Thursday, 19 November 2015

Chucking Out Books

It hurts to chuck out books.  I've got to do it, though.  Horrified to discover that some of the pile above have not been opened for over 30 years, since we moved to this house in fact.
I put them into piles -
1. dustbin  - Items so out of date that not even a charity shop would want them - old guide-books and maps - the type of thing which you would now use the internet to research.  But not proper books.
2. charity shop which has gift-aid card - the better quality hardbacks which it might be worth the time and trouble of recovering gift-aid.
3. charity shop which virtually gives books away (no sorting - 49 pence universal pricing and on top of that two for the price of one) - poor quality paper-backs not worth spending time over.
4. charity shop which sorts books and has sections for classics and antiquarian -  penguin classics, those silver-grey spines dating from the 1970's, once much-loved, but not read since, well, the 1970's.
5. fellow book-lover.  I gave him 3 classic, little-known works, of dry irony.  Caveat - "do throw them away if you don't want them!"  Fellow book-lover physically shuddered, throwing up his hands in protest at the very idea.  He is ten years younger than me, and has not yet reached the stage of having to get rid of his books.
6. garage pending pile.  Pending what?  - Pending probable abandonment by taking trip to charity shop not listed above. My friend, who helped there, said that this shop regularly sends van-loads of books to be pulped.  It cannot be me that takes the decision to throw them out.  If that is the fate that awaits.  This pile includes those orange Penguins, which are three novels by DH Lawrence. I could never read them again.  Horrible, sexist, over-emotional stuff.  They are real books, though.  It's like taking a dog to the vet for the last time.  Dogs know. Do books know?


  1. My local charity shop still sells old guide books and maps. They seem to sell them ok. I'm sure those orange Penguin books are collectable too. Hope you find homes for the rest. It's always painful when you have to declutter books but you're right, the older you get the easier it becomes!

  2. I am going through exactly the same at the moment - we have lots of boxes of books in storage post move (almost a year now - eek!) and are now unpacking them and will have to let some go. The pain is less when they are going to charity (the book equivalent of getting sent to live on a farm)

  3. I love that analogy - book being sent to live on a farm!