The Benefits of Unhauling Books

August 2018 Unhaul

I’ve been making an effort for months now to both 1) reduce my TBR backlog by reading from my oldest unread books; and 2) cut back on my hypothetical TBR by pruning it with the “Down the TBR Hole” book meme.

Those efforts have been pretty successful, but when I tallied the still-unread books from my 2016 acquisitions, I came up with 90. Okay, I did pick up 330 books that year–but I still haven’t gotten to 90 of them?

I knew my TBR pile had gotten out of hand, but there was one area I wasn’t cutting back on–the books I already own.

Normally, I wouldn’t tell anyone to buy a book and then get rid of it unread. That’s a waste of money. In my case, however, these books cost me pennies at most, because they all came from bag sales at my various local libraries, so I have no problem looking at one and saying, “I’m never going to read this, it should go.”

The reasons:

Anna Karenina – I didn’t realize when I nabbed it that it was a heavily abridged version, though honestly I should have, from its size. I’d rather read the whole thing, if I ever do.

Thirst, Vol. 1 + 2 – I thought it might be fun to read pulpy teen vampire novels, but I keep passing them over in favor of other things. Not going to bother.

Love’s Rescue – Christian historical romance. I got it when I was trying to broaden my romance horizons, but by now I know I’m less fond of historical. And while I’ve enjoyed quite a few “clean” (ie, no sex) romances, I scanned this one, and it’s definitely Christian with a capital C. Not my thing.

Local Girls – I’ve picked up a lot of sets of books from the same authors, if they’re popular enough, and Alice Hoffman is one of them. I think I had three of hers before I’d read any of them, and now I’ve read the other two, and I wasn’t a huge fan. This isn’t the same as when that one Woodiwiss book was so bad I DNF’d it and preemptively dumped the others–this is more, “I know this book will probably underwhelm me.” So it can go.

The Norsemen – Since purchasing this, my husband was given Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, and we’ve both read it. While it looks like Norsemen includes a few myths Gaiman didn’t, I’m sure it won’t be as good, because how could it be? It’s redundant.


Now, I’m not going to be doing this often–it’s far more efficient to cut books from my TBR before they live on my shelves, not after. But it feels good to throw all these on the stack for donation, with all the books I’ve read and don’t want to keep. Someone else might still want them, right?

I’ve cleared out some shelf space, lightened my TBR burden, and possibly made some future readers happy; it’s a good day.

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