Out with the Old and In with the New Books!

For a while, there's been a project I wanted to get done, but it was very daunting. The bookshelf in my kids' room was so beyond horrible, stuffed to the gills, books shoved in every which way and on top of each other. I love reading, but seeing that bookshelf that way made me not even want to touch it, because I could never find what I wanted, and the likelihood of things coming tumbling down onto me when I pulled out a book was quite high.
I tried doing it one day when I had a friend over, but I didn't manage to get it finished in that time, and the pile of books on the floor and the couch was too much for me to handle, so all that happened was those books got shoved back on the shelf in an even worse situation than before.
Not pretty.
The other day though, the kids were away at their dad's, and I had free time. I decided that I'd tackle that bookshelf once and for all, and get rid of all the books I don't want, and organize the ones that were there so the kids and I could find what we wanted. The biggest issue was the amount of schoolbooks I had on the shelf, that I'd collected over the years thinking I'd use as part of my homeschooling, but then never ended up using for various reasons, and now they're all in school and won't be needing those books, so they're just a waste of space. I made a huge pile of all the books that I didn't want, those school books, kids books that I felt were so badly written so I didn't want to read them, books that had bad memories for me attached to them, and set them all to be given away.

Once I took out the books I no longer wanted, I was actually able to make some semblance of order in the bookshelf. I set it up so that the bottom shelf was all educational and kids reference type books, along with some larger story books that didn't fit on any other shelf.
The next shelf up is children's short story books for me to read to the kids.
Above that is longer kids' books, chapter books, that my older kids can read, and hopefully soon my younger two will be able to read.
Above that the shelf is divided into two; on one side comic books and graphic novels, and the other side longer chapter books that I plan on reading to the kids.
Above that, the shelf unseen in the photograph, is regular adult novels.

The bookshelf is now appealing and makes me want to grab a book to read it.

And now, out with the old!

I loaded the books that I no longer wanted into my foldable shopping cart. There were so many books in there that they filled it entirely to the top. I ended up typing a garbage bag onto the top to stop them from falling out when I put it under the bus, and then took them to the city today. I was considering posting them each on our local giveaway internet groups, but I realized that I didn't have the energy to do that and give them away one by one, but wanted them all out at once. I decided to bring them all to the bus stop book stop, the "drop off whatever you want, take whatever you want" library type place in the nearby city.

And of course, while I was there, I picked up books that sounded good to me.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm really not a picky reader. We have no good public library system here, and I don't like needing to buy all my books, even if just second hand. So whatever I can get my hands on free, pretty much, I'll read, as long as its fiction. These fiction books I found today piqued my interest so I brought them home.

I also found these non fiction books, and some of them look good, but I'm going to read them with discernment, because I'm not sure how many of them match my worldview, but I'll take a shot at reading them.

Lastly, my daughter, Anneliese, who was with me, picked out these children's books. Nearly all are in the local language, which they still aren't fluent in but we're working on getting there, and reading children stories in this language is likely to help them. I really like this 1000 first words in our local language, which is great to help them learn. There is a collection of bed time stories and there are two awesome books, one is a sciency encyclopedia, and the other is "how to do anything" with topics from how to cook foods to how to survive in the wild to how to do magic tricks. Its really awesome. Also a book on skin and nail care which excited my daughter. Then also two kids novels that I actually got for myself, because I've never read a chapter book in our local language and I need to practice reading in it, so figured kids books are a good place to start.

Anyhow, I'm really excited about all these new books, but I think more than anything, I'm excited to have gotten rid of the old ones.

Read any good books lately? What are your bookshelves like in your home? Do you manage to keep them organized? What is your system? Have you read any of the books pictured above? What did you think of them?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


Thank you for leaving a comment on your blog. Comments are moderated- please be patient to allow time for them to go through. Opposing opinions are permitted, discussion and disagreements are encouraged, but nasty comments for the sole purpose of being nasty without constructive criticisms will be deleted.
Just a note- I take my privacy seriously, and comments giving away my location or religion are automatically deleted too.

  1. I love books. I let go of a lot of them in a huge purge a year or two ago. Now I have the books I kept organized. I have a lot of cookbooks and I am so happy I organized them. I have books for different countries and cultures, German, Austrian, UK, Jewish cuisine, Jamaican, Austrian, Vietnamese, Thai, and many more, in one section, I have book on vegetarian and vegan recipes together. Bread books are together. Dessert books are together. That's not all of them. Can you tell I love to cook?
    I am still ordering some books but I am not planning to keep them for years. These have been mostly non fiction. It feels so good to have cleared out what I didn't want anymore. It seems you and I enjoy seeing what you like and not a mess of books. Thank you for the post.

  2. We are book-addicts here, and with 7 people in our house, we've had to develop a system over time. Thankfully, we live in a place with a robust library system. so my default is to check out books from the library. My exceptions are books or book series that one boy reads that I think the others behind him will like. Those, I buy and keep. We've had a couple sets of series that my boys have all outgrown, so I have gifted them to nieces and nephews that are younger. I'm finishing up homeschooling my youngest this year, so I'll be purging a lot of those books. We have limited shelf space in our house, so I just keep some select things and donate the rest.

Previous Post Next Post