Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Decluttering Bookshelves: Book Unhaul

I'm forever nesting. I can't help myself. I'm the sort of person that gets jealous when I see people do big clear outs because I find the process extremely cathartic and, dare I say it, enjoyable. Livin da vida loca, me! I don't usually, however, share the results of said nesting and decluttering. 

And so, in the interests of sharing, I've decided to take a few moments away from sorting through my bookshelves to share a small selection of the 50+ books that aren't going to make the latest cull. If you're looking for some advice on the subject, I shared a post on 10 Books To Unhaul a little while ago. 

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I found myself reluctant to donate books that I had read, even if I didn't enjoy them or want to re-read them, and that's something that I wanted to kick into shape with this particular unhaul. I have read all of the books featured in this group but, for multiple reasons, I don't feel drawn to them enough to keep them. I loved Under the Skin by Michel Faber so much that I added a couple of Faber's other books to my wishlist to try. His first collection of short stories, SOME RAIN MUST FALL (AND OTHER STORIES) (haul | review), was one of them. Whilst I liked a handful of the tales, I wasn't entirely enamored and I don't feel a deep need to keep this book as a result. Similarly, I read and adored Karen Russell's short story collection Lucy's Home For Girls Raised by Wolves and set out to read more of her work. I received VAMPIRES IN THE LEMON GROVE BY KAREN RUSSELL (haul | review) as a gift and read it soon after. However, for me, it didn't quite hit the same sweet spot and I found myself feeling a little fatigued by it. Off it goes to be enjoyed by someone else! 

LIGHT BOXES BY SHANE JONES (review) and SCORCH ATLAS BY BLAKE BUTLER (review) are two books that are a little more out there that I read a few years ago. I didn't dislike them at the time but they haven't left much of an impression on me years down the line and I don't think I would read either of them again. Out. The next two have striking covers but that isn't enough reason to keep them. NOTHING IS EVER MISSING BY CATHERINE LACEY (haul | review) and HOW TO GET INTO THE TWIN PALMS BY KAROLINA WACLAWIAK (haul | reviewhave, therefore, been added to the pile. These were both three stars reads for me, which translates as 'I liked it', but, again, I don't feel an affinity for them. Goodbye, beautiful covers!

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THE DUMB HOUSE BY JOHN BURNSIDE (haul | review) was a book that I bought after mass hype in the Booktube community a couple of years back. Unfortunately, it wasn't to my taste. I didn't think it was as clever as it thought it was and I'm not sad to see it go. When I was first getting back into reading, about 6 or 7 years ago, I played around with books from different genres and, as a result, added books to my shelves that don't fit or reflect my reading tastes today. DEATHLESS BY CATHERYNNE M. VALENTE is one of the last standing books of that ilk. I'm just not one for folklore and such in literature so this has to go.  

For someone that writes poetry, I really struggle to find poets or poetry collections that I immediately respond to or wholeheartedly enjoy. MOTHERLAND, FATHERLAND, HOMELANDSEXUAL BY PATRICIA LOCKWOOD (haul | reviewand LET THEM EAT CHAOS BY KATE TEMPESt (haul | review) are two books that I read aloud to myself but just ended up feeling a little bit cold towards. Not for me, unfortunately, but most likely better suited to other people. I took a Short Story module whilst at university and found myself really enjoying studying Hemingway's efforts. I don't, however, seem to enjoy reading his work for pleasure so MEN WITHOUT WOMEN BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY needs to go to a better home. 

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THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS BY MICHEL FABER (haul | review) was the second Faber book that I bought after falling for Under the Skin. I found it disappointing. I felt like I was waiting for more and I think that's one of the perils of heaping expectation on an unread book from a beloved author. Don't do it, kids. BURIAL RITES BY HANNAH KENT (review) is a book that I enjoyed at the time but I haven't really given it a second thought in the years that have followed so that's going back to the charity shop it came from. N-W BY ZADIE SMITH is a book that I bought from a charity shop, many moons ago, because I had heard lots of people talk about her work. In all the years that it has been sat warming my shelves, I haven't found the will to pick it up and I don't know if I ever will. Off it goes! 

I bought THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS BY JOHN WYNDHAM (haul | review) on a bookshop crawl in Bristol and I read it not too long afterwards during a readathon. I'm not particularly wild for that sort of sci-fi writing so I'm more than happy to donate it. I had two copies of  MRS DALLOWAY BY VIRGINIA WOOLF, an author who I have yet to warm to, so that book was an easy one to pull from my shelves. I wrote a post-apocalyptic polyvocal collection for my dissertation and I bought a few books for research purposes and WASTELANDS BY VARIOUS AUTHORS (haul) was one of them. Naturally, I didn't read it as I had so much to write and I don't really have the will or need to flick through them all now. Goodbye, sweet end-of-worlds. 

I don't like that I've bought books and not read them before donating them again but I'm happy in the knowledge that my book buying habits have changed drastically over the years and I am now a lot more critical of what I buy and when. God bless aging. 

And those are a selection of the books that I'm donating and selling on! Some I have read, others I have not. Feel free to let me know what books you've let go of recently.

Or, if you'd like to, you could stick around and catch up on all of my book blog posts

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1 comment

  1. Gosh you've been ruthless! Books are one thing I really struggle to let go of, even when I've not enjoyed them that much and know I probably won't read them again... I'm not sure why, I just seem to develop strange sentimental attachments to them... Well done! ♥

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