Book Purging

I am moving in the middle of August, downsizing from a sizeable two-bedroom apartment I shared with another human and two cats to a small one-bedroom that will be just for me and the felines. As a result, I have to streamline my possessions, and the hardest part of this challenge will be purging some of my “literary clutter,” i.e. the books that I’ve collected and mostly refused to get rid of over the years — whether or not I enjoyed reading them (if I even read them at all). Given my space constraints, I’m going to have to be ruthless.

Here’s my loose criteria for keeping a book in my personal library:

-- It’s an eternal favorite

-- I plan to read it within the next six months (really read it, not just think about reading it)

-- I can actually envision using it in a research/reference context

Here’s my loose criteria for getting rid of a book (in my case, that means bringing it to Longfellow Books for trade [which, obviously, just perpetuates the cycle, but never mind]):

-- I’m keeping it just because it looks cool/smart

-- I know I’ll never read it or finish it

-- I’ve read it (or part of it) and didn’t like it

Believe it or not, this might impact a good third of my collection.

Are you a book pack rat? How do you deal with the sentimental nightmare of saying goodbye to books? Tips and advice would be much appreciated. And if anyone wants a copy of White Noise, you can have mine -- the jig is up for me and Donny D.

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