Weeding the Collection

“Weeding the collection” is librarian-speak for getting rid of old materials – usually books – to free up shelf space for new ones. The old books might be damaged, outdated, or simply not in demand anymore; whatever the reason, occasional weeding is necessary.

Having lived in five (5) separate places since August 2007, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to weed my personal collection as well. After the second or third move, I made a personal rule: no more hardcovers. Doesn’t matter if I can get them used for six bucks – they’re just too heavy to cart around from place to place. There are exceptions, of course – I have a few collector’s editions (The Woman in White), a few first editions, a few signed copies (Her Fearful Symmetry, The Little Book), but for the most part, I really try not to buy hardcovers anymore. It’s hard to say no when I get them for free from friends who work at publishing houses, though, so I do still have about two boxes’ worth. Not including cookbooks.

Still, I’ve gotten rid of several boxes and bags’ worth of books in the past year – in Brooklyn I’d put them on the sidewalk and they’d be gone in a day, or I’d bring them to Housing Works; here, I’ve been donating them to Goodwill or bringing them to Lorem Ipsum in exchange for store credit. That’s what I did yesterday – here are the ones I said goodbye to (ten, plus one not pictured):

And here are the five I came home with instead (I was also looking for a copy of Tana French’s The Likeness, which I want to re-read, but it wasn’t there):

Yes, I’m susceptible to A.A. Milne. Who isn’t?

What I’m reading: The Good Thief, Hannah Tinti
What I’m listening to: Tim, The Replacements

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