Building (and Cleaning Out) Your Book Collection

The end of the spring semester is fast approaching and for me that means moving home, a place I have not lived consistently for about three years. Because of this, I recently decided to redo my room, putting away the pictures and collection of knick-knacks that remind me of my younger self. In the process of cleaning I started going through the piles of books I have stacked in the corner, in boxes, and even those that have extended to the bookshelves in the rest of the house. While doing so, I had to make decisions about what to keep and what to donate and what to throw away (those with covers destroyed from a cage-free bunny). One day I would love to proudly display my favorite books, hopefully a well-rounded collection, and doing so requires me to let go of some of the drama filled teen reads I once cherished and also to acquire new books I have not yet read. Here are some of the books I will keep on my bookshelf.


The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

A favorite from my childhood and one I still love to look at due to the wonderful colors and illustrations.

The Rainbow Fish







The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

While I may not still want my beloved, and yes embarrassing, collection of T*Witches books on my shelves I do still have a place for Harry Potter in my heart. Magical tales that I would devour in the summer and then reread, they have becomes classics in my home.

Harry Potter







The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

One of the first books I read in an English class where we analyzed the text and I fell in love with taking apart the structure of a book, looking at clues in the text about characters and symbolism, and learning how to be an active reader.







Beloved by Toni Morrison

I have always admired Toni Morrison’s writing style and Beloved was the first book of hers I read. Because of this, it holds a special place on my shelves.








and more recently, Beyond Black: A Novel by Hillary Mantel.

A novel I would mostly likely not pick up on my own but after reading it in one of my college courses I enjoyed the characters and the unusual take on “sensitives,” or psychics.








I ask you, what are some of your favorites, and how do you decide what to keep and what to give away?

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