The Hardest Thing to Declutter

Most of you reading this blog probably would agree with me what that is: BOOKS! Yes, that’s what I’ve been working on this week in my ongoing decluttering efforts. And like most writers, I have a lot of books.

I have an antique book case in my dining room that’s stuffed full, about three feet wide by five feet high. I haven’t touched that yet. What I’m working on now is the built-in bookcase in my study. That’s about nine feet long and three shelves deep. These were not only stuffed, but double-layered on about half the shelves that were full of mass-market paperbacks.

My bookshelf runneth over

My bookshelf runneth over

About half of these are mass-market paperbacks I picked up at various RWA conferences and have never read. The last RWA con I attended was in 2011. They looked good at the time I picked them up, but I figure, if I haven’t read these books by now, I’m probably not going to, especially since I prefer ebooks now.

The other half are books I have read and enjoyed enough that I just couldn’t give them away before now. Yes, most of us have keepers, and while decluttering, I did indeed find plenty that I love enough to move, even though I seldom re-read fiction. But there were many that I loved, but don’t see myself re-reading… and definitely don’t want to move.

So rather than just give them to someone to sell, I decided I would rather give them away to friends. I have a dozen paranormal romances boxed up and ready to go. The giveaway will be offered to those subscribed to my Readers Group. If you would like a chance to win, but aren’t there yet, you can join here! The giveaway announcement will go out sometime this week, probably Tuesday. I have lots of books to give away besides paranormal romance. Future giveaways will include suspense, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, historical romance, and fantasy/sci-fi. Oh, and there are also a bunch of writing craft books that I liked and found useful, but know I won’t re-read.

The other interesting thing I did this week was attend a fashion show. This was at my daughter’s university, and I’ll admit, the only reason my family went was because my daughter was a model in it. I don’t have any pics, because all I had was my phone camera, which is no good in that sort of venue (dark with just the performers lit). No matter anyway, because my daughter had to be in the most unflattering outfit in the whole show! It was a short, pouffy white dress with a huge bustle in the front. It made her look about twice her weight. I described it as “marshmallow Tinkerbell,” but I think her description was better: a walking wedding cake. She said it was an interesting experience (as was watching it), but not one she’d care to repeat. I have to agree. Just not my thing.

I have to give the fashion design club major props on one thing: the models weren’t all tall and thin. They included several short girls (one was my daughter), and most were a good, healthy weight. They even had one model with Down’s Syndrome, who the audience loved. The show also went off well, as far as the audience could tell, though my daughter said several things went awry. So an interesting experience to do once!

What I’ve been reading: Still not done with the science fiction book, though I’m close!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I did not get done what I wanted this week. I finished the cover and sent that to Mythical Press, but did not get the book description done for them yet. So that’s up for this week. They are also asking for my front- and back- matter (Acknowledgements, Author’s Note, etc.) so completing those are my goals for this week.

What about you–do you have a lot of books? Do you find it hard to get rid of them? Have you ever attended a fashion show? Or have you had another new experience recently? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

17 Responses to \

  1. I’m doing pretty well on my goals. I am hoping it continues.

    Oh, books. I still read print books even though I have a Kindle and do prefer it. I can’t seem to part with them completely. I switch off. When my Kindle is charging, or when I’m at home, I’ll read a print book. Anywhere else it’s my Kindle.

    I have shelves that are stuffed, too. I am considering giving away some books — the ones I know I won’t reread. But the majority of them I would like to reread, or are special for some reason or another, and I want to keep them. It is really out of hand, though. Not sure how to fix that.

    I’m sorry that your daughter was put into an unflattering dress. I’m glad she had the experience though.

  2. Erin, I have found asking myself if I love a book enough to move it (or pay to store it) works wonders. Good luck with your books and your goals, and thanks!

  3. I wrote a comment, but the Internet ate it (hit Post Comment and was told I was timed out). My brain is too fried to remember what I said. Oh well… I tried. 🙂

  4. Though it sounds like your daughter’s experence wasn’t as glamorous as she might have hoped, it was both educational… and a little fun. Good things come with both, after all.

    Books… oh, how my husband might make many sad, hurt, angry faces if I signed up to get more books… Truth is, I’ve been slowly paring down my selection as well. It’s always a work in progress. But as I make closer and dearer friends with my local librarians, I find it’s easier to to do–I don’t tend to buy books I won’t re-read or use again these days. It helps a lot.

    Those conference freebies though….

    I wish you a lot of luck in your DeCluttering adventures, Jennette. And may progress in all things come to you soon.

  5. Stacy, sorry about that – but thanks for your comment anyway!

    Eden, it’s a good thing DD isn’t too into glamour, huh? 😀 And ebooks are a great way to not add to clutter–or get those looks from the husband. Hopefully someone will want these!

  6. When I moved, I got rid of a lot, which turned out to be a wise idea. I barely have room for the ones I kept. There is at least one bookshelf replacement coming this year, after I get a couch, curtains, and some art to hang on the walls.

  7. Good for you, Jennette. De-cluttering has deep, positive ramifications. It frees up space not only in our homes, but in our minds.

    As a writer and former English major in college, I had an excuse to hang onto my old college literature books. But eventually I gave them away, knowing that I can get them from the library (which I frequent) any time I want to re-read them. Getting rid of my old writing drafts is way harder; I still find things in old drafts that I need now.

  8. I can’t read the small paperbacks any more as my eyesight is not good enough. One reason I do love ebooks: you can set the font size to whatever you need!

    But that does mean that I’ve been able to start divesting myself of a lot of books that aren’t useful to me any more. I take photos of the covers so I can remember to get digital copies if I want to re-read them. Then off to Goodwill they go! Or in the case of the really old ones, off to recycling because the paper is falling apart.

    Which doesn’t mean we’re out of books by any means. Still have tons of bookcases but mostly trade PBs and hardbacks now.

  9. TS, I am still keeping too many, I think!

    Lynette, I kept mine too. But got rid of them when I moved the second time.

    jnfr, I love being able to enlarge the type in ebooks! The photos are a great idea.

  10. A fashion show? What fun! I’m glad your daughter participated. At least now, she has a better understanding of what someone else does in their job. A great experience. Marshmallow Tinkerbell or not, that’s part of job. I’m so glad she did this and your family attended.

    Decluttering is yucky and necessary. I think you’ll feel 10 pounds lighter when you’re all done. Books are hard to give up, but again, a necessary evil. I’ll sign up when you get to the non-paranormal collections.

    Good stuff. Keep up the good work.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  11. First, I love the cover for Time’s Dilemma. I really looking forward to reading it when it’s ready!

    Good for you getting started on decluttering before moving in a couple years. We know how fast time flies. Your contest is a great idea. I just entered!

    Fashion shows aren’t really my thing either. Kudos to your daughter for getting up in front of all those people and modeling. Not sure I could do that!

    I’m deep in my studies to become certified as a master health coach. I have to read all the assignments twice or more. Fascinating stuff. I love it but it’s intense and doesn’t leave much time for other things, like breathing. 🙂 I’ll finish the course mid-August and then the fun begins. So if I’m scarce, that’s why. When your book comes out, it will be one of my escapes from studying and a reward for passing each session.

    I’m thrilled that you wrote another Saturn series book. Woo hoo!

  12. Lynn, thanks so much! When the novella is close to release, I will have review copies available to my readers group, so look for that. I got your contest entry – good luck! And good luck with your coursework.

  13. A “Marshmallow Tinkerbell”. That is classic, Jennette! Oh my goodness. At least you had some mom and daughter time. Which I’m quite sure doesn’t happened all that often anymore. Now about those books…Wow, you certainly have a collection, don’t you? I have books. But not to the extent that you do. I love your passion for decluttering. You are going to love not having to worry about this when it comes to your move. Good for you girl! 🙂