Old Books

I finally selected some books from the shelves to get rid of and make room for new ones. We still have free shelves, but until someone gets a ladder to move stuff up there, that doesn’t help me one bit. It’s pretty hard for me to get rid of books. I won’t throw any away, but even the process of selecting those that I plan to give away can be hard.

The three questions I ask myself are these:
1) Did I like the book? (If the answer is no, then why would I want to keep it?)
2) Is it likely that I will read the book again? (If the answer is no, continue with question 3.)
3) Is it likely that I will lend the books to someone? (Because sometimes, I might not really think that I want to read a book, but I might have reasons to lend it to others and that could be reason enough to keep it. For now.)

Now I have this pile of books that didn’t pass the three questions. The next problem of course is what to do with them. I won’t throw any of them away, even the ones I didn’t particularly like. They’re in good condition and there’s plenty of things to do with them that don’t involve trash bins or bonfires.

I gave up on BookCrossing a while ago, because I never got any feedback on the books I released and all the ones that I caught (two in total) were crap. I get that you don’t usually get rid of your favorite books, but still. Most of the books in my pile aren’t bad. Some of them are more like one-time just-for-fun reads, probably exactly what you’d want to read on your next vacation at the beach.

I have released books in the wild without using BookCrossing by just leaving them on park benches and similar public locations. They probably ended up in the trash, but at least I tried. However, that felt a bit unsatisfying, so I’m not considering that for the current pile of books.

So, here’s the two step plan, I have put to action halfway already and have yet to decide on the second step. (Meaning that I’m totally procrastinating now, but at least I’m blogging about it. I mean… right?)

1) Write a mail at work and tell your co-workers about the books you want to get rid of. Don’t expect too much, though – on the other side, I was able to give away three out of ten books, so the feedback probably wasn’t that bad after all.
2a) Give what’s left to your local Oxfam shop or a similar charity.
2b) Give what’s left to your local library.

I’m kind of torn. The guys at Oxfam seem very likable the last two times I brought stuff there. Very uncomplicated, too. I drop off my stuff, they take it, they smile and say thank you and I leave. Plus, good cause and for someone who’s usually bad at charity stuff the perfect opportunity a nice way to feel like doing something.
On the other side, giving them to the library would probably be a nice thing, too. The main difference here is that giving it to Oxfam would mean that a single person would buy it and that that would be it. And given the fact that I hated how badly equipped the library in Leverkusen was with English books it would be a nice way to improve that for other people – and probably more than one person at that.

So I don’t know. If you have any ideas, tell me. Right now I’m leaning towards library. But nothing’s been decided. And considering how good I am at procrastinating, it’s probably stay undecided for a while.