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Big bookshelf clean-up and reorganising madness

The TBR bookcase
The feeling has been building in me for some time of wanting to get rid of some books I previously assigned to the keeper shelves. I also want to reorganise the keeper books in order to get all the books of each genre shelved together, instead of stuffed wherever I can find room for them. I also think this could be an incentive to read or cull some of the older books on my TBR shelves, e.g. leftovers from the unfinished mystery reading challenge and other hilludraugar.

What are hilludraugar? I hear you ask. Well, it's an Icelandic word, here shown in the plural (the singular form is hilludraugur) that conveys the same meaning of uselessness as the English term "white elephant", but refers to smaller items and not necessarily expensive ones. It literally means "ghost on a self" and originally refereed to a thing that was haunting one's shelves and being useless and gathering dust but now has a wider meaning of "thing that gathers dust" literally or metaphorically. It's an excellent description for some of my TBR books.

I finally started the project on the Friday before last. I have already switched my TBR stack from the office into the living room, where it will be more visible. The keepers from the living-room shelf are piled up on both of my sofas, waiting for me to decide what to cull and what to keep, but I have been distracted by all the books I would like to reread...

I have already filled one box with potential culls, but I would like to get rid of as many as 50-100 books. The problem is that I have a very hard time letting go of travelogues - which form a goodly percentage of my keepers - when they
are about countries I have been to or want to visit, even ones I didn't particularly like when I read them.

One category I will definitely consider culling from are the mysteries. For a while when I was doing my 52 mystery authors challenge I would keep all the first books in mystery series that I came across, whether they were good or not, and I also kept several hard-cover mystery books because I love hard-cover books (and not because I thought I would read them again).

The hardest category to get rid of will be the children's books, especially old favourites I have kept since my childhood but have avoided rereading as an adult because I am afraid of having my rosy memories of them shattered. However, I recently learned that some libraries are quite happy to receive old children's books in good condition - especially classics - as the ones that are still popular are being read literally to pieces and replacements can be hard to find when they are out of print. I think I will make a list of the ones I have that are in good condition and check if my local library wants any of them.

Another problem is that after I finished arranging the TBR books in their new home I decided I wanted to move the bookcase and switch it over with my glass-fronted treasure cabinet that resides on the other side of the living room. This means re-emptying the bookcase, emptying the treasure cabinet, and dragging them across the floor to switch places and then re-filling them.


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