Discussion: The Great, Not So Great Purge

For this first Discussion post of 2019, I am not going to be about the bush. At the end of 2018 I had this grand idea that I was going to do a great book purge.

“Ha! I laugh in your face,” said my books. “We are not so easy to get rid of. Muhaha!!”😈

By January 1st, I had a big ole pile of 4 books to give away. And I gave one to my mother, so it didn’t even leave the house and the remaining 3 left the house; but are somehow trapped in my car on the back seat.

Oh there are days when I wish Marie Kondo were here. Most days not, but some days yes. You know, just for that extra push.

Last year, I discovered an App called Book Buddy. I thought this would be the perfect push for me to get rid of books. Why? I have a 30 second rule when I’m getting rid of stuff. I touch it ponder it for no more than 30 seconds, meaning I ask questions like: “why did I buy it?” “will I read it?” “how long has it been on my TBR?” “will I ever reread it?” among others.

Armed with the Book Buddy app and questions I began scanning and scanning and scanning. (And, no I’m not finished.) As I scanned the books went into 1 of 3 piles:


A lot went into the Maybe pile (then came out), and even more ended up in the Keep pile. I am frustrated because I know that I could have a much larger donate pile, but I’m having a difficult time parting with them. ☹️

So, I ask you. . .

How do you go about purging your books?
How often do you purge books?

This post is brought to you as part of the 2019 Discussion Challenge hosted over at Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

9 thoughts on “Discussion: The Great, Not So Great Purge

  1. Elley March 5, 2019 / 10:34 am

    Are your books ones you’ve read, or are they unread? I find I need to be in the mood to get rid of stuff, and sometimes I have to take multiple passes at the same pile of books. Maybe one day I get rid of one book out of the stack, and a week later I can get rid of two more out of that same stack, then if I go back another week later I’m ready to let go of another two. But I’d never have been able to let go of five all at once. I also let go of read books much more easily than unread books – unread books are almost impossible for me to let go of. That involves a whole process of me sitting there and pulling up the book on Goodreads, looking at the overall rating, and I’ve started to read the synopsis and if the overall rating is less than 3.5 and the synopsis doesn’t make me want to read it RIGHT NOW, I (maybe) let it go.

    GOOD LUCK. (It’s hard!)


  2. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction February 16, 2019 / 1:04 pm

    I don’t have much of an issue purging books I’ve already read, but getting rid of the ones I haven’t read yet is a definite hardship. I can’t give up on them!


  3. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators February 12, 2019 / 6:35 pm

    I can 100% relate to this! Whenever I try getting rid of books it never ends up how I expect. I keep making excuses for why I should keep all the books. I bought it in a cool new bookstore, I can lend it to a friend, it has a pretty cover. The list is pretty much endless! I’m still trying to make my peace with the fact that I’ll never have a true purge. Good luck with your unhaul!


  4. Laila@BigReadingLife February 11, 2019 / 7:53 pm

    I second the idea that access to a public library will help you get rid of books. Also you can tell yourself that more than likely, if you really regret getting rid of a book, you can probably buy another copy. I just go by mood and ask myself, realistically, and I going to read this or am I going to reread this (if it’s one I’ve already read.) but it’s hard to get rid of books!


    • The Broken Spine February 12, 2019 / 2:08 am

      Yes! I love going to the library. Over the last 12 months or so, I’ve saved nearly $600 which should be quite the incentive to not buy books that you’ll later have to cull. And truthfully I didn’t like any of them enough to buy them.

      Ah, going by ood can be a little dangerous for me. Maybe I could go with did this book happy mood after reading it or did it me feel like that was xx number of hours I’ll never get back.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jean @ Howling Frog February 11, 2019 / 2:31 pm

    I didn’t at all for a long time, and then just before Christmas I surprised myself by getting rid of a couple of bags of books. My criteria are usually a)do I still want to read this? b) if I’ve read it before, do I want to again? and c) if I want to read it again, is it easy to get at the library?
    Good luck with your quest!


    • The Broken Spine February 12, 2019 / 1:56 am

      Congratulations on your purge. Your criteria is quite logical. Over the last year or so, I’ve taken to library much more. Apparently, I’ve saved nearly $600 by checking books out from the library, which should be incentive enough to keep from buying books and hanging on to them. And the other part is that the majority of books I’ve borrowed I haven’t enjoyed enough to buy. Hmmm, I might be on to something.


  6. ireadthatinabook February 11, 2019 / 1:04 pm

    I did some purging last time I moved which helped with the motivation (although I did keep most of them). However I like the way that I now almost only own books I like, no “I bought this once when I desperately needed something to read and now it lives in my bookshelf forever although I probably won’t ever open it again”-books. So now I try to decide on whether or not to keep a book as soon as I finish it, and if I decide to donate it I remove it from the bookshelf immediately (even though it may take some time before I actually donate them). Far from a miracle solution I’m afraid but I have at least managed to slow the expansion of my book collection…


    • The Broken Spine February 12, 2019 / 1:45 am

      Moving is the best for purging. I like that ideea of deciding to donate or keep right after you’ve finished reading a book. I don’t know if that will work for me simply because I have a tendency to ponder them for a while. Maybe I’ll give it a whirl though. A friend of mine once told me “Nothing beats a failure but a try.”


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