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Parting With Old Friends

Parting With Old Friends

How do you divest yourself of books when you just have too many?

Of course, you could argue that there is no such thing as “too many books,” and in one sense you’d be right, but in another sense—when your bookshelves are overflowing, and you have stacks of additional books here, there, and everywhere—it really is time to re-home some books.

If you live in a house and not a condo or apartment, and if your house is not a rental, subject to the whims of a landlord, nor under the rule of a homeowners association, there is nothing to stop you from putting a Little Free Library on your front lawn, adjacent to the sidwalk. I’ve discussed these open-front, take-a-book leave-a-book structures in this blog before.

Your local public library might welcome your oversupply of books, either for their shelves or for an upcoming book sale, You could also donate them to a hospital, senior center, community center, or other organization.

Just don’t merely consign them to the recycle bin to be pulped!

But which ones to give away?

Lately I’ve been re-reading books. After all, what’s the point of saving books if you don’t intend to re-read them? I’ve been digging out books I remember enjoying but no longer remember so clearly that I know what the author’s going to say next before I get to the sentence. There is pleasure in “revisiting old friends.”

But some of them have lost their lustre, their appeal. And some of them are still too familiar—I remember them TOO well. These are candidates for recycling.

Recently I cleared out some space. It was a bittersweet event. It was good to get the space, sad to lose old friends.

But those spaces won’t be empty for long. I just may have a book addiction. And that’s a tough habit to kick.

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