For those of you who're not familiar with the word 'unhaul', it is basically the opposite of a book haul. If a book haul is a post where I bought new books, unhaul will be the time when I'm saying goodbye to old ones. I've done this several times already, so I think it's worth to write a post about. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when it comes to books—because I really treasure my books so so much. But there comes a time that I finally have to let go of some of the books in my bookshelves. In this post, I will start off with talking about the reasons why I unhauled the books in the first place.
1. No more space in my bookshelves.
If you're a book hoarder like me, you'll also probably feel like no matter how big your bookshelves are, someday it will be fully packed with books. And that's exactly what happened to me. Over the span of 8 years living in my current apartment, I have added 3 tall bookshelves into my bedroom. I even got rid of my old manga books, did several clearance sale, but it's still full. So it feels just right to unhaul more books.
2. It's been left unread for too long.
This is quite embarrassing to say, but it's the truth anyway. When I say a long time, we're talking like 5-10 years kind of long. I don't even remember why I got the book in the first place. It's probably at the foot of my TBR mountain pile.
3. I lost interest in it because of various reasons.
This happened a lot to me when I left a book unread for too long, and then I heard that some people didn't really enjoy reading it. And that made me lose interest in the book, causing it to be pushed further and further down the TBR pile. And in the end, I might never read it. Forever.
4. I outgrew the books.
Some of the books I own I purchased when I was still in school, and when I look at them now, I cannot imagine myself reading and enjoying those books. Most are cheesy teenlit books that I used to love back then, but I don't read much teenlit nowadays. So yeah, I'm aging fast.
5. I have read the book but have no intention of keeping it forever.
This one was actually a very difficult decision for me to make. Because having read books on my shelves kind of feels like displaying trophies. So whenever someone asked me 'you've read all these books?', I can say 'yes, I've read this, this, this, and so on.' But then again, the space in my bookshelf is more important than my pride. Because I still need to buy more books and having space is a must.
6. (Rare) I have more than one copy of the same title on my shelves.
Whether it's because I forgot I had a copy, or I received an extra copy, or maybe I just liked the other version of the cover better, it leads to me having two copies of the same book. So I tried my best to choose the one that I liked better, and get rid of the other ones.
7. I'm about to move out to a new apartment.
I mentioned a little bit in this post that my family is currently preparing to move to a new apartment (just another floor actually). I'm trying to minimize the books that I'm going to bring with me, because I want a clean fresh start in the new apartment :))
8. The unread books can go to a better home where it will finally be read.
There are people out there who have the time to read the books I haven't read. And I will be very happy if the books I unhauled go to the hands of these people. I can give people a chance to read more, and of course decrease my TBR pile at the same time.
For those of you who are planning to unhaul books, here are some personal tips from me—according to my recent unhauling experiences.
1. Think about the possibility of you reading the book.
Are you going to read this book within the week? The month? The year? If you're thinking 'Maybe.... someday...', it's probably best to say goodbye.
2. Do not hesitate for too long when making a decision.After you decided the books to unhaul, don't consider it over and over. The longer you ponder on it, you might hesitate and decide to put it back on the shelf. (Yes, this happened to me)
3. It's okay to keep books with pretty covers (even though you don't really like the book).This is totally personal! Because I can't seem to give away books with pretty covers that I love. Yes, it's my weakness. But it's my books anyway, so it's my decision ;) And you know what you like best, so put that into consideration.
4. Separate the book or put it away in a box.
After you've decided on the books to unhaul, put it away, don't look back. (Emphasizing point #3)
5. Dedicate a certain amount of time to sort out the books that you want to keep/unhaul.
This is actually according to the number of books you have. It took me several days to sort out the books I want to unhaul because I also have to do something else. I tackle the bookshelves one at a time so I won't be too overwhelmed at once (and it won't be too messy as well).
1. Offer to your close friends/relatives.If I think the books I unhauled might be the kind of books my friends/relatives like, I will offer them first. This happened with my manga books and I ended up giving almost half of my manga collection to my cousin. And I don't need to pay any shipping fee because her house is close by.
2. Do a clearance sale/giveaway on your social media/blog/website.I've done this several times on this blog, I even have a separate page for Clearance Sale as well. It's a good way to offer your books to other people in exchange for a certain amount of money. I usually offer very cheap price for my books, because they're secondhand, and mostly are pretty old books too. You can set different price range according to the original book price, the condition of the book, thickness, popularity/rarity, etc. As for the giveaway, you'll need to spend some money on the shipping fee, but it's a fun way to share books to other people :))
3. Sell your books to a secondhand bookseller in your area.
Find out if there's a bookseller who accepts secondhand books and contact them. The price may vary according to their judgement, but you still can get back a small percentage of money from your old books (to buy more books, LOL).
4. Donate your books.
When I've done those three but no one seems interested in the books, my final and easiest decision will be to donate it. I actually don't have much idea about places that will gladly accept my secondhand books. But I do have a good friend whose mom is very active in social networking and charity. So I put all the books I don't want anymore and give it to her—and she will then sort the books to people in need. Of course it'll be better if you know a place that would need books donation. If you know of such a place in Surabaya, you can also inform me in the comments below ;)
Okay, I'm going to give myself a big round of applause for being able to start unhauling books. Because over the years I've always hesitated many times and felt that it was such a pity to give away these books that I purchased and owned for so long. I would always say 'This seems like a good book, I will definitely read this someday', but I know that will never happen with some books. And I always asked myself: 'Wouldn't it look good if I have a bigger collection of books if I have a library one day?'. Well, to be honest, if I have enough space in my apartment I will probably never unhaul my books. But then again, I'm not very proud of myself for having so many books in my bookshelves left unread. And the fact that I will never stop buying books just means that I need to do something about the old ones I won't read.
Even though I do feel sad saying goodbye to my books, it does feel good to declutter and have more space on my bookshelves to house newer books. I do learn that these days I have to be more selective in making book purchase. I will only buy books that I'm really interested in reading, and try my best to read them within a short amount of time. And I guess that's it for this long post, I hope this was interesting enough to read :)) Since I just unhauled quite a lot of books, I might be holding a clearance sale or a giveaway for some of them. So keep an eye out for that! ;)