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Topic: Do you purge your shelves?

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Subject: Do you purge your shelves?
Date Posted: 7/6/2008 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 400
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Because I can't stand clutter, I would like to limit my PBS bookshelf to whatever fits in one cardboard box. The books are now overflowing from the box, so I am thinking of purging some and donating them. Does anyone else do this? Should I purge those books that have been on my shelf for a year but are the only copy, or those books that have multiple copies out there but haven't been on the shelf as long? What do you think?

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,571
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Every once in a while I choose books I've had on my shelf for a long time and take them to my favorite USB.  Today I took in 25 books and they bought 17 of them for a total of $15.  It's not a huge purge, but I can now easily fit my posted books in the two bins I have set aside, plus I made a little money.  Of course, I then found 4 books, so I spent some of the money I'd just made.  Two are going to be gifts and one is for my classroom, so it's all good. *g* So yes, if the extra books have been on your shelf for a year, aren't moving and having them around is bugging you, then get rid of them.  PBS should be fun and if keeping extra books around is stressing you out, you negate the fun factor.

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,316
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I do.  I usually give a book a certain amount of time (3-6 months depending on how it's moving through the system), and if it doesn't seem to be a mover, it goes and I can replace it with something else.  Pat

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2007
Posts: 9,898
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I go through my shelf every 3-4 months and any book with more than 10-15 copies in the system goes to the UBS.  The books I have that have only 1 in the system (mine) I generally keep longer. What I try to do  before I send the books to the UBS, I run a deal in the Book Bazaar and anything that doesn't move after that is history.

I have the same philosophy as Sandy, PBS should be fun and if a stagnate bookshelf is stressful, purge, purge away!

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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yes and no....I don't purge very often but earlier this year I sent off 15 books that weren't moving and had multiple copies to operationpaperback.org.  Gave me a chance to get rid of books but also donate to a good cause.  it also helps to be on 2 other sites, books move a bit faster over there because there isn't quite the glut of books that there are here. 

do what feels right to you

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2006
Posts: 4,373
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I go through my bookshelf when it starts to get out of hand and first put a deal on my bookshelf.  Then I go through the ones that have a lot of copies in the system and go to my local UBS.  Although I don't get money for them, I do get more books for my TBR pile. =)  Or sometimes I am able to fulfill a wish too.

Hope that helps!


Date Posted: 7/6/2008 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,603
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I'd try running a deal first to clear out some space.

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 369
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Ironically, I'm purging this week!  However, I have less than 1/2 of 1% of my books actually listed here, so I've got an extraordinary space issue.  :-O  I move them from PBS onto other swapping sites and then, eventually, out by any means necessary!

There's a PBSer who sends books to her son and others in the service, so she gets as many as I think might be appealing to them, as often as possible.  Other than that, mostly, they end up in the recycling bin.  I know, terrible, ain't it? 

I hate to give them - or sell them - back into the wild, it's a sort of poop-where-you-eat issue for me, so if you're worried about next weekend's bonfire at my place, feel free to rescue someone off my shelf!  ;-)

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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When I decide to go to the used book store, I take my entire shelf with me (it's not too big, and all fits into one box).  If I can get rid of the books there, great, otherwise, I just leave them here.  Every once in awhile I donate my books somewhere else.

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2006
Posts: 730
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I've sent out quite a few more books than I've received and my WL books seem to come in at a slow but steady rate so I did a major purge of my PBS bookshelf several months ago. I mostly limit my PBS shelf to a few audiobooks. I also keep a small shelf of desirable non-keeper WL books & audios at home that I save for swaps and/or to post when I receive a book from my PBS WL. Beyond that, I donate any extras we are done with to our favorite FOL shop. I've found a lot of treasures there so it feels right to do that. It also helps my family move toward our goal of having a uncluttered home.

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 180
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I have a huge stock of unread books. But I am trying to widdle it down,so as I read a book I post it here and on another site.I make a pile of read books.When it reaches 5 or 6 I give it to another reader in my family. Or I give them to my local library for their yearly book sale.

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,996
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I have a small shelf, so I don't purge it.  I've read a lot of keepers lately, plus I've had a few of my books literally fall apart as I read them, making them unpostable.  Combine that with a library habit, and I have a small enough shelf that there's no need to purge it.

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,359
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Once a year I'll take most of the books off my shelf and donate them to a rummage sale at the start of the spring.  I do try to purge the books by the box-lot here first, though.

I sent nearly my entire shelf to someone last year.  I may try that again this year.  That was a lot of books!

In fact, I just flat prefer shipping books by the box.  When the basement is no longer under construction and I can get to the boxes of books for listing this year, I'll probably start by genre-sorting them and seeing if I can get the bazaar to buy them by the box.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.   It keeps my shipping cost & space issues down, though.

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I haven't been here all that long.  I don't have too many on my PBS bookshelf, but I have way too many on my TBR pile!   I do have a few books that were given to me that don't seem to be great for the wishers and choosers, so I may get rid of those since they aren't in a genre I like. 


I can't imagine handling 8 (or even 3) swap sites.  I think I would go crazy trying to do that.  Of course as I said I'm new to this.  I've looked at other sites (maybe 2) and I didn't get too excited about them.  Guess I'm just spoiled after finding the best the first time out!  ;D


Date Posted: 7/7/2008 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2008
Posts: 880
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I haven't been with PBS for very long and I am still an eternal optimist!  Surely all my books that there are 100s of will move!  Won't they??  :-) 

As long as I have the space,  I will likley not purge.  I am constantly surprised at what moves and what doesn't.  Books that I swear will never go, do.  Books I think will surely go, don't.  And so I like to leave books on my shelf just to see what will happen.  You just never know.

Maybe when I've been here for eons and I've built up a ton of credits, maybe then I will consider purging!  But for now, I am testing the waters to see what happens!


Date Posted: 7/7/2008 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 229
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I haven't purged -- yet -- but I plan to go to Book Thing in Baltimore next month.  I know I'll donate two unpostables at least (assuming no one makes a deal fo rthem here), and may consider donating some of my older books that have a lot of copies in stock here.  However, I figure Book Thing will probably have a few copies of those in stock already, so I don't know.  I have had some of my older and highly-stocked books here claimed, usually when someone combines an order for a "fresher" book with something from my bookshelf, so I think there's hope (at least some hope) for all of my books. 

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/16/2006
Posts: 198
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I moved about a year ago, and purged over two hundred books. They went to a thrift store where I do not shop for books. LOL. Now, my shelf is staying around 20. If I read a book that isn't a WL book that I think my mother in law would like to read, I mail it to her. I'm living in tight quarters now, and I really need to keep my books to a minimum.

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 3:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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Do you purge your shelves?


Nope -- they'll just sit there til someone comes along. 

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,805
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i purge my PBS bookshelf, my unread shelves a couple times a year, and when i start to run low on space, my keeper shelves.

basically, the books i don't want go into paper bags (separate ones for postable vs non), and when i get too many bags stacked up, i take all of them to the UBS - possibly minus a few things.  examples? books that have footprints on PBS and not too many copies, or only copies of things that haven't been posted long.

i just did this last week - i took 8 paper bags full to the local UBS, and they took about 2 bags worth out, and i had to sort them all back into the right bags, as well as update my PBS shelf to remove the things they'd taken.  to make the re-sorting easier this time, i put tiny red dots on the inside cover of the unpostable things before the trip.

after books have made about 3 trips to the UBS and still haven't been purchased, i'll donate the unpostables and the ones with over 100 copies on PBS to the local FOL.  i had just done that after the trip before last to the UBS, so what i have now will get at least two more trips (and a couple more months) before it gets donated.  i'll probably use different color dots next time, so i'll be able to tell what's gone at least 3 times.

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 400
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Thanks for all of the input. It sounds like everyone is so organized! Now, another question: How do you organize and prioritize your TBR list. I have a stack of books in my bedroom cabinet (who needs clothes when you have books).
Date Posted: 7/9/2008 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I use goodreads.com for my TBR list...I have all of the books on the TBR shelf here too but I can make up different shelves on goodreads for different things and it makes it easier to sort IMHO

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2006
Posts: 280
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I just purged after being a member for a year and a half because I needed the space.  What you have to remember, though, is that the stuff that has been there the longest are the ones closest to the top of FIFO in getting requested.  You will really see your shelf start to move after you've been here about a year.

Mary Ann, to your prioritize question, I don't.  I go find what I'm in the mood for when I'm ready for a book.  I read and repost WL books right away if I have postage money to send them off.

ETA:  If you really want to see your shelf move, join BOB.  You will wind up with as many books coming in as going out, though.

Last Edited on: 7/9/08 10:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/9/2008 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2007
Posts: 149
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I just did a massive purge on my bookshelf last week by running a special. I sent out over half of my books! O.O;

I am going to have to look at the oldest books and decide what's going to the UBS. :)

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 369
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TBR piles... the books I read, I'll never post here.  I write notes all over them for my review, I pull out blank pages for notepaper now and then and do other unspeakable things to them, lol.  So you can't go by me!

BUT!  I've seen other people mention that they'll try to read wishlisted books first, so they can post them with some certainty that they'll be requested.  Other than that, I vote for read what you're in the mood for.  :-)

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2007
Posts: 9,898
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lol.. I just helped another PBSer purge her shelf.  I ordered 14 books....ROFL.....