Which books to keep?

The bookcases in my home office are just about full, now that I’ve taken out the items that belong to my daughter.

I have four dozen books that didn’t make it to my office shelves, but at some point I will have to cull my collection further.

My criteria for whether to keep books and other items are: Do I want them? Do I need them? Do I love them? Will I use them?

But deciding is still difficult, especially when it comes to books. They’re not like vases, or decorative pillows, where what you see is pretty much what you get.

The value of books is often not apparent until you delve into them. I don’t think I’ll regret letting go of the books I’m not keeping. I don’t plan to reread them. I think I’ve absorbed what I need to from them, or they just didn’t speak to me in the first place.

I’ve kept some books that I don’t really want or need, but that may be useful for reference. For now, I have a place for them.

Only one of my books about writing is in the not-keeping pile, even though I haven’t referred to most of them in years.

When it’s time to cull again, I also want to look through my old copies of Writer’s Digest and The Writer, magazines that were very useful to me when I was starting out. They are neatly stored in plastic magazine holders… just in case.




My home office, and the “black hole”

Yesterday, I spent the whole day working on my home office (an extra bedroom), as well as the room I refer to as the “black hole.” I unpacked boxes, hung pictures, shredded, organized, and made a lot of decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of.

I moved all of my “offfice stuff” out of the dining room in early December, but didn’t really have full use of my new space, because my daughter hadn’t completely moved out of it. Sigh.

Although I like to break daunting tasks into manageable chunks, I felt I needed a running start for this next stage of getting-my-house-organized.

One thing that motivated me was helping a friend move earlier this month. Moving forces you to get organized and go through your stuff. I wanted to do that too, even if I wasn’t moving.

I also came across a TV show called Hoarding: Buried Alive, and watched the end of an episode as well as the beginning of the next one. Yikes! The show served as a cautionary tale. It also provided motivation to tackle my “black hole,”  the result of two post-university moves back home, and some of my own things that hadn’t yet made it to my home office.

There’s still a lot to do, but I’m ready to go back to the manageable-chunks stage. Lucky for me, because I have other things to do too.