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For those of you with large home libaries...


Kjirstyn
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...how do you find room for everything?  And perhaps most pressing of all...do you actually read them all?!  

 

I've been a book hoarder since before college, and my collection is prodigious for a "normal" person (around 1500) but...it keeps growing. Right now it is growing mostly in kid books. Books (both reading and collecting) are my primary hobby, and I love it, but...I do wonder. Will I ever read all these books with my kids?  Am I wasting my money?  I buy carefully and only on strong recommendations (or personal love for a given title), but of course that doesn't mean a given kid will read it. 

 

My boys are still young and they are definitely being groomed to love books (and they do; the poor brainwashed little mannies   :laugh: ), but I do fret about this a bit. 

 

And where in the WORLD does one put them all?!  Pictures would be amazing if anyone is willing to share.

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I have a lot of bookshelves.  They are everywhere.  In hallways, bedrooms, kitchen, living room, pantry, etc. 

 

I have started getting rid of some books though because it's just too much.  Do we read them all?  Well they have all been read at some point and some I use regularly (homeschool books and reference books mostly). 

 

 

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We have a lot of books. I'm not really concerned that every book we own gets read.  Sometimes we buy a book, plan to read it, and the opportunity doesn't come.  Some books that I've picked up for my kids turned out to be losers.  Other books I think they will love, they don't.  I've bought books that I thought a child was ready for, only to realize the child had passed that book by, and it was useless to them.  I don't really think of it as wasted money.  Maybe I should. 

 

Some of our books are in bookcases, in various rooms.  Some are in boxes, but inventoried so we can find them.  As our kids have gotten older, I'm getting rid of more books.  There are books we picked up to use for homeschooling that need to go now.  (Some special books will stay around forever.)  My husband will never get rid of any book so much of what we have in boxes is his. 

 

I'm not actually sure what you are fretting about.  :-)

 

 

 

 

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I'm not actually sure what you are fretting about.  :-)

 

:laugh:   Well, one has to fret about SOMETHING.  But seriously, these books just add up, and while I love collecting them, part of me just wonders how much money is "wasted" if I'm supplying more books than we'll ever get to. Like, perhaps I should wait until they're reading and asking for books and find out what they're interested in?  Which is no fun now, but perhaps wiser.  :-)  

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We have about 4,000 books. Floor to ceiling IKEA Ivar bookshelves in living room, bedroom, kids' rooms. 

Picture is the book shelf in the living room. Bedroom shelf is similar amount of German books and my 200 poetry books. Each kid has a similar amount in his/her room, too. Most books in the house have been read.

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Edited by regentrude
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We turned an extra bedroom into a library with bookshelves against all the walls and back to back down the middle of the room too. Some of them are never touched unless my husband uses them for his work. We have to constantly keep cleaning out the kids books because we just buy them tons of books. We don't have much in the way of bookstores or libraries here so amazon is our good friend. Some of my childhood favorites that I was anxious to share like Nancy Drew and tons of horse books didn't go over well. We are reading the classics now so those are good investments for sure. But lately I've been buying cheaper paperback versions so we can mark in them. We like audio books sometimes and kindle books, too. I think books are good investments. 

 

I think every room in the house has a bookcase, except the kitchen where the books are in a cabinet. When we were looking at rental properties I was shocked by how many homes seemed to have no books. 

Edited by CAJinBE
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We have a wall of Billy bookcases with the extenders. Dh matched molding to the bookcases and put it around the top. The look like beautiful built-ins for a lot less work and money. They are approx 15ft long and 8ft high. Most of our books live there. We also have bookshelves in each bedroom for favorites. I stopped buying books several years ago unless it was something we absolutely loved or a vintage book that couldn't be gotten at the library. We love having books and think it's money well spent. I do have to say though that when the kids were young, we used the library for children's books instead of buying them. They got a wider variety and my bank account didn't suffer as much. Best wishes as you enjoy your children and your books

Edited by Artichoke
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I quit buying books and have been giving lots away. My MIL gave me some of DH's old books (maybe 30 years old?). They were yellowed, smelly, falling apart. Really, books are just paper and paper isn't an investment. We have a great library that I support with our late fees and I have no more book clutter in the house.

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My husband turned my basement into a library. The kids have their own books in their room. I'm still running out of room but as my kids grow older I am getting rid of younger children's books except really special ones. As we plan on moving into a small condo when kids move out, I hope my children will take what they want and I will donate the rest to the library sale.

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We have our "homeschool room" (which is an extra bedroom whwre no actual homeschool happens except recorder and piano practice), full of bookshelves. My policy is to buy a book or few at a time and they must be read before I purchase more. It is hard....VERY hard to resist books and I don't always adhere to that but like you I love books.

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I'm only keeping valuable reference books, kids stuff, school materials, etc. I love books but I'm selective about what comes in these days. We have a huge wall of built in bookshelves and need more :p

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We had bookshelves full In every room.

I'm now down to one bookcasein living room.each teen has a small case in their room & a bin of board books.

It's been really freeing to let them go.

 

I gave families a heads up to bring boxes & a few meetings in a row,took hundreds of books to homeschool group day to give away. Like several full size van fulls.

 

Then we decided to move & got rid of even more. Sold like new ones to consignment & curriculum stuff likeSOTW online, but got rid of most everything except some of my good reference books, the best picture books, & the board books.

Iwas ruthless!

 

ILove it.

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We have so many books. Our kids have so many books. We all love books. So we have bookshelves everywhere and we double book on some of the shelves. We have books in bedrooms, both offices, living room, guest bedroom, and sun room. When we were being moved by the government all these years, our books were always our heaviest possessions and we always had to stress to the movers estimating, don;t worry about furniture, worry about the books (and later the chemistry glassware too).

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Most of ours are in bookcases in the basement.

 

As my kids get older, I give away all the books they outgrow.  And I donate grown-up books after I read them, unless I think I'll want to read them again someday.

 

My goal, ultimately, is to only have a small pile of books that I really want to read in the near future.  :)

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I have downsized by approximately 1000 books. Still have several hundred, but they are all nice hardback classics or novels that will soon be used in literature study - many will go before too long. I tend to get popular fiction from the library, and nonfiction on audiobook. I still have enough healthy respect for paper and ink (Fahrenheit 451!) to keep the ones I believe are important, but I no longer hoard them. Honestly, I actually feel lighter somehow.

Edited by Seasider
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I'm planning to keep my entire library, including hs'ing materials, until I know whether my grandchildren (or nieces or nephews) will need them or want them. I don't expect our local schools and libraries to improve so dramatically that nobody will need my books, in just one generation. Beyond that, my next plan for the library is to scale it down slowly, to just one shelf of heirlooms, before I reach very old age. (Donating to schools, including homeschools, and libraries.) I'm going to try to simplify so drastically that whatever happens when I'm old, no relative will ever find him or herself facing down a hoarder house.

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Our local library system is just terrible.  Lots of 'Babysitters' Club', few really good kids' novels.  This led me to panic as a young mother and scrounge books like a hamster with sunflower seeds.  Hoard them, too.

 

I've been done with homeschooling for a while, but a carefully built library is a thing of beauty.  So I don't know.  Maybe I should build a small structure in the backyard.  Or a biggish one.  A library building.  That has such a nice ring to it, doesn't it?  OK, kidding.

 

Seriously, I've started to let some of them go.  We have a plethora of Little Free Libraries in the area, and I'm feeding them weekly.  It feels good to decide that some of these books can go.  But I still have the best history resources for kids ANYWHERE, and I don't see myself divesting that anytime soon.

 

PS  Oh yeah, you had a question.  Well, they are pretty much consolidated in rather a large number of Billy bookshelves. And in some built in bookshelves as well.  Lots of bookshelves.  And.  Um.  In piles.  Here and there.  Because books...

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I have downsized by approximately 1000 books. Still have several hundred, but they are all nice hardback classics or novels that will soon be used in literature study - many will go before too long. I tend to get popular fiction from the library, and nonfiction on audiobook. I still have enough healthy respect for paper and ink (Fahrenheit 451!) to keep the ones I believe are important, but I no longer hoard them. Honestly, I actually feel lighter somehow.

Yes! I've been borrowing a lot of books or buying them on my kindle if they aren't the kind I'll refer to or read again. That has really helped. And I'm going to have a few boxes of books to give away when we move too.

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I'm starting to get rid of some of my collected books and just go to the library every few days.

 

I think it is a season. The pendulum is swinging for me.

 

It's dun swung for me.  I got to the point where FOR ME, and over time, there is little difference between hoarding books you will never read compared to china you will never use.  

 

The words that matter in there are never read/never use.  It was easy for me to mock china hoarders because I don't particularly care about china.  (And I could substitute any number of other items for this comparison, so don't get hooked up on "china".). 

 

Why did I have Dickens on my shelf?  To show off.  I read Oliver Twist and that's it. 

Why did I have every stinkin' military history of WW2 on my shelf?  Because they would be "hard to find" someday.

Why did I have a copy of How to Sail a Three Mast Sailboat (or any other similarly useless made-up title) on my shelf?  Because I was pretending to be someone I was not.

Why did I have three different versions of the same book on my shelf?  Because I was greedy and didn't control myself. 

Why did I have three copies of the same book?  Because I had so many disorganized books I couldn't find the copies I HAD so I bought another one twice.

Why did I never clear out shelves and shelves of books?  Because it made me look intellectual and educated.

 

None of these are admirable reasons.  Books are not sacred or holy.  They collect dust, they cost a lot to move, about 1500 of them took more time to pack, unpack, shelve, re-shelve than I spent reading them (that was after I got rid of more than 1000).  Almost every one of them is available at the library or from  a friend.  

 

Now, lest I hit you with my cane, let me also say that I am on a rant.  I'm stating these things in overarching terms to get a point across.  

 

Book collections are fine, but they are not sacred.  And they are more fun if you know what you have and can find what you want when you want it.  To which end, I recommend the Library of Congress organization system (not Dewey Decimal) adjusted for your interests.  So, instead of History, we had Ancient, American, Military history sections.   The IKEA Billy Bookshelves are a wonderful creation.  Once I spent a week getting the books organized and on shelves, I enjoyed my library a lot more.  

 

That said, we moved, and we downsized.  I used to have 28 Billy Bookcases.  Now I have 8 (I think).  And a lot of books in boxes.  See my dh about that.  I myself went through all the books that are *mine* and went from 8 bookcases to 1.  And that includes the sentimental homeschool stuff.

 

If it is free on Kindle, the book went by the boards.

If it is paperback and I am saving it for my grandchildren, I liberated it.  The glue won't hold that long.  

If it was something I read to my son, and I wanted to keep it, I got the hardback.

If it was available for checkout from the library, especially on Kindle, it was liberated.

If it was something that I finally am able to admit that I will never read, out it went.  (Dickens.  Just not my cuppa.  I tried.)

 

I'm nearly 60 and a certain amount of reality is setting in.  The beautiful poetry books I got for my son...should go to a teacher who will read them to her students.  Not just gather dust on my lonely shelves.  The hardback biographies of world leaders?  To the private school my son attended.  The military histories?  To a young man who likes history and is in ROTC.  

 

And a good number of books are finding their ways to new locations and the payment to my bank account through my Amazon bookstore.  :0). 

 

So.  You do what you want.  Me?  I'm tired of the boxes of books that clog my hallway, and my brain with its long list of "Things that need to be dealt with."  (98% of the books that have to be dealt with are my dh's at this point so I am a little helpless on this one.)

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I have a lot of bookshelves as well as boxes in storage.  But I have also gotten rid of many, many books.  Now that I'm on the other side of homeschooling, I've gotten rid of everything middle school and below unless it was an absolute favorite.

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We have somewhere between 1000 and 1500 on shelves and a couple more boxes. Many of them have been passed on to me when family outgrew them and we will pass them on when we outgrew me then. Many are forever books. I borrow more than I buy now but will still buy a few.

 

There are other poorer quality books that need to be passed on but they aren't mine and I need to capture DH to go through them.

 

I prefer physical to ebooks though I will read the others when needed

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I do have the good fortune of having a large pair of built-in bookcases in my office, as well as a "Studio" that we use as a homeschool room; there are three bookcases and a homeschool materials cabinet in there. Plus, each kid has a bookcase or two in his/her bedroom.

 

In general, I am not a clutterer, but I do buy, keep and love lots and lots and lots of books. I do move some along if they get to overflowing the available bookcases. I will not buy another bookcase. Also, as my youngest child outgrows homeschool books and other books, I thin them out since I have no more homescholers coming up (though some I keep just because I enjoy them).

 

As long as I am still in this house, I simply am fine with having lots of books. As long as they all have a home, it's fine.

 

P.S. DD is a book hoarder herself, but she did just go through and let go of many of her books from childhood to make room for books she wants to have now.

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I donated the children's books to the local library. We had about 2000 hardcover picture books. I know you are not ready to part with any yet.

 

Storage is more everywhere rather than an isolated space. I have about 7 or 8 glass doored display type cases throughout the house. I intermix books with knick knacks on the shelves so that the look is not heinously junky. DH has built in book shelves in his office which are a disastrous mess with books hanging out everywhere two to three deep and in piles all over the floor.

 

Underneath beds, inside tv cabinets, and inside closet shelving houses other books.

 

What is saving me from drowning, however, is my IPad. I no longer buy hardcover books. With the cloud, my storage site has become "endless". And it makes for an attractive house. I have also recently discovered audibles since I started traveling 500 miles to work. No problem with storage now.

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More bookcases.  Although, to be honest we probably only have about a 1000 books on bookcases.   The rest are in sorted and labeled boxed.  For example, there is a box called Orson Scott Card.  

 

DH is building an addition to the house.  Plan is skip interior walls and use back-to-back bookcases.  Other stuff can be put on bookcases also.  

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You can love books and use the library. It's not like you have to BUY every book you read. 

 

I have over 7k books, and a lot, lot, lot of them were for my dd. My ds, 10 years later, turns out to be dyslexic. I have no clue what I'm going to do, but it's really hard to imagine me reading aloud to my ds everything my dd read for herself. Just not reality. 

 

If you're asking where to put them, just don't. Use the library, and when something is really sacred and beloved and going to be read over and over (like a collectible on the art of LotR or the making of Willy Wonka), THEN buy it.

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I donated the children's books to the local library. We had about 2000 hardcover picture books. I know you are not ready to part with any yet.

 

Mooooost definitely not ready to part with any yet.  :-D A lot of the responses have been folks who seem to be either nearly done or finished with homeschooling, and I can entirely NOT relate to being ready to pare down.   :lol:  I really enjoy the collecting and I love having them all around the house-- but I do fret a little that we'll never use them, and the whole point of them (okay, half the point; the other half is the pleasure of owning them) is to enjoy READING them!  So I guess I'll just cross my fingers that they'll be loved.  And, you know, have a few more kids so the odds go up.   :laugh:

 

We live in a small-ish house (for now) and I keep quite a few books in boxes...and I'm dreaming of the day when there is more room for bookshelves. That will be a good day.

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This is my absolute favorite quote from that article and my wish as well:

 

But I hope I will never have a life that is not surrounded by books, by books that are bound in paper and cloth and glue, such perishable things for ideas that have lasted thousands of years, or just since the most recent Harry Potter. I hope I am always walled in by the very weight and breadth and clumsy, inefficient, antiquated bulk of them, hope that I spend my last days on this Earth arranging and rearranging them on thrones of good, honest pine, oak, and mahogany, because they just feel good in my hands, because I just like to look at their covers, and dream of the promise of the great stories inside.

 

Me too. I just delight in seeing them around me. I don't do much for decor...but I do do books. I periodically get rid of ones I know I'll never use again, but...the ins outweigh the outs by a significant margin. I'm a huge re-reader.

 

DH is building an addition to the house.  Plan is skip interior walls and use back-to-back bookcases.  Other stuff can be put on bookcases also.  

 

This is genius. Making note. Why aren't all houses built like this?!?!

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Hahahaha! One of my wishes for when we upgrade is a library room-- it can take several forms, I'm not planning to be neurotic about it, but if I had my hopes-- it would have a fireplace and bookcases all around. And probably double as the homeschool room, for obvious reasons. But books and fires-- they go well together.

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Me too. I just delight in seeing them around me. I don't do much for decor...but I do do books. I periodically get rid of ones I know I'll never use again, but...the ins outweigh the outs by a significant margin. I'm a huge re-reader.

 

 

This is genius. Making note. Why aren't all houses built like this?!?!

 

I honestly don't know.  While drywall and wood itself isn't that expensive, the labor expenses for the framing and hanging drywall and taping/mudding then painting isn't cheap .   IKEA billy bookcases have to be in the same ballpark price-wise.  I guess when you sell, if the next owners didn't like the shade of wood that you picked, they can't just repaint like they can with drywall.   But, built-ins are the same, and those are generally a plus.  

 

I am pretty proud of that idea.  Also, our main bathroom has a long wall that is four PAX wardrobes built-in.  We are really loving that.  There is large empty places.  Is that not the first-world ultimate luxury?  Empty storage space.  

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I didn't read all the replies so this may be a repeat suggestion- on top of the obvious book shelves, I've found that under the bed storage boxes work like bookshelves laying down. You can easily slide them in and out and it keeps junk from accumulating under the bed. Also, whenever I see a cd shelf at the thrift store, I pick it up. They are the perfect size for middle grade chapter books, but they don't take up as much spaces as regular book shelves.

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So, we moved over a year ago into a home literally 3 times the size of our old home. Over 4000 square feet (will be over 6000 square feet when the basement is finished) -- and I still can't find "good space" for the books. Between my books, DH's books, and the three kids' books... and then the "general books" (of interest to everyone), AND the school books... well, more than half are still packed in boxes in the garage. We have book cases in each of the kids' bedrooms, bookcases in the office, bookcases in the schoolroom, and I have stacks of books on the floor of my bedroom closet. I think our biggest issue is that there really isn't a good space in the main living room area for a bookshelf -- even built-ins -- because of the layout. 

I've actually found that the "open concept" in the newer houses do not lend as well to tons of bookshelves -- because there seem to be fewer usable walls. Where we could, ideally, put bookshelves, there are windows; the hallways are smaller and we would have small children tripping all over bookshelves :P

 

Our best solution is that DH is going to move his office into the basement (he's finishing the basement now) and we'll use the room currently used as an office, for a dedicated library -- with floor to ceiling bookcases, all the way around the room, and probably including the closet. This would be in addition to keeping the existing bookcases in all of the other rooms.

 

I have a very hard time getting rid of literature, both younger boys do lit-based curriculum, and I end up buying a ton throughout the year. God help my husband when the twice-yearly library book sale happens :) It's my happy place. I can walk out with several boxes packed with books for $10 on the last day of the sale :D

 

I'm not sure that DH has ever thrown out a book. DD15 has books not only on her two bookshelves, but stacked (covering the entirety of) underneath her bed -- she still has her old Angelina Ballerina books, even.

 

We have an obvious obsession. I do have an e-reader, as does everyone in the house, but they inevitably prefer "real" books. I am the only one who uses my e-reader as and e-reader... and that is only for books I (*ahem*) don't want sitting on shelves or for the children to have access to :p

Edited by AimeeM
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<snip>

 

This is genius. Making note. Why aren't all houses built like this?!?!

 

Is that a serious question?  :-) 

 

Lots of people don't keep  many books around.  Lots of people don't read at all.  but even among readers, I know quite a few folks who have no bookcases in the public areas of their house.  They are otherwise fine people. :-) But they don't like the look of books and don't decorate with them.  

 

I wonder about the stability of back-to-back bookcases.  But I assume they are attached somewhere, somehow, not just to each other.  :-)

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Is that a serious question?  :-) 

 

Lots of people don't keep  many books around.  Lots of people don't read at all.  but even among readers, I know quite a few folks who have no bookcases in the public areas of their house.  They are otherwise fine people. :-) But they don't like the look of books and don't decorate with them.  

 

I wonder about the stability of back-to-back bookcases.  But I assume they are attached somewhere, somehow, not just to each other.  :-)

 

The plan at the moment is to attach them at the top and to leave an air gap between them for noise reduction.  

I've often wished we'd done two walls in DD's room this way.   There are so many little toys and stuff.  They don't really have a place that is sorted.  If we'd put bookcase walls in there we could have a box of just barbie clothes/stuff.   A box of bigger doll clothes, etc.  

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We have about 4,000 books. Floor to ceiling IKEA Ivar bookshelves in living room, bedroom, kids' rooms. 

Picture is the book shelf in the living room. Bedroom shelf is similar amount of German books and my 200 poetry books. Each kid has a similar amount in his/her room, too. Most books in the house have been read.

We love our Ivar shelving!  It has grown as our library has grown and it is easy to move.  We may have been a bit panicky for a while when they discontinued it. Thankfully, they started selling it again. ;)

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Mooooost definitely not ready to part with any yet.  :-D A lot of the responses have been folks who seem to be either nearly done or finished with homeschooling, and I can entirely NOT relate to being ready to pare down.   :lol:  I really enjoy the collecting and I love having them all around the house-- but I do fret a little that we'll never use them, and the whole point of them (okay, half the point; the other half is the pleasure of owning them) is to enjoy READING them!  So I guess I'll just cross my fingers that they'll be loved.  And, you know, have a few more kids so the odds go up.   :laugh:

 

We live in a small-ish house (for now) and I keep quite a few books in boxes...and I'm dreaming of the day when there is more room for bookshelves. That will be a good day.

Some of this *is* being done with homeschooling.  Some of it is realizing who our son is, that he is not a reader and so all the beautiful collections of special interest books are getting a big "meh" so why haul them around anymore?  Let HIM haul them around.  :0)  Some of it is getting older and realizing that if I haven't read a book that's been on my shelf for 20 years, I have either outgrown it or lost interest, or am not too proud to say, "I'm just not that into Dickens."  Whoosh!  There they go.  

 

I will say this though:  I wish in so many ways I had been much more circumspect about my purchases, and not just in the book areas.  It seems like I spent the first half of my life and money getting this sort of thing (and books are high on the list of time and money spent) and now I am spending the last half of my life and money clearing them out.  THAT is the thing that really bugs me.  

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I donated some after we were done homeschooling, but my collection continues to grow. I have my living room filled with books and need space to house about 300 more (working on that this summer). 

 

My bedroom is filled with mostly medieval history books (non-fiction). Ds has shelves in his room. I mounted pine boards on the walls in my bedroom. I used the heavy duty brackets to better support the weight. 

 

I have culled judiciously over the last year, but so many are non-fiction books that while I haven't read in entirety, I do use for reference.

 

My goal is to have enough educational books so I could cover a number of subjects at the high school level or above with selected elementary books. Why? I'm minimalizing so many areas of my life, clothing, household goods, etc, that I want this one area to not feel stifled. 

 

I'm slowly gathering quality bookcases. I've been wanting Billy, but I may look at the Ivar now, I like how that looks. 

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We have several thousand books.  One bedroom has a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall built in bookshelf.  We have 4 bookshelves that are about 30" wide and tall that are full of books (one is double stacked with paperbacks like Louis L'amour books).  And another bookshelf that's three tiers and about 5' high.  And one underbed box that's full of books.  I was just thinking the other day that maybe I should ask DH to build another wall of built-in shelves in the room that already has a wall of them, because we're out of shelves.  But we have four bedrooms and 5 kids, and a baby who sleeps so much better if he's alone, and having a full wall of bookshelves already really limits the utility of that one bedroom, so I think I'll just have to be very very selective in what I buy.  We could put more bookshelves in the living room, but I can't stand clutter and large bookshelves do make me feel like a room is cluttered, no matter how much I love books. We don't really have any place to put boxes of books either.  I would love to just turn that one bedroom into a library though!

 

I have gotten much more selective over the years in what I purchase (and I destash a few dozen books a year).  I virtually never pay full price for a book.  Most of them were purchased at .25-1.00 apiece at HS sales, library book sales, garage sales, and even free at the public school book giveaway.  Most of the rest were bought for a few cents plus shipping on Amazon, or half price or less at homeschoolclassifieds.com..  I got rid of at least half of my personal books after reading the Kon Mari book.  The ones I've kept are all books I am certain I will re-read or use as reference books (herb books).  For the kids, I only keep the really good books.  We have about 4' of picture books.  It used to be more, but I got rid of all but the really good ones.  I got rid of a bunch of science books recently too and tried to only keep the best of them (which is still about 8' of books!).  I've gotten rid of some chapter books recently too.  Not many, but my oldest 3 are all dyslexic, so at some point I have to be realistic about how much reading they're really going to do and what the chances are that all 5 of them will be dyslexic and never be huge readers.  I much prefer "real" books to e-books, so going primarily to e-books is never going to be an option for me.  

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I've found paperbacks stash really well in old photo/vhs storage boxes, or more cheaply, in the 4" high 12x12 bins from dollar tree.

 

We've tried to switch our collection from less mass market books and more hardcovers & leather bound books.  We still have tons.

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I have never regretted collecting books. It happens regularly that one of my kids will ask for a story about x, and I will be able to pull some good options off a shelf. I LOVE that. They haven't all been read yet, but a decent amount have been!

 

We just build another bookshelf when the stacks, that have nowhere to go, get too high...

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  They collect dust, they cost a lot to move, about 1500 of them took more time to pack, unpack, shelve, re-shelve than I spent reading them (that was after I got rid of more than 1000).   

 

 

 

This.

 

When we moved for the 5th time in 8 years, we were carrying along 40 large boxes of books. Unpacking, re-shelving took 2 weeks. When my dh threw his back out moving a box filled with books from one room to another, we knew we had a big problem.

 

I donated and sold most (which could be replaced easily) off over a year. Invested in a kindle and now exclusively buy ebooks.

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We live in a tiny house and have probably 2000-2500 books.  I have always been a voracious reader and my husband is getting there, haha.  When we adopted son #1 I began collecting books.  When we adopted son #2, my friends threw me a children's book baby shower where books were the only gift (BEST. SHOWER. EVER.).  I collect mostly out of print stuff. 

 

I thought maybe I had wasted/was wasting a lot of money when we discovered older son's dyslexia, but he will soon be a reader and loves the vintage boy adventure books I have ready and waiting on the shelves.  My younger son has been obsessed with books and reading from about 4 months old, and develops intense interests very quickly.  My large library has been invaluable for this.  Sudden passion for the planet Mars?  Let's go to the astronomy section where there are several types of solar system books, some with tons of pictures and small factoids, some with more narrative style.  Have to know what kind of construction vehicle we just saw go by?  Let's consult the transportation DK encyclopedia.  These are real life examples.

 

Plus, whoever is in charge of acquisitions at our library system (which is apparently not a person but an algorithm, I've learned) could not have a more different philosophy of what makes a good children's book than mine.  *shudder*  So, while I sometimes second-guess my budgeting choices...overall I think I am putting my energy toward the right hobby!

 

About storage: we have one large built-in that acts as an interior wall, plus 4 more floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.  But key for us has been smaller, oddly-shaped bookshelf units that go in little unused spots in the house.  Little cube-types go in the boys' room.  A 3 ft-tall, narrow-shelved one my dad made from his dad's old gun rack holds easy readers and mass market paperbacks perfectly.  And we use books like decoration on top of cabinets, below small tables, etc.  I double-stack series books (like Redwall or Orson Scott Card).

 

About organization: So key for actually using the library.  Easy reader shelf.  Stuff my dyslexic son will be interested in but not intimidated by, another spot (often in the bathroom, heheheh).  Picture books at younger son's eye level.  Science shelf, history shelf, theology shelf.  More valuable vintage books up high away from grubby toddler hands and puppy teeth.  I rotate neat animal coffee table books on top of the 3 ft shelf in order to inspire spontaneous browsing (works on my husband too!).  A shelf for my personal TBR.  I made up my own system and shuffle things around as needs change.

 

I guess what I'm saying is--go for it, think outside the built-in for storage, and organize well!  It's worth it!

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