July 10, 2012 4:22 PM Subscribe
Help me overcome crippling guilt at getting rid of physical books.
posted by wolfdreams01 to grab bag (43 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a great believer in the power of knowledge, and I've been reading since before I could talk. Growing up, I was socially awkward, and books were my closest friends. Even though I've come a long way since then and am apparently pretty charismatic now, I still have a deep and abiding love of books... which is what makes getting rid of them so hard.
The problem is that I have tons of books I don't need. In my basement are three boxes full of nothing but books. I believe in using technology and have embraced the e-reader, so collecting a huge library isn't a problem any more. The issue is getting rid of my existing literature. I'm managed to sell all the good books (at least, the ones which I'm not emotionally attached to) but the trouble is what I can do with the utter crap... such the self-help books my parents got me when they wanted to "help me find myself," or the idiotic suspense thrillers that my clueless (but well-intentioned) friends got me as birthday gifts because "I know you like books!" These aren't books that any decent library would accept. They can't be sold online (the cost of shipping would exceed any money I made). They can't even be displayed on a bookshelf, because they're so bad it would be embarrassing. People would see my collection and assume I had some sort of mental handicap.
From a purely logical perspective the best thing to do would probably be to burn all of these things in the fireplace next winter, but something in me instinctively recoils at the thought of destroying books. It conjures up automatic associations of Nazi book-burnings, religious conservatism, Sarah Palin, and a bunch of other horrible mental images. But I need more space and I'm tired of lugging these things around every time I move. Help me find a way to get rid of them without feeling terrible about myself.