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 2021

This season, I read (3) books.  Of these, I kept (2) books and donated (1) books. I have read a total of (204*) books and unhauled a total of (81*) books.  Additionally, I hauled (7) books.  Since this project began, I have hauled a total of (643*) books.  I am currently 18*% of the way to completing my goal.

September / October / November

3 books found

★★★★★

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

★★★½

What's Up Beanie by Alina Tysoe

★★★★½

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SUMMER 2021

This season, I read 18 books.  Of these, I kept 12 books and donated 6 books.  I also donated an additional 3 books.  I have read a total of 204 books and unhauled a total of 81 books.  Additionally, I hauled 22 books.  Since this project began, I have hauled a total of 642 books.  I am currently 18% of the way to completing my goal.

June / July / August

18 books found

★★★

★★★★

★★★½

★★½

★★★

★★

★★★★

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

★★★★½

The World According to Cats by Susie Yi

★★★½

The Cost of Knowing by Brittany Morris

★★★

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

★★★★★

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

★★★★

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

★★★★

Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield

★★★★★

Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

★★★★★

A woman in a white dress standing overlooking a balcony from a brick tower while immense blue-green waves reach for her. "Given to the Sea" is written large in gold stylized letters with "Mindy McGinnis" in smaller white text at the top

★★½

★★★★★

Battle of the Bands Short Story Collection

★★★★

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SpRing 2021

This season, I read 9 books.  Of these, I kept 6 books and donated 3 books.  I have read a total of 186 books and unhauled a total of 71 books.  Additionally, I hauled 3 books.  Since this project began, I have hauled a total of 620 books.  I am currently 18% of the way to completing my goal.

March / April / May

9 books found
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

★★★★½

★★★

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

★★★½

Exit Pursued by a Bear by EK Johnson

★★★½

Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

★★★★½

One of the Good Ones by Maritza Moulite and Maika Moulite

★★★★★

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea J. Ritchie

★★★★★

Oddity by Eli Brown

★★★½

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

★★★

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Winter 2020/2021

Books Read

In Love & Pajamas | Baby & Solo | The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre | Inkheart | These Violent Delights | The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue | Skyhunter | Miss Meteor | Even the Darkest Stars | Oasis | Micro | Station Eleven | Girls of Paper and Fire | Eleanor & Park

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 189 books. Of these, I kept 126 books and unhauled 67 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 35%.  I also hauled 34 books during this season.  I purchased 127% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 961 total hardcopy books, and am 18% of the way to completing my goal.

December | January | February

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year four

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Autumn 2020 Books

Books Read

Empress of All Seasons | Matched | A Song of Wraiths and Ruin | A Song Below Water | Everything I Thought I Knew | Unravel the Dusk | Court of Lions | Ghost Wood Song | How to Be an Antiracist | Solutions and Other Problems | Where Dreams Descend | A Wild Winter Swan

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 175 books. Of these, I kept 115 books and unhauled 62 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 35%.  I also hauled 36 books during this season.  I purchased 300% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 927 total hardcopy books, and am 18% of the way to completing my goal.

September | October | November

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17 Illustrated books propped around with a pastel yellow-green bubble that reads "Summer 2020" and "17 books read | 5 books unhauled".

Books Read

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes | The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly | The Silence of Bones | Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From | Highfire | The Iliad | Masque of the Red Death | Nice Try, Jane Sinner | Alanna: The First Adventure | The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian | Wild Embers | Night | Adulthood is a Myth | The Test | The Giver | You Should See Me In a Crown | The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 163 books. Of these, I kept 108 books and unhauled 57 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 35%.  I also hauled 36 books during this season.  I purchased 111% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 896 total hardcopy books, and am 18% of the way to completing my goal.

June | July | August

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14 Illustrated books propped around with a pastel mint bubble that reads "Spring 2020" and "14 books read | 4 books unhauled".

Books Read

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Discord’s Apple | The Girls | These Witches Don’t Burn | The Star-Touched Queen | Cinder | Harley in the Sky | The Sisters Grimm | Strange Planet | The Story of Doctor Dolittle | The Historian | The Invasion | Blood and Chocolate | The Cruelty

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 146 books. Of these, I kept 96 books and unhauled 52 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 36%.  I also hauled 34 books during this season.  I purchased 142% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 865 total hardcopy books, and am 17% of the way to completing my goal.

March | April | May

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17 Illustrated books propped around with a bright pink bubble that reads "Winter 2019 / 2020" and "17 books read | 5 books unhauled".

Books Read

Writer to Writer | The Jungle Book | 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth | Skinned | Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future | Kingdom of Souls | The Fountains of Silence | Midnight Thief | The Starless Sea | Just Ella | The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky | Next | James and the Giant Peach | Gold Rush Girl | Disclosure | Children of Virtue and Vengeance

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 132 books. Of these, I kept 86 books and unhauled 48 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 36%.  I also hauled 33 books during this season.  I purchased 94% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 835 total hardcopy books, and am 16% of the way to completing my goal.

December | January | February

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Year Three

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13 illustrated books in stacks and rows, separated by a vase with a stem of autumn leaves. To the left inside an orange cloud, the phrases "Autumn 2019" and "13 books read | 7 books unhauled" are written in purple.

Books Read

Blood of the Four | What Makes Us | The Bone Season | The Good Luck Girls | The Beautiful | Homerooms and Hall Passes | A Match Made in Mehendi | War Girls | Steel Crow Saga | Eragon | Tuesdays at the Castle | The Ambassador’s Mission

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 115 books. Of these, I kept 74 books and unhauled 43 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 37%.  I also hauled 17 books during this season.  I purchased 31% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 802 total hardcopy books, and am 14% of the way to completing my goal.

September | October | November

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Twelve illustrated books lay propped up around a yellow cloud that has the text "Summer 2019" and "12 books read | 4 books unhauled" written in purple script

Books Read

Amber & Dusk | Marilla of Green Gables | The Orphan’s Song | Sabrina: Season of the Witch | The Light Fantastic | The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making | Anna of Kleve | Lords and Ladies | Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead | Bright Smoke, Cold Fire | Girl, Interrupted | Speak Easy, Speak Love

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 102 books. Of these, I kept 68 books and unhauled 34 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 33%.  I also hauled 73 books during this season.  I purchased 508% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 792 total hardcopy books, and am 13% of the way to completing my goal.

June | July | August

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Great Bookcase Crusade Spring 2019 Reads

Books Read

Starworld | Summer of ’69 | Born a Crime | The Lost Coast | How To Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You | Pirate Queen

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 90 books. Of these, I kept 60 books and unhauled 30 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 33%.  I also hauled 29 books during this season.  I purchased 383% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 723 total hardcopy books, and am 12% of the way to completing my goal.

March | April | May

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Winter 2018-2019

Books Read

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Moxie | Paperquake | The Queen’s Rising | An Absolutely Remarkable Thing | Ink and Bone | The Selection | Glass Town | The Help | Fantastic Mr. Fox | Holes

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 84 books. Of these, I kept 56 books and unhauled 28 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 50%.  I also hauled 74 books during this season.  I purchased 672% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 694 total hardcopy books, and am 12% of the way to completing my goal.

December | January | February

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Year Two

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Autumn 2018

Books Read

The Bigfoot Files | Vicious | Love and Other Carnivorous Plants | Ink, Iron, and Glass | The Deepest Roots | Heart of Iron | Mirage | Nice Try, Jane Sinner | Heretics Anonymous | A Blade So Black | Sky In The Deep | The Astonishing Color of After | Everless | To Kill a Kingdom

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 73 books. Of these, I kept 49 books and unhauled 24 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 48%.  I also hauled 43 books during this season.  I purchased 307% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 624 total hardcopy books, and am 11% of the way to completing my goal.

September | October | November

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Summer 2018

Books Read

Catching Stars | Milk and Honey | The Poppy War | Beyond A Darkened Shore | The Midnight Front | The Wicked Deep | Not The Girls You’re Looking For | The Radium Girls | A Thousand Perfect Notes | Leah on the Offbeat | The Nightmare Effect | The Poet X

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 59 books. Of these, I kept 39 books and unhauled 20 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 34%.  I also hauled 23 books during this season.  I purchased 115% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 585 total hardcopy books, and am 10% of the way to completing my goal.

June | July | August

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Spring 2018

Books Read

Ace of Shades | The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me | Gunslinger Girl | Happily | Nimona | The Magicians | The Price Guide to the Occult | The Hate U Give | The Hazel Wood | The Story Girl

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 47 books. Of these, I kept 32 books and unhauled 15 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 31%.  I also hauled 39 books during this season.  I purchased 390% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 567 total hardcopy books, and am 8% of the way to completing my goal.

March | April | May

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Winter 2017-2018

Books Read

A Wrinkle In Time | Logan’s Run | Foolish Hearts | Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda | Fourth Dimension | Blue Window | The Book of Pearl | The Girl In The Steel Corset | A Darker Shade of Magic

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 37 books. Of these, I kept 24 books and unhauled 13 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 54%.  I also hauled 35 books during this season.  I purchased 388% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 530 total hardcopy books, and am 7% of the way to completing my goal.

December | January | February

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Year One

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Fall 2017

Books Read

The Handmaid’s Tale | The Martian | The Game of Love and Death | Once Upon A Time In the North | Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life | Rejected Princesses | Turtles All The Way Down | Quidditch Through The Ages | Beautiful Creatures | The Big Lie | The Hearts We Sold | La Belle Sauvage

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 28 books. Of these, I kept 19 books and unhauled 9 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 32%.  I also hauled 82 books during this season.  I purchased 586% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 499 total hardcopy books, and am 6% of the way to completing my goal.

September | October | November

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Summer 2017

Books Read

AARU | Pistols and Petticoats | The Lady of the Rivers | Of Jenny and the Aliens | Caraval | Daughter of the Burning City | The Monstrous Child | So Silver Bright

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 14 books. Of these, I kept 7 books and unhauled 7 books.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 50%.  I also hauled 36 books during this season.  I purchased 43% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 419 total hardcopy books, and am 3% of the way to completing my goal.

June | July | August

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Spring 2017

Books Read

Anne of Green Gables | Drawn Away

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 6 books. Of these, I kept 4 books and unhauled 2 book.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 33.34%.  I currently have 388 total hardcopy books, and am 2% of the way to completing my goal.

March | April | May

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Winter 2016-2017 4 Books Read One Book Unhauled

Books Read

1984 | The Fate of the Tearling | Theodosia and The Serpents of Chaos | Shadow and Bone

Stats

So far, I have read a total of 4 books. Of these, I kept 3 books and unhauled 1 book.  I am maintaining an unhaul ratio of 25%.  I also hauled 7 books during this season.  I purchased 43% more books than I was able to read this season.  I currently have 388 total hardcopy books, and am 1% of the way to completing my goal.

December | January | February

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