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Footnotes 2017-2018 > Downsizing, Book Hoarding, and Other Quandries facing Book Lovers

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message 1: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Ok, that topic is a little melodramatic, but that's how I'm feeling at the moment.

My husband and I are planning to downsize a LOT this summer. We have an apartment reserved in a beautiful brand new high rise downtown, and we are going to sell our way-too-big for us house.

This means we need to GET RID OF STUFF. One of the best things about my house is that it has boatloads of storage. One of the bad things about my house is it has boatloads of storage, which I have used. So now, I am on a spree to get rid of all the stuff.

The books are oddly paining me, and it's making me feel a little insane. First of all, I actually only really like reading on my e-reader, so there's absolutely no reason to move these books to a tiny modern apartment with very few exceptions. Second, I've amassed these books and never read them, so clearly they really aren't terribly compelling to me anymore. Finally, they are old titles so many of them are available free from the library, downloadable to my Kindle. Where I actually prefer them.

By all rational thinking, they need to go.

So why am I having such a hard time with it?

I donated the first batch yesterday, and I felt like crying a little. Has anyone else been through this? Did you forget about the departed books once you moved?


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Michelle:

I’ve had to downsize too. I had to move this year because of a death in the family. My mom and I have a storage unit for some of our things. I had more books and now have 6 boxes in storage. No more 2 bookshelves at the moment. Just 3 storage containers over filled with books under my bed.


message 3: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Annapi:

I keep trying to do this, but have not really succeeded in making a big dent. I don't have the time to take the boxes down from the attic and go through them, is another reason I haven't tried yet. And there are so many I haven't even read! Ugh, I don't want to think about it.


message 4: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Book Concierge:

A couple of years ago, Hubby and I were seriously thinking of downsizing. I gave away / donated over 250 books. Painful - yes. But we didn't move ... and the books that were left have continued to multiply.

I know that when we finally DO move (and it may be in the next year) ... I'll have to rent a storage locker to store some of my stuff. (I'm also ridiculously attached to all my Christmas "stuff.")


message 5: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Jason:

I have been through this. I loved to sit and just look at my books. I now own 0 books. At times I regret not having books and my own personal library but reason also tells me there is no point. I love real physical books but e- and audio books are so convenient. I will shed some tears for you.


message 6: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From BooknBlues:

Anita , I can well understand the problem. I obviously overbought dtb before switching to a kindle and now I just use it. I have so many good book, that I want to read, but I just don't read them. I try to force myself to. I have about 6 that I started last year and never finished.

And yet, I'm not donating them.


message 7: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Susie:

I got rid of all of my books about a year ago when we lived through a renovation and needed to jam our whole house in to a few rooms. I too only really read electronic books these days, but I have missed being able to lend them to people.

And how exciting to be moving to an apartment in the city!


message 8: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From JoLene:

I did go through a big purge when my husband and I got married, because he moved into my house. We are opposites in that I buy books but don’t read them right away. Once read they are given away or donated. He mostly buys and reads right away, but then keeps quite a lot of them.

Sometimes I do miss something that I know I gave away, but most of the time I can get them at the library. We are the opposite though because our retirement place is bigger than our regular home, but it’s in a remote location and the library isn’t good. There is a small bookstore, but we went in over Christmas and she is now mostly stocking YA titles.

It’s fine to be a bit sad, but maybe if you just make a list or take a picture of the stacks of books, then you can at least look them up if you miss them.


message 9: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From punxsygal:

I did that several years ago thinking I was going to make a major move. For the most part it has been ok, but occasionally I pine for one.


message 10: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Tien:

It's really like giving your babies away cuz that's what books are to us bookworms, babies!

My commiserations, Anita... hopefully, they're going to good people who will love them lots :)


message 11: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Thank you for all of your very supportive notes and for not making me feel like the biggest baby! I usually feel good after I pare back on things. This is the only realm that I've felt the tug of loss.

However, reading the stories of those of you who have done this successfully and are just fine is awesome!


message 12: by Anita (last edited Dec 31, 2017 11:30AM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Book Concierge wrote: "A couple of years ago, Hubby and I were seriously thinking of downsizing. I gave away / donated over 250 books. Painful - yes. But we didn't move ... and the books that were left have continued to ..."

We have about the same number of books to dispose of. One issue I'm having is it is actually harder to give them away than I thought. There's too many to trek them down to the city where the best options reside. It is hard enough as it is. I've gone with the book drop at Better World Books. It makes me a bit less enthusiastic because they sell them, but they give large amounts of money to literacy causes and books internationally. At least so they say on their website. It's just much easier because the book drop is available 24x7 whereas other options have very restricted time periods, and your books must be boxed a certain way. I just don't have the energy for it.


message 13: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Jason wrote: "I have been through this. I loved to sit and just look at my books. I now own 0 books. At times I regret not having books and my own personal library but reason also tells me there is no point. I l..."

Okay, this will probably be exactly where I am. I love looking at the books, and I'm sure that's a big part of my feelings.

I don't think I will go to zero, but hoping to go to 10, and that's going to include cookbooks. I am mostly keeping books that aren't narrative and where the paper format is more of a compelling need.


message 14: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Booknblues wrote: "Anita , I can well understand the problem. I obviously overbought dtb before switching to a kindle and now I just use it. I have so many good book, that I want to read, but I just don't read them. ..."

Ha ha, well I wouldn't donate them either unless I was being "forced". And that's definitely where I am right now.


message 15: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments JoLene wrote: "I did go through a big purge when my husband and I got married, because he moved into my house. We are opposites in that I buy books but don’t read them right away. Once read they are given away or..."

I really, really, really wish I had seen your suggestions about taking a photo. Dang. I already disposed of a big chunk, but I think having a record would have made me feel better. Less like I might miss something! Great idea!

Glad you went through this and survived, lol.

My consolation is that I'm moving here:

www.414lightstreet.com/virtual-tour/

And I'm very excited about it. Trying to keep those feelings front and center. Note the baseball stadium RIGHT behind it 😉


message 16: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Tracy:

Anita wrote: "Book Concierge wrote: "A couple of years ago, Hubby and I were seriously thinking of downsizing. I gave away / donated over 250 books. Painful - yes. But we didn't move ... and the books that were ..."

My local library partners with Better World Books to pass on the unsold Annual Sale Books, so I think they’re legit. The Librarians there are really good researchers..🙂
There’s also the Emma Watson method: she leaves books on train seats, in airports, etc. just waiting for the next person to pick up and read.

I usually sell or donate the books I’ve read and culled a couple times a year. I have a favorite used bookstore that just puts what I sell into a credit account. My best friend’s kids have purchasing access to it, too.
My husband suggested that I only bring in ONE book for every one I read. 🙄
Good luck with the move- may your new, gorgeous home be a place where you create happy memories and read wonderful (library/e-) Books!


message 17: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From JoLene:

Anita, that place looks awesome!! You won’t have time to read because you’ll be too busy using all the amenities. Too bad you don’t like movies much :-)


message 18: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments JoLene wrote: "Anita, that place looks awesome!! You won’t have time to read because you’ll be too busy using all the amenities. Too bad you don’t like movies much :-)"

Thanks so much, JoLene! We are trying it for a year (rental), and I'm really looking forward to the change (just not all the work to get to that point, lol).

LOL, on the movies. I do like sports so I suspect I'll be good with using those big screens at least on occasion! It looks like there are some good reading spots too. I hope so because my new apartment is very small square footage wise.


message 19: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Tracy wrote: "Anita wrote: "Book Concierge wrote: "A couple of years ago, Hubby and I were seriously thinking of downsizing. I gave away / donated over 250 books. Painful - yes. But we didn't move ... and the bo..."


You have no idea how much better that makes me feel! I just would hate to give them away to some kind of scam organization. If I had a smaller quantity, I would give them to The Book Thing, a local Baltimore institution that is basically like a huge version of a "little free library", but it just isn't very easy to get everything there . . .I just want the books to do some good in some way.

I'm definitely looking forward to reading e-books in my new place! Hopefully I can sell the old place . . .


message 20: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Cora:

Anita, I know exactly where that building is. Before it was a building, it was our go to parking lot when we went to the inner harbor or Oriole games. It is a great location. We still haven't found a replacement go to parking spot (although we have tried a number of the garages in the area).


message 21: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Cora wrote: "Anita, I know exactly where that building is. Before it was a building, it was our go to parking lot when we went to the inner harbor or Oriole games. It is a great location. We still haven't found..."

Lol, I'm so sorry about you losing your go-to parking lot, but after I've moved, I'd love to host you pre-game for a drink or something. I'll keep you apprised. Do you mind walking? My husband and I park at a surface lot that is really easy to get in and out, and for me, it's worth the walk. It's way less expensive than most options as well. Let me know if you want the details. I have to ask my husband how to best tell you.

I'm am very happy with the location, but I've never tried urban living, so that's the experiment!


message 22: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Nicole D:

been there ...I decided to only keep favorite books which have to fit on one bookshelf, or TBR's that I don't have in an eversion which have to fit on another. I used to keep everything I read.


message 23: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From LibraryCin:

Anita, I assume there are no Little Free Libraries near you? I rarely keep books unless I loved it and/or I think I might want to loan them out. The rest are put in an LFL somewhere. None real close to me since I moved, but I am often back in my old area and will drop them off there.


message 24: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments LibraryCin wrote: "Anita, I assume there are no Little Free Libraries near you? I rarely keep books unless I loved it and/or I think I might want to loan them out. The rest are put in an LFL somewhere. None real clos..."

I haven't seen any around . . .and I have SO many books to get rid off, many of them big bulky hardcovers (how do those even sell anymore?). Going forward though, if I buy a book, I'm going to just give it away after I read it. Hoping I don't have to buy many DTB, but sometimes there is no other option.


message 25: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Ladyslott:

I did a big purge about 5 years ago, donated about 75 books. Did it again last year. Still have about 200 DTB’s. I rarely read on anything but my Kindle, but I still keep thinking I’m going to read them. Since we are also looking at downsizing I will have to be a little stronger and get rid of them all. 😥


message 26: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Ladyslott wrote: "I did a big purge about 5 years ago, donated about 75 books. Did it again last year. Still have about 200 DTB’s. I rarely read on anything but my Kindle, but I still keep thinking I’m going to read..."

We can bolster one another! I just filled another 3 boxes and bags to take to the depository. Now it is getting harder because the remaining ones are gifts with inscriptions, books I haven't yet read, but actually still think I would enjoy, and some reference materials that seem useful. UGH. This is definitely not going to get easier.

My plan of attack for these remaining ones is a) to see if they are available on Overdrive. If they are, I'm getting rid of it and b) make sure to log it on Goodreads somewhere so that I don't totally lose track of it.

I feel like after doing the books, getting rid of everything else is going to be a LOT easier.


message 27: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Susie:

Anita, your new apartment complex looks AMAZING!!!! You must be so excited! What level will your apartment be on? My parents downsized from a four bedroom house to an apartment on the beach and they never regretted it.


message 28: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Susie wrote: "Anita, your new apartment complex looks AMAZING!!!! You must be so excited! What level will your apartment be on? My parents downsized from a four bedroom house to an apartment on the beach and the..."

Thanks so much, Susie! I am excited even though it's like a quarter of the size of our current living situation. I think we can do it!

I am on the 36th floor. It's one level above the very high terrace that you can see in the rendering on the left hand side of the building. We are on the corner facing the water.

It will be a huge change from living in the suburbs, but when I think about it, we really only live in four rooms of our family home now.

Great to hear about your parents' experience! I think we are ready and it will cut my husband's commute to 10 minutes down from 35-40.


message 29: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Nicole R:

I have always moved so much that I have never kept many books on hand, I have less than 100 and they all fit on one small book shelf.

I do not see myself parting with the ones that are signed or inscribed, but I do like being streamlined!


message 30: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Nicole R wrote: "I have always moved so much that I have never kept many books on hand, I have less than 100 and they all fit on one small book shelf.

I do not see myself parting with the ones that are signed or ..."

It's funny because I'm pretty minimalist, but this house lets you hide stuff away so easily. I have this attic space that connects to my bedroom through a little door, and I was able to stash tons of books in there! So uncluttered, but still there. But now . . .they really can't be there because there are no hiding spots, and it's very modern.


message 31: by Anita (last edited Dec 31, 2017 11:37AM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Michelle:

Anita when I was packing up my books I felt that tug of loss too (besides the loss of having to move and such). It was hard... the harder part now is limiting my book buying because I don’t have that much space for books anymore. So my kindle and library has been a huge blessing for my want of the book.

And yes! Attics were a great way to hide things! My grandfather’s house had 3 attic spaces and so it was easy to put or holiday decorations (sooo many) and even spare books in them... and then there was the “junk bedroom” where we were able to clutter the space with more things. Sooo much to go through when we had to move!


message 32: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Amy:

Anita, I am blown away by the beauty of your new living space. I would be in that pool every day was warm enough. And everything looks amazing from the restaurants to the views. You’re gonna be very happy there, books or no books. I think it’s good to try something different. Good for you! What a special opportunity for you to enjoy and see how you like it.


message 33: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From annapi:

Wow, what a gorgeous place!


message 34: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Barbara:

I rarely buy a book unless it is a how-to or reference book, like cook books and gardening and quilting. As for fiction which I love to read, I get it from the public library. I even get my e-books and audios from the library. That said, I have a pretty good stash of those that I do buy. When we moved to FL from MA, I had to get rid of quite a few cookbooks - I estimated that I had at least 50. In the last 15 years, at least, I don't buy cookbooks because I get recipes on-line.

May I suggest donating to the Public Library, maybe in one of the smaller towns around Baltimore? Library funding is always on the edge of being lost. Plus books get a 5-finger discount at times or get borrowed and not returned. Its hard enough to keep up with new books let alone replacing the lost ones often in the middle of a series. Oftentimes they are now out-of-print. Its a sad situation for libraries. Our library also has a booksale room. That gives people a chance to buy at a discount when they would not be able to buy at full-price. Then the money supports the library book or program budget or anything else to enhance the library.


message 35: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From punxsygal:

Anita, lovely that you have a view of the water but high enough to be away from the tourists. Enjoy your new life!


message 36: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From KateNZ:

I buy books all the time. I use iBooks as well, but I still prefer physical books for anything that I have to concentrate on (except when I'm away on holiday, then I don't miss the weight!) I also love being surrounded by books - there's nothing more comforting for me.

We have a big house at the moment, so space is not a problem though I've run out of bookshelves and some of the floors are filling up. I can see a massive crying fit in my future when we decide to downsize and I have to give my stash away! So I am hugely sympathetic!


message 37: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Ladyslott:

Anita wrote: "It's funny because I'm pretty minimalist, but this house lets you hide stuff away so easily..."

We built this house from the ground up. Essential to this build was an office for me, since I was doing a lot of volunteer work at that time (before my mother's death and my subsequent cancer diagnosis 3 weeks later which put an end to that) . In my dream office design I included a book closet. It had lots of shelves for books and storage. Over the years I have purged a few hundred books, but there are still more to go before this house goes on the market - hopefully this spring. The market in Long Island right now is red hot, so I can get a good price- but on the other hand I have to pay a good price. Hopefully this will be the year to get rid of a 4,000 square foot home.


message 38: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments From Book Concierge:

Anita ... I gave most of mine away to the local Public Library ... over the course of several months ... eight or ten at a time.

I put some of the mystery paperbacks (usually freebies I'd gotten as the mystery writer's event I attend each year) to the LIttle Free Library.

Any ARCs I tore up and discarded in the recycling bin.

Last Spring I met a waitress at a restaurant where I used to go for lunch when I was working. She noticed me reading and asked about my books, then shared that she and her fiance were building a house, and that he had promised to install bookcases for her. The next week I brought her a bag of about a dozen books. Over the last six months I've probably given her 50 books. Feels good to know they're going to someone who will love them.

Oh ... and the building / apartment looks fabulous!

My husband and I cannot agree on city-living vs suburban condo. He used to live in Manhattan so is enamored of high-rise living. On the other hand, he loves to garden and has said repeatedly how much he'll miss the garden when we move. So I suggest a suburban condo - looks like a house, but the HOA does all the maintenance and he can still personalize his garden space. I like the attached garage, and the BASEMENT (storage for Xmas, etc) of these style condos. Plus most of my friends are in the suburbs ... along with my doctor, my manicurist, my hair stylist, etc.


message 39: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8299 comments Great that you’re splitting the lists. I’m just finding it so interesting that so many of us are talking about in our 2018 challenges, getting rid of owned books. I think the challenge deepens when their books you haven’t gotten to actually think about reading yet, or thought you might.


message 40: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments So -- my husband and I were doing some cleaning up of our crawl space and discovered a couple of boxes of books. Since they had been boxed up since our remodel 4 yrs ago and I mostly hadn't missed them, I went through and added a shelf of donation2library and set them back to "want to read".

So, setting another 50 books back out into the world!!


message 41: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5645 comments JoLene wrote: "So -- my husband and I were doing some cleaning up of our crawl space and discovered a couple of boxes of books. Since they had been boxed up since our remodel 4 yrs ago and I mostly hadn't missed ..."

Great! I know I have boxes of books in closets ... but each one has it's "list" in my excel spreadsheet of "Books I own" ... so if pressed I can put my hands on them.


message 42: by Karin (new)

Karin | 6928 comments Your new building looks fabulous, but what a change!

Parting is such sweet sorrow, But good books know , I shall kindle thee tomorrow.


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