How Do You Decide Which Books To Keep? Beautiful or Useful?


Beautiful or Useful

take up the most amount of space and weight when packing and . Our book collection is massive-yet it is a great deal smaller than it used to be.

Over the years we’ve sold or donated hundreds of books. While this is a good way to not hang on to excess books, there are certain drawbacks. For instance, we don’t own a car so paying to take one out in order to try and sell or donate is uneconomical, not to mention time consuming. Just the other day we took out a car to try and sell 4 massive cartons full of books. Now, as I said, we’d already gotten rid of a lot of books…so these remaining ones were only ones that we liked.
We only managed to sell a few books, but didn’t want to get rid of the rest just because…I mean, I’m all for donating books so that others can enjoy them, but there are books out there for people to read, already.

I was deeply saddened at the thought of having to give up many of the books in our collection, so I am glad in a way to be able to take them with us. We’ll be donating 2 bins worth, still, but many of the ones we’re keeping are real treasures. Having more or less stopped buying physical books, instead primarily reading on our Sony ereaders, we’ve tried to sell a lot of our books. How have we decided what to keep? Well, we have a lot of first editions, signed copies where we’ve met the authors in person, and a few others that hold sentimental attachment. We’ve basically kept ones that are too good to just give away, at least to just random people who might not appreciate ho great the books are. We don’t have more than a few paperbacks, mostly hardcovers or signed trade paperbacks. We have lots of design and art books that can’t be replicated in digital form.

What makes you decide which books to keep? Do you still buy physical copies of books?

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About Tazim Damji

Tazim Damji is a content creator, blogger and social media marketing specialist from Vancouver, Canada. She is passionate about gadgets, video games and technology, loves pouring over interior design magazines and blogs, and is an avid traveller. Read more posts by Tazim. Visit her DIY/ Home Décor blog Love Snap Make Connect with Tazim via Twitter or on Facebook . Google+


  1. In this house, we have an unhealthy love of books. We don't understand the terms "get rid of," "donate" — when associated with books. Considering we both also went to University, and have completely different tastes in books, our collection is all over the place. We've decided the only way to rationalize our keeping all these random books is to one day start our own library. With extremely restricted/background search required memberships. And possibly code names.

    Pre-Kobo (and pre-BF), I spent way to much on books. Probably more on books than food. I promised that I would stop that post-kobo. The physical amount of books hasn't really changed. Just where I get the from. Old & used books always were much cooler, anyways.
    My recent post But I am le tired. Then go have a nap…

    • WIth keeping more books than we'd originally planned, I'm happy to be able to dream of having a library again! Do you use anything to keep them organized, electronically? We use Delicious Library.

  2. Debbie Rodgers says:

    So hard! If I've enjoyed a book and think I might want to lend it out or reread it, I keep it. If it's beautiful;, I'll probably keep it. If it has material I want to refer to, I'll keep it…I'm afraid I'm no help to you.
    My recent post Book Review: UNFINISHED BUSINESS: One Man’s Extraordinary Year of Trying to Do the Right Things by Lee Kravitz

    • I haven't read most of our books, because Greg is much faster than I, so we have dozens—maybe over 100 or more I haven't read! So, I am glad to keep them and one day have read them all.

  3. We live in a fifth wheel RV so space is an issue. Our under the bed storage is full of my books. I decided to keep only my favorite authors and I collect books on the Holocaust so those stay. Everything else goes to Paperback Swap.Com

    • That is a good way to decide which ones to keep. We love to travel, so ebooks work better for taking. Greg's parents have an RV that they travel in a lot and they have paperbacks stuffed in every nook and cranny. I know space is really limited in those vehicles!

  4. Useful only!

  5. It's really hard for me to give away any of my books. I used to not give away any of them at all. Then I was faced with the task of moving from my parents' house into a studio apartment. With 700 books. This was clearly not going to work. I chose to keep only my favorites or those which had a lot of use to me and those I had not yet read. For me, it was somewhat easy to get rid of them, because I gave the good majority to my younger sister. I'll often times lend a book here or there to people who I know would love it, but I fully expect never to get them back. And maybe that's the way it should be – that they should always be so passed on.