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Booking Through Thursday: Weeding

January 8, 2015

This week’s Booking Through Thursday asks a question near and dear to my wannabe-librarian heart:

Do you ever weed out unwanted books from your library? And if so, what do you do with them?

Last semester, I took a terrific class in Collection Development. Possibly one of my favorite classes of my entire Library Science Masters program, both for the sake of the information it imparted, and because the professor was an utter delight. Weeding was the topic of my final class presentation.

My weeding policy is fairly simple.

  • Don’t let the wrong books in, in the first place. I try to be judicious and realistic about buying books or requesting review copies. Sometimes, unsolicited review copies come in. I have a pile of Giveaway Books. Some review copies go straight in that pile.
  • When I get large amounts of new books all at once, such as books from the Book Expo or from a mystery bookstore, I tend to group them together on the shelf. A few months after the event in question, and then periodically a few months after that, it’s time to decide whether I’m going to read those books or whether they’re destined for the Giveaway Pile.
  • I need to remember that I’m unlikely to read the books where relationship betrayals are front and center, driving the plot, especially those in a contemporary setting. Literary fiction, contemporary women’s fiction. I might read it on a whim, but it’s unlikely. Giveaway Pile!
  • Ditto mysteries that are unexpectedly bleak or violent. If a sexual crime, or grotesque descriptions of internal organs are a main part of the murder scenes… Or if the characters are focused as much on distrust and vicious arguments, as they are on solving the crime, Giveaway Pile!

Where do the books consigned to the giveaway pile go?

Hardcover books in good condition go to the Strand.

Paperbacks and books marked as review copies go to book swaps, whether I bring them to Emily’s annual Swap (yay Emily!) or hand them off more informally to friends. Every book has its reader. I’m lucky to know a voracious and varied bunch of readers, some of whom are willing to take books off my hands.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2015 4:31 pm

    I’m totally with you on not letting the wrong books in. I’ve gotten so much better at recognizing when I probably won’t like a book and passing on reviewing it. I don’t keep any books that I don’t absolutely love either. I give a lot away to friends.

    My answer is here: 2 Kids and Tired Books BTT

  2. January 8, 2015 6:57 pm

    Just donated a big box to the library! Books inherited, books unread, books reread, books outdated went byeside.

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