I horde books. There's something very pleasing about a full bookcase...or five. Seeing all the books lined up, alphabetized by author and shelved by genre, gives me peace or comfort or something I'm not in the mood to analyze. I started collecting books in my early teens, using some birthday money to buy my first bookcase. I don't collect anything else, not DVDs or shoes or music or men. I horde only books.
I have standards, though. I won't just toss anything on my shelves. I have to have read the book or be planning to read it (different shelves). If read, I have to have really liked the book. If I can't decide if I really liked the book, it goes. If I don't think I'll read the author's next novel, the book goes.
I was recently inspired to take a closer look at my shelves, to see if what I had was really what I wanted on them. I was surprised to find that there were many books that I'd moved with me many times but no longer loved. Authors who had been favorites of mine when I was younger, but whom I no longer read. Coffee table books that I'd gotten for free—and since I don't own a coffee table and am not a fan of large picture books stacked on flat surfaces, they've been shelved among the other nonfiction. Books that I read and loved a decade ago, that I've not thought about in nearly as long.
I pulled all these from my shelves. The result: about seven or eight paper grocery bags worth of unwanted books (I don't have that many spare bags, so mostly they're stacked on the floor in the giveaway section of my library/dining room). All these books will go to the used book store and then on to good homes where they'll be loved and treasured again. It makes me happy. Plus, looking at all those holes in my shelves that can be filled with new books always brings a smile to my face.