I hope you’re all still doing the right things, stay home where you can and washing your hands! With all the time on everyone’s hands, people who aren’t used to being at home are struggling for something to do (I mean, I have a whole blog of content you can read and a Youtube channel…) so I thought sharing what I get up to could be helpful.
I decided, seeing at it’s spring, I needed to do some decluttering starting with my massive book collection. I didn’t touch the unread books as I’d recently already been through them, but I did choose to tackle the selection of read books that I’ve accumulated over the last 10 years. This mainly consisted of manga, YA books and some spiritual/occult books. Many books I can’t even remember what they were about, which really lead to me deciding to donate them coz if I can’t remember what happened then it wasn’t that good.
Starting with my manga collection, these were my first purges. I used to watch a lot of anime and read a lot of manga as a teenager, so a lot of these are series that no lon
ger interest me… manga and anime are also know for rather weird and perverted plots and off-kilter power dynamics and that was the main reason I got rid of a lot of these books (this is very specific to Rosario Vampire, I’m pretty sure that is made as a softcore porn for teenage boys…) My reading tastes have changed a lot since I was a teenager (they’re gayer for one) and I only really kept series that I really enjoyed and that had an impact on me. I kept: Chibi Vampire, OHSHC, Blue Exorcist, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist and Fruits Basket. I plan on doing a Youtube series where I go back and re-read these so if I change my mind as I’m reading them, I may also get rid of some of those but I may also fall back in love with reading manga!
I also went through my very bizarre occult books collection. I didn’t realise how many
books I had picked up of this type over the years (mostly from second hand sources but occasionally from a holistic fair or occult shop before they started dying out). I realised a lot of books I had in this section weren’t even particularly linked to spiritual topics and were more like cookbooks or aromatherapy, so those went quickly and easily. I got rid of a few magic/spell books that I either felt I’d gotten everything out of or never touched and didn’t think I would touch again! I did keep a few I hadn’t used before, because they look like a good reference for any future writing I did as I’d love to write a book involving magic. I had a few books about rock types and fossils that seemed more like educational books for children so thought they could find a better home, especially after I realised I had a copy of the crystal bible which is all you really need when you have crystals to identify. And then I found a few dream guides and feng shui books so I kept one of each and put the rest in the to go pile. You can also see two really big books at the bottom, the encyclopedia of the occult is a very cool looking book and would be great for referencing but it’s so huge it’s rather daunting to me and I don’t think I would ever actually use it, and the other book is a book of old quotes that I really have no need for.
This pile is YA books (mostly?) old book series I enjoyed but couldn’t remember the plot for the life of me. Some books I didn’t enjoy or felt like I had to keep, and books I read and knew I wouldn’t read again. Also the Stephen King ‘On Writing’ book has a toolkit I don’t feel like I need to keep the book to read anymore, and I only had the Tobias Wolff memoir for Uni and though I enjoyed it, I don’t think it’s something I want to read again it wasn’t very happy.
I ended up going through my shelves again and seeing which books I would really probably not read and put aside even more books. I finished reading How to Give Up Plastic and decided I didn’t need to keep it. There’s quite a few Fantasy/Sci-Fi books I’ve had for a long time that I haven’t even tried to read in the many years they’ve been on my shelf so decided to say goodbye to those. A couple of non-fic books like How to Read Like A Writer, Norwegian (I actually had two of this book?), The Happiness Trap (A book I don’t feel like I need to use anymore for mental health) and Women Run With Wolves, I realised this was a Psychology book so whatever it actually is it wasn’t what I was expecting and I wasn’t interested in reading it. I tried to read Dead Witch Walking but the writing just was no for me, I struggled to understand why this book series was so popular but I suppose it’s from a different time where a lot of these sexist and misogynist thoughts were normal. I did want to read Secret Societies but decided I wasn’t THAT deeply interested in it and chose to sell it.
Generally, I felt like these books could find a better home. Where will these books be going? Currently they will sit on the shelves a bit longer as I am stuck inside, but after that I plan on selling a few either on depop or even with music magpie just to get some quick cash. I’ll be donating a lot of books too, mainly to my local hospital as the money raised by second hand book sales goes to buying new equipment and I spend my life in that place so I like to try and give back where I can. Otherwise, there’s a local bookshop I like that sells secondhand books called The Book Den and they have really amazing prices on books and a great collection so anything I felt wouldn’t fit with the hospital donation I would take there instead.
edit: I sold quite a few books on depop and musicmagpie (do not recommend musicmagpie), and then donated remaining books to the local donation bin and to the first village fete to sell at a stall. They took up so much room I just couldn’t hang on to them long enough to donate to hospital because they still do not have any bookshelf sales available due to covid. The donation bin has been a saviour for my family as most donation locations have been closed and we didn’t want to take anything to the dump… So we have dropped in a lot of things like clothes, CDs, DVDs, books, shoes… the list goes on really. We have been spending a lot of LockDown clearing out and re-organising to the high heavens! I got new drawers and bookshelves which is exciting for me!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post, I’ve also documented it on my YouTube channel so if you’d like to see me actually mentally going through the process of what I wanted to keep or not, go check that out. The first video is here, where I went through all the occult books I owned, and video two was going through the YA and Manga books.
I hope you’re staying safe!
Check out my recent blog post of my LockDown Book Haul!