Thursday, 18 June 2009

Exfoliation 2 - The Bookshelf

A little while ago I told you about my first 'exfoliation' - that is, shedding unused clutter in order to leave just the good, the useful, the beautiful and/or to put that clutter back into the world and see it used better. (see makeundermylife for the original and best explanation).

Since then, I've been getting quite into this whole exfoliating/making under business. I've been picking away at my wardrobe, building up a big pile of clothes I don't wear or can't wear or know don't suit me. Every time I take something out my wardrobe looks richer, not smaller. The colours are nicer, I see more stuff I like. That taking stuff away, not putting it in, is what enhances it is so counterintuitive it feels like magic! And yet when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Anyhow, more on the clothes and what to do with them later...

For now, this was my second exfoliation - I went through the bookcase taking out all those books I didn't want anymore. Not a huge pile (there were a few more than this in the end), but it made space in the bookcase for a few more books that had been hanging round in piles elsewhere, helping tidy up our messy little shoebox of a flat.

I was quite excited to try out a couple of good internet book swapping initiatives I'd heard of. Bookmooch and Read it Swap it both allow you to upload books you don't want anymore then start swapping with others. On Bookmooch you collect points, on Read it Swap it it's a straightforward swapping system . Both great ways to give old books a new lease of life with someone else, and to refresh your library for minimal cost (and without any new materials being used).

However, I started thinking about how rubbish I am posting letters (and hence posting out the books), and how much I like the library and spending time in second hand book shops, and how I didn't really want to add to my permanent book stash... So I decided in the end that I was much better off just feeding my books back into the second hand system, and I dropped them off at my nearest second hand charity bookshop.

So, I'm interested in knowing what's your preferred way of reading. Are you a library addict, like me? (With my ginormous fines to show for forgetfulness!) Do you like to buy shiny and new or prefer careworn and tattered? Have you used any swap sites or other ways to circulate and re-use books, and how have you found them if so? Do tell...


Color Me Green said...

my bf listed his old books on amazon's used book seller system. it's great because he's getting rid of stuff he'll never look at again, giving it new life, and making money every now and then when something gets sold. i dunno if you guys have amazon in the uk?

LK said...

oh yeah, great idea. I meant to mention that actually - more for buying books than selling though. 2nd hand bookshops are great for browsing but when there's something you know you specifically want then I think amazon is the way to go (we have there's a few things I've read recently from the library that I've thought I'd actually like to own now and amazon could be perfect for finding them.

Not sure I have enough stuff that would sell for more than a few pennies to make it worthwhile selling, but definitely something to keep in mind.