The Great Bookcase Crusade

It is the general habit of bookworms to gather up as many beloved tomes as we can and then hoard them forever and ever.  They’re pretty, and we’ll always read them again… right?

I’ll admit that as a kid, I was really good about this.  I have a well worn copy of Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander that I still break out every couple years for nostalgia reasons.  As I’ve gotten older, and especially in the last five years… I tend to gather more than I can read.  Between snagging great deals on used books and the influx of book boxes and physical ARCs, I feel like I’m constantly adding books, but rarely reading them.  And that’s something I want to change.

The Great Bookcase Crusade was created in early 2017 as a way to keep myself accountable for reading the physical copies I own.  It’s also served as a way for me to curate my personal library a little better – culling out volumes that I don’t enjoy as much as I once did in an attempt to maintain a large but manageable personal library.

I set myself up guidelines and rules in order to make sure I am both reading and getting rid of books.  As of today (8/19/2019) I’ve been working on this project for two and a half years, and I’ve read less than 100 books from my personal collection.  I’ve maintained a 65% Keep / 35% Donate ratio.  Over the next few years, I want to hold myself responsible for the following, additional goals:

  1. Read at least 4 hardcopy books / month.
  2. Do not buy more books in a month than I have read off my shelf.
  3. Cut down (or completely stop) book boxes.
  4. Check in on my blog with this project every 3 months so YOU can keep me accountable (starting January 2020).

I’m hoping this will help me curate a higher quality personal library, and help me break the bad habit of buying books I don’t love.  After all, I am fortunate enough to have library access and should use it!

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The qualifiers

  • Books rated a 4+ are kept.
  • Books rated a 3 or 3.5 are usually goners unless the are good reasons.
  • Books rated a 2.5 or below are gone.
  • Childhood favorites or books I want to keep in my collection for specific reasons may break all the rules and run rampant.

Books that I keep after reading them get stamped and rated!  It’s like my own personal library card system (but without the cards – that’s a little too much for me).

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Autumn 2019

93+/813+

This season, I read ? books.  Of these, I kept ? books and donated ? books.  I have read a total of 93+ books and unhauled a total of 36+ books.  Additionally, I hauled ? books.  Since this project began, I have hauled a total of 426 books.  I am currently 11% of the way to completing my goal.

September / October / November

Summer 2019

93/813

This season, I read 14 books.  3 of these were hardcopy re-reads.  Of these, I kept 10 books and donated 4 books.  I have read a total of 93 books and unhauled a total of 36 books.  Additionally, I hauled 73 books.  Since this project began, I have hauled a total of 426 books.  I am currently 11% of the way to completing my goal.

June / July / August

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Spring 2019

82/740

This season, I read 5 books.  Of these, I kept 3 books and donated 2 books.  I have read a total of 82 books and unhauled a total of 32 books.  Additionally, I hauled 29 books.  Since this project began, I have hauled a total of 353 books.  I am currently 11% of the way to completing my goal.

March / April / May

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Winter 2018/2019

77/711

This season, I read 11 books.  Of these, I kept 7 books and donated 4 books.  I have read a total of 77 books and unhauled a total of 30 books.  Additionally, I hauled 74 books.  Since this project began, I have hauled a total of 324 books.  I am currently 11% of the way to completing my goal.

December / January / February

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Autumn 2018

66/646

This season, I read 14 books.  Of these, I kept 8 books and donated 6 books.  I have read a total of 66 books and unhauled a total of 26 books.  Additionally, I hauled 4books.  Since this project began, I have hauled a total of 250 books.  I am currently 10% of the way to completing my goal.

September / October / November

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Summer 2018

52/603

This season, I read 12 books.  Of these, I kept 6 books and donated 6 books.  I have read a total of 52 books and unhauled a total of 20 books.  Additionally, I hauled 23 books.  Since this project began, I have hauled a total of 224 books.  I am currently 8% of the way to completing my goal.

June / July / August

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Spring 2018

40/580

This season, I read 9 books.  Of these, I kept 7 books and donated 2 books.  I have read a total of 40 books and unhauled a total of 14 books.  Additionally, I hauled 39 books.  I am currently 6% of the way to completing my goal.

March / April / May

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Winter 2017/2018

31/541

This season, I read 6 books.  Of these, I kept 3 books and donated 3 books.  I have read a total of 31 books and unhauled a total of 12 books.  Additionally, I hauled 35 books.  I am currently 5% of the way to completing my goal.

December / January / February

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Autumn 2017

25/506

This season, I read 11 books.  Of these, I kept 9 books and donated 2 books.  I have read a total of 25 books and unhauled a total of 9 books. Additionally, I hauled 82 books.  I am currently 4% of the way to completing my goal.

September / October / November

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Summer 2017

14/424

This season, I read 8 books.  Of these, I kept 3 books and donated 5 books.  I have read a total of 14 books and unhauled a total of 7 books.  Additionally, I hauled 36 books.  I am currently 3% of the way to completing my goal.

June / July / August

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Spring 2017

6/388

This season, I read 2 books.  Of these, I kept 1 book and donated 1 book.  I have read a total of 6 books and unhauled a total of books.  I am currently 1% of the way to completing my goal.

March / April / May

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Winter 2016/2017

4/388

This season, I read 4 books.  Of these, I kept 3 books and donated 1 book.  I have read a total of 4 books and unhauled a total of book.  Additionally, I hauled books.  I am currently 1% of the way to completing my goal.

December / January / February

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