Bookshelf Cull, Reorganization, and Replenishing

Here is the before picture of my bookshelf. When I looked at my shelf, I felt mentally heavy and unhappy. The quality of the content on the shelf was not enough to keep me satisfied. So I reorganized. This led to a few different arrangements: rainbow, alphabetical, and genre (in a different order than before). It was too exhausting to keep taking the books down and putting them back up. After numerous meltdowns, I was ready for a change.

I recently did a heavy cull on the books I wanted to get rid of. When I first got back into reading in 2015, I was buying more books than I could read. The four main suppliers of books I used were Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Half-Price Books, and Goodwill. I bought as many books as I could without any real intention to read them. I would go to my local Goodwill and buy books in massive quantities at 99 cents each and shop in the clearance section of Barnes and Noble to get books at $5-$7 a pop. I just wanted to fill my bookshelves as fast as possible.

I took a hard look at my shelf and decided it was time to let some books go. I was content with the amount I had, just not the books themselves. I got rid of all the classics that I only bought with the intention of hopefully learning something from them. I got rid of the shitty series that I wanted to read in junior high school and still never had the urge to read as I got older and my tastes changed. I even got rid of all of the Stephen King books that I bought when I was on a horror kick even though I was too much of a p**** to actually read them; I barely made it 12 pages into IT. The only ones I kept were The Shining, Carrie, The Stand, and Nightmares and Dreamscapes.

This process has made me appreciate the books I have even more. If I love a book, I will re-read it over and over. I am all for decluttering and being appreciative of the material possessions I own. When adding books, I look at if I will re-read it or not. If the answer is no, it’s gone.

Some of the books I have had for years and FINALLY unhauled:

  1. Beautiful Creatures series (never read)
  2. Beastly (not my favorite)
  3. End of Watch, Finder’s Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (stupidly read the last book in the series first so I knew what happened)
  4. A massive collection of classics from Edgar Allen Poe’s collected works to Sleepy Hollow and other stories ( don’t get me wrong, they are really interesting to me and I plan on reading them in the future, but I only wanted the specific stories, NOT the other collected works that were put in the books with the purpose of making them look larger.)
  5. The Da Vinci Code series (I liked the movies so I assumed I would want to read the books—wrong)
  6. Sarah Dessen novels (bought for 99 cents at Goodwill only because I had heard of the author—note: I don’t care for most contemporary)
  7. Textbooks (self-explanatory)

and the list goes on…

Now, I am replenishing my supply with books I already love. I have read all of R.S. Grey’s books on e-book, and I want to add the physical copies to my collection. Some of my favorite series are in a bunch of different formats and editions—it irritates me to no end. I am buying different copies of those books and donating the old ones. My copies of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series are a hot mess.

After culling my collection and keeping only the books I actually love or want to read, I now feel like I can buy the books I have been anticipating reading. I enjoyed the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber and the final book is coming in May. I read The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and her new book The Priory of the Orange Tree is scheduled to release at the end of this month. I now have the space on my shelf to buy these new books that I already know I will love.

This is the current state of my shelf and I don’t hate it. It is loosely organized by genre. I’m not entirely happy with it, but this is only because I know there are still holes in some of the series. I feel lighter and more balanced than I did before. I highly recommend a book cull/declutter if you feel like you are stuck in a rut with your bookshelf organization or have trouble deciding what to read. It’s easier to figure out what to read next now that my shelves only have books I want to read.

Let me know if you would like to see anything else about my shelves, be it a book tour or how I organize my books specifically.

4 thoughts on “Bookshelf Cull, Reorganization, and Replenishing

Add yours

  1. What I great post! Your bookshelf looks great now, lots of space for books you actually want. I should do this with my shelves as well, but the idea of full bookshelves is so appealing. But it’s much better to appreciate all the books you own than to own books that are just sitting on your self, so I should just do it, haha.


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