Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Shelves are overflowing..

I hear this one all the time. And I also have the same problem. There just isn't enough shelf space in the average home to accommodate an avid reader. Even if you just have your TBR pile on hand, what are you to do. Well the obvious one is to just not have so many physical books in your possession at one time. But come on, this is an addiction we are talking about. For example, if I have series on my TBR list, I, for some reason, feel the need to have the entire series on hand before i start reading it. Mostly because the thought of getting to the end of a book in a series and not being able to pick up the next installment right away if I am so inclined, is just upsetting to me. So here are some of my shelving solutions:

  • Once you have read it pass it on. Use PaperBack Swap or GoodReads Swap to pass it on to someone else. Or start sharing books with your fellow readers, for example your book club. But the idea here is not to exchange or even get back the books, but rather to pay it forward so to speak. Because if you are like me, you are not likely to read it again.
  • For books that you know you will read again (still don't' understand this concept but I know there are several of you other there that, for example, re-read Wuthering Heights every Christmas) put the keepers on the top shelf other designated location that is out of the way but not  looked up in storage.
  • Consider storage in books. If you have access to an  attic or garage put your future reads away for the time it takes you to get to them. Just remember it needs to be a dry, cool place, that won't be subject to pest invasion.
  • Wait to obtain a book until you are ready to read it. This one is super difficult for me. I want a book the day it releases, if I have been planning to read it. That doesn't always mean that I will read it right then, but I just want it right away. But if you exhibit patience your shelves will thank you for it.
  • Switch to digital. I have yet to personally jump on this bandwagon, but not for lack of understanding. The practicality of an eReader is very apparent to me and I am very into electronics. The concepts of having thousands of volumes at my fingertips is very enticing. But I still can't get past the loss of the actual book in my hand. But for those of you that are over this little issue, digital will save your shelves.
So what do you do to stop your shelves from overflowing?


  1. I am torn between the two. I like that smell and feel of a book but on the other hand, don't want the clutter. Ironically, I am having a discussion on Sunday about this very issue. Not only from a consumer's point of view but an author's. He will be responding to comments or questions. Hopefully you can stop by. Am posting about this shortly.

  2. I trade at a used bookstore. Gets rid of old books and I can get new ones to read.

  3. I sell the books I didn't like as much. The thing with me though, is that I have a bit of a 'separation anxiety.' Haha.
    I just can't let go of a book, especially if I really loved it. So it's a bit difficult..

  4. Well I am one of those that switched to digital and only buy "books" that are not available in ebook format or that I want to keep (I am one of those people that re-read books). Other than that I send my books overseas to the troops for their libraries: http://www.booksforsoldiers.com/

  5. Forgot to add this one: http://www.operationpaperback.org/ (which is the one I use)

  6. Don't forget about donating to your local library or for Christian books you church library!

  7. I always swap my books on paperbackswap or let friends borrow them. The only ones I keep are my Harry Potter series (that I read all over again before each movie comes out) and whatever hardback books I buy. I rarely buy hardbacks, so when I do, I keep them.

  8. Good suggestions, but if I had any restraint at all, I wouldn't have an overflowing TBR pile to begin with!


I love love love love to hear what other people think - share your thoughts so we can start a dialogue!