My Reading Life: Winnowing the TBR

Dear Reader:

I spent some of the morning culling out books from my library.  I also rearranged the library.  It has bothered me (deeply  🙂 ) that I ordered my book cases of fiction wrong – the books are arranged in alphabetical order by author, but the first book case started with the letter “L” and the next with “A.”  And I had non-fiction shelves (dog-related books, travel books) mixed into these fiction book cases.

So, I took the plunge and rearranged things, while winnowing out a lot of contemporary literary fiction.

The “chaff”

Please understand that these books are not really chaff – there is an awful lot of really good writing in here, I know that.  But as I’ve been realizing that I have the major project to read deeply from a finite number of, mostly, classic authors, I’ve realized that I won’t really have time for a lot of these books.  A few I had read (and enjoyed, but will never read again) – a couple I’d tried to read (and not enjoyed), the rest are just books I’ve collected over time that looked good.

So, I pulled them from my shelves, which freed up space to file most of my overflow into its proper place and features my “main” authors better – all part of my long-range plan to focus my reading.

I’ll be in Marquette tomorrow and I plan a stop at Snowbound Books that wonderful Upper Peninsula of Michigan independent bookstore (new and used, excellent literary fiction and children’s sections).  I’m going to trade in my books and pick up a few new ones by my main authors (and hopefully, a biography or two about my main authors).  Yup, they’ll count toward my 20…  This IS a little scary – I know I’m giving away some really good books and I’m afraid I may be giving away books that would be a nice change from, say, Edith Wharton…  That’s Ok, I’m making the leap….  🙂

How do you keep your books under control?  Are you building a library or do you prefer to give away or sell books you’ve read?

Happy reading, Ruby



  1. I decided to choose to allow my books freedom to wander to whatever corner, shelf, or surface they find necessary given the time of year…there tend to be seasonal migration patterns. 🙂

    I don’t like to insult books, so even if I dislike one I try and pretend that it isn’t so bad until I’m really pressed for room, at which point I often give them to a home where I think they will be more appreciated.

    Sometimes though, a book is such a good read I just have to pass it on as soon as I’m done so that someone else can enjoy it. Of course, this still leaves me with a lot of books that I don’t imagine the people I know would like, or that they have already borrowed and read.

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