This is the Difficult Part

So Ward’s home from Okinawa now, and almost all rested from his jetlag.

Which means it’s time to start:

1. Packing the things we’ll be moving with us.

2. Listing things on Craigslist and Kijiji.

3. Giving things away.

4. Getting things ready for storage.

And it also means …

tackling the difficult part. Meaning, this:

Living room bookshelves

These are the bookshelves in our living room. They are packed to the brim with mostly non-fiction books (the bookcase on the far right holds fiction).

Some of these books have been with me for nearly twenty years. There are plays, art books, essay collections, biographies and memoirs, garden writing books, food writing books, new age books, quantum physics and math books … and many, many more.

I’m not sure how I’ll hold up, sorting through the titles and deciding what to take with us, what to give away, what to store.

It will be hard.

My husband has his own dilemma:

Cookbook shelves

These are his cookbook shelves. He ran out of room earlier this year, so he’s also started another collection in a smaller bookcase to the right of this one.

And then there are these – my To-Be-Read bookcases. Yes, I have two of them.

bookshelf3 bookshelf4

These two bookcases are also problematic because, well, obviously I haven’t read the books they hold yet – and I still want to!

I also have another three full bookcases in my office, filled with writing and reference books (I’m not showing you a picture because that part of the office is unbelievably messy and I don’t think you’d be able to see the books through the stacks of paper piled in front of the bookcases).

All of this – after I’d already sorted through several bookshelves full of books earlier this year. At the end of that first round, I ended up giving away about 20 boxes of books, packed nine for storage and four to take with us.

I thought that was painful. It did take care of all the bookcases upstairs.

This is the downstairs. And just like before, it’s going to be really, really difficult.

My only consolation is – ebooks! I did find it easier to give away my books earlier this year, knowing that eventually, if I want them back, I can order them in ebook format. Much easier to store, ebooks.

But still …

10 thoughts on “This is the Difficult Part

  1. Barbara

    Me too. I’ve been putting off another purging of my shelves. When I do go through them and part with some, I keep telling myself I’ll never reread them because that’s just something I never do. There are always too many books ahead of me to read. My next book job will be to get rid of about half of my collection and despite what I said above, that will be agonizing. Good luck to both of you.

  2. Care

    Wow. I do not envy you, (I do think it would be fun to go through all these shelves if I had lots of time, though!) BEST to you in the sorting. I feel for you!

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh

    You might have more books than we do! Didn’t think that was possible.
    EBooks are a wonderful thing though. I’ve had an iPad since day one, and eBooks are all I buy now. Easier on storage space.

  4. Bernadette

    Oh dear, I do sympathise. So hard to get rid of books you haven’t even read yet, even if you can get them later in eBook format it seems so counter-intuitive. Good luck Belle

  5. cbjames

    I’ve had the same problem so many times now. Recently, I’ve abandoned the idea of keeping a book on my TBR shelf after it’s been there over three years. After that much time, I figure if I ever really want to read it, I can get it from my local library. And there are always so many books in the shop waiting to come home with me…..

  6. Dawn - She Is Too Fond of Books

    Ugh! Culling bookshelves for books you can bear to part with is a satisfying project, but difficult when you *have* to downsize and are under time constraints.

    Good luck to you with it, Belle. Maybe the easier books to part with will be those on the TBR shelves?

  7. Cat Woods

    Oh wow, my dear. My heart aches for you and this difficult endeavor.

    One word: kindle. Yeah, it has liberated my books from their boxes so I can find them more easily and read them whenever the fancy strikes.

    Just don’t tell my DH that the paper copy is languishing in our storage room because our house won’t hold bookshelves.

    Best luck!


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