Discussion: On Un-Hauling Books & How

Books –

Every book blogger faces the problem, one day or another, of having too many.

For example, my room is basically:

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Which is:

  1. Honestly probably some sort of health hazard (my shelf did once collapse and almost kill me once)
  2. Not so easy to deal with when I go to college next Fall.

My solution?

Unhaul some books.

Which is a little bit like pulling teeth, or sacrificing children. I’m sure all other bookworms can relate.


What Is An Un-Haul?

An unhaul is exactly what it sounds like. The reverse of a book haul. Getting rid of books.


What Do You Mean, Getting Rid of Books?

I know. Its sounds basically sacrilegious. But it means getting books out of your shelves/floor/closet/room/house and into someone else hands.

It can be selling to a used bookstore, donating to a library or school, selling them online, giving them away via blog, dropping them off at Goodwill…

Doesn’t matter where they go, as long as its away.

And at the end, you’ll go from a cluttered mess to:

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Book heaven. Nice, neat, shelves. Beautiful.


But How Do I Un-Haul? Its hard!

Get ready because I’m going to lay some wisdom on you.

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Step 1 )

Take a good hard look at your books.

Decide on a goal.
Clean ups a little? Light-housing keeping or deep cleaning? Complete overhaul and decimation or just clearing some of the worst of the clutter?

You need a goal, or the books might drown you.


Step 2 )

Good job!

You now have a goal. Write it down. STICK TO IT!

Figure out what you’ll do with un-hauled books. Sell or donate? Where? Make this part of your plan.

Gather boxes.

I’m trying to sell my books as you can see here: Books for Sale/Trade


Step 3 )

Take out all the book you HAVE to keep. Your favorites. The ones you have an emotional attachment too. The signed ones. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Put them in a box, get them out of the room. They are safe. But it’ll be easy to tackle the rest without worrying about your precious darlings getting caught in the cross fire.


Step 4 )

Now we get to the hard part.

The un-hauling.

Get all the books off the shelves.

They don’t go back until there are safe. This is defend your life, an annihilation round. No one left here is safe.


Step 5 )

If there are any books you’ve outgrown, consider giving them to family members. Younger siblings or cousins or nieces or nephews.

If you’re saving books for kids, either too young to read or none existent, box them up and put them in storage, a closet or garage will do.

The point is to cut down some clutter and free up shelf space.


Step 6 )

Sort. Then sort some more.

Lets go with un-read books first. Has it been on your TBR for over two years? If yes, then are you ever going to read it? If no, let it go. In a donation/sell box it goes.

Look at the other unread books. Are you going to read it in the next two years? Realistically? If not, consider letting it go. Be honest with your self.


Step 7 )

Now, the read books. If you rated it less than 3 stars, you should probably let it go. A pretty cover isn’t good enough here. If you can’t remember reading it, probably not worth keeping. If you didn’t love it, and/or aren’t going to re-read it, consider passing it on to someone who will read it. Let go.

You don’t have to follow these to the letter, its just a suggestion. Use your best judgement, and be honest with yourself. Is this worth keeping?


Step 8 )

All the books you decided to keep should now go back on the shelves. All the books you’ve gotten rid of, should be packed in boxes to do with as you’ve decided. Get them there as soon as possible so you can’t change your mind.

If you get rid of 1 book or 50 books I’m proud of you.


Step 9 )

Organize the bookshelf in a pleasing way. I have a whole discussion about it here:

Discussion: Ways To Organize A Bookshelf


Step 10 )

Plan for the future.

Where will new books go?

Book buying ban? Only buy books when you finish one? Only buy books with gift cards?

The unhaul is not an excuse to go crazy buying books.


And you’re done! 

You did it!

You survived the unhaul!

Reward yourself!

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Discussion: Unhauling Books

With ever growing TBRs and book collections comes ever decreasing shelf space.

Especially when book bloggers move houses or go off to college.
Shelf space is a hot commodity not to be trifled with.

One ever common way to deal with this is the book unhaul.

Bloggers either donate books or host giveaways for books they no longer want on their shelves.


Different bloggers have different criteria for unhauls.

Some do it periodically to rid themselves of books below a certain star rating or that they distinctly disliked.

Some giveaway arcs they’ve finished.

Some get rid of old / beat up / or multiple copies of the same books. Sometimes it’s just a book they don’t intend to reread.

This is a good thing – or spreads the book Iove and stops your shelf from killing you in your sleep.


But I think I’m incapable of it.

Over the years I’ve turned in a handful of books to second hand stores, give.
A few to my sister or cousins.
But I am overwhelmingly a hoarder.

I always have been.
I probably always will.

I should probably embrace the unhauling.
Someday.
Someday.
Maybe.

Or next year when I’m packing up for college and start feeling the urge to set things on fire so I don’t have to deal with them.


What do you think?

Do you unhaul books?