the give away pile.

I do enjoy buying books quite often so I try and make sure that I stick to authors whose works I follow...I do take chances on new authors all the time but the majority of my book collection can be pretty well organized by authors that I've steadily collected for many years.

I'm waay more adventure when it comes to my ebook purchases...since it's soo much more affordable I consistently take risks on new authors to try them out. I keep all my ebooks since I'm too attached to them...I even keep copies of the freebies that Ellora's Cave offers...besides as you mentioned they take such little space on your harddrive that it's not difficult to just hang on to them.

Happy Reading

Tam said...

I have a very small TBR list/pile compared to many I know. They fall into a few categories:

a) Books I received as gifts and that I may have asked for that book specificall but now I lost interest. LOL I do NOT get rid of those, they were a gift, someone paid full price for that for me and I may read it one day. My interests change so who knows.

b) Books I picked up for .50 or a buck at a used book sale or garage sale. The cover might have appealed to me or the blurb but now, meh. Those get donated to charity. I can't be bothered. I have no emotion invested in it, it was just some cheap throw-away book I picked up.

c) e-books that I bought (or may have received free) that now I'm not so interested in. There's not that many, maybe a dozen in the last 18 months. But they just go in a file called "long wait". One day I may decide they do appeal to me. I already feel bad if something sits in my TBR for months and months, especially when I don't have that many books in there. It stares at me everytime I open the file.

I have only ever deleted 2 e-book files. I HATED the books and I knew there was no way I'd EVER look at them again. It was weird and kind of frightening. I suppose it would be like throwing a book in the trash as opposed to donating to the charity shop. Because e-books don't take up physical space, there is really no need to ever get rid of them. When my daughter is of age or I die I suppose she'll inherit them. LOL

Chris said...

The ebooks I just let accumulate. Periodically (um, less than annually), I'll wade through the print TBR and pull out the ones that aren't to my taste anymore.

I'm not very ruthless, though. :)

Lily said...

Print books that I know I'll never read again I donate so that someone else has a chance to enjoy them. Although since I read mostly ebooks now my print collection hasn't really needed attention in quite a while.

As for ebooks I've never deleted any. Once I read a book I take it off my Sony and it just stays in my book folder. My TBR is huge (probably around 350-400 books) and my wish list keeps growing all the time. Realistically I know it may take a miracle of time management to ever read those books but I could never just get rid of them.

Katie Reus said...

I'm a hoarder too. If my shelves get too full and it's just impossible to convince my husband that I need the books in my TBR pile, I donate them to the library, friends at my local RWA chapter, or to my CP's (they usually get first crack at them). It's not often that i get rid of unread books though. Read ones yes, but the TBR ones are just so hard to say goodbye to!! My ebooks I uh, never get rid of. I've got a flash drive I just save them to if they're filling up my computer too much ;)

Tracy said...

Ms M - I admire your willpower. I apparently have none.

Anna - I had to institute a challenge to myself last year that had me reading one book, each week, from my TBR that had be there for 3 months or longer. It's definitely helped the TBR dwindle but not by much.

Tam - I can say that I don't keep all books that I received as gifts. I would have shelves and shelves of them. But if someone knows I read romance and they go out and buy me an author I hate I just can't bring myself to read it. *sigh*

Chris - I've gotten good about getting rid of the books that I've read that I don't want to keep but not the ones in the TBR.

Lily - Yep, I just keep all of my ebooks on my flash drive and since it's so big I can keep a lot on there. lol

Katie - Oh you're so like me! I have SUCH a hard time getting rid of books in my TBR. IDK...maybe someday. :)

Sullivan McPig said...

I only discard books that I started but just couldn't get into, those I donate to the library of a hospital.
If I've not read anything in the book yet I'll keep it until I tried a couple of pages. I must confess I had 'Jovah's Angel' by Sharon Shinn for years before finally deciding to read it and I LOVE that book.

Sophia (FV) said...

I never get rid of e-books. Just seems a waste since I don't have to dust them and all. :)

I am a hopeless hoarder when it comes to my print books but now and then I get frisky and put a few up on paperback swap and trade them in for new books (that I may not read) LOL

Jenre said...

I pretty much keep all my ebooks. they don't take up physical space so there's no real drive to get rid of them.

I do give away paper books on my TBR pile which have been donated by well meaning relatives. If I'm never going to read them then why bother keeping them. I can use the shelf space for books that I do want to read and keep.

JenB said...

I have nearly 350 print books in my TBR and 75-100 e-books. I haven't had time to sort through them lately, but usually I'm ruthless about the TBR. If I know I'll never get around to reading a book, I'll give it away, post it on, swap it on paperbackswap, or trade it in at a local UBS. I get rid of as many as 50 books at a time during one of my clean-outs.

Print only, of course. It's not possible or legal to get rid of e-books. If I read 'em, great. If not, they just sit on my hard drive.

Dr J said...

Now Tracy, you KNOW that hoarding is in the family DNA and when it comes to books, you have grown up watching me accumulate enough books to open my own public library. How can you wonder at your penchant for keeping books? I DO love the simplicity of ebooks and not having to go out and buy another bookcase or add on a room.

Tracy said...

Sullivan - Yeah, it looks like that's where I'm at as well. *sigh* maybe someday I'll be able to get rid of the TBR by giving them away.

FV - I keep thinking I'll get frisky with them but then it never happens! lol

Jenre - see, I need to be more like you! :)

Jen - Not legal to get rid of ebooks? Really? When I say get rid of I mean delete them not give them away. That's ok, right? :)

DrJ - Of course I'd be much better if you'd stop giving back the books you read for review! lol If you're done with them don't give them back! lol

Kris said...

Ebooks I keep. I just move the ones I know I won't read or read again to my external hard drive.

With print books - maybe every couple of months - I go through and sort out the ones that don't interest me any longer. These go into my 'off to the secondhand book store' pile at the bottom of my linen closet... safely out of sight. :)

The Romance Girl said...

I never get rid of ebooks either. They're not collecting dust- they're digital for goodness sake!

I'll admit I never weed out my TBR pile, ever. I have a little under 200 books from my TBR pile that I own in print, then hundreds more that are to-be-bought, so I'm not sure what the overall TBR count would come to. What I do know is that one of my shelves cracked last week from the combined weight (especially since I don't get rid of the books I've read either- I'm such a hoarder o.O)!

Ingrid said...

Good thing that I was never in the habit of buying paper books. I don't have that many and certainly not many TBR ( 4 and one was a gift).
I have a few more TBR in ebooks but I buy new ebooks when I need new ones to read. The ones TBR are the ones that sounded interesting when I bought them but don't look that nice later on.

ElaineG said...

I seem to be a hoarder too! I can't give up any book I HAVE read if I even liked it a little...and as for e-books...I have gobs of thumb drives with each genre separated and saved and for the TBR pile of paper books...same thing! The TBR e-books are also separated in files by genre...some by author and I have nothing but HOPE that I will get to them....I even number them by reading order, but I also move them around occasionally. Gee, as I write this I realize I have a bit of neurosis when it comes to my books lol! Oh well, I guess I can't let go! Reading is by far a better habit than some I COULD have so I will just go with it:)

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