Time to Purge


So, what do you call a bibliophile whose obsession with books borders on the unhealthy?

No, it’s not a joke. I’m really wondering.  Because that’s what I think I am.

I have an office full of books. I have shelves and shelves of books at home. I have stacks of books that I have bought recently (recently, as in the last 5 years), always, of course, thinking that I would read them, that I was interested in them. It’s true — I do intend to read them; I am interested in them.  But I also have a life apart from books, and my proverbial reader’s eyes are consistently bigger than my schedule’s stomach.

So, back to the shelves of books in my office. All of them I thought I would use. Some of them I use. And many of them are there taking up space. Maybe they aren’t what I thought they were. Or I have changed and my sensibilities no longer fit the particular slant of the book that is on my shelf. I’m not sure who has betrayed whom, but I have lately realized that there are many books in my office library that I have no good reason for keeping.

So, I’ve decided I’m going to purge. I haven’t exactly decided the criteria. No longer reflect my theology? Haven’t taken the book down in 5 years? 10 years? The theology is outdated? The topic is outdated?

Stay tuned. This should be interesting.

4 thoughts on “Time to Purge

  1. Curt

    I gave some to a seminarian … Sold some at a bookstore … I’m filling another box and thinking about the same questions you raise … I’ll be looking forward to your future posts!

    1. Jim Honig Post author

      Thanks, Curt. I have a son who is a seminarian, and he wants the first right of refusal. I haven’t even thought very concretely about what I will do with the rest of them. I’m still trying to muster up the courage (and the time!) to actually do this.

  2. sundaycummins

    I gave away a lot of books this summer – mostly children’s fiction chapter books – to make room for the still growing number of books I have. I actually found the act of giving the books away cleansing – letting go of the list of things I was going to do with the books but hadn’t had time to and wouldn’t have time to do!

    1. Jim Honig Post author

      There is something cleansing about it isn’t there? I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with the books that aren’t making the cut. Some of them are so dated that I wonder if there’s any use for them at all.


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