What is the first thing you do after adding a new bookcase to your home? I mean after you sort out precisely where to place it. And after you shift books from other bookcases in order to fill the new bookcase.
In our house that shifting this time introduced a bit of breathing space for British and European fiction. They were getting cramped and, in places, were doubled stacked. Spreading out over three more shelves must feel good for them.
But now that the bookcase is in place and the books have been shifted (shifting also includes dusting), what is the first thing you do? For me, it is time for deaccessioning. By which I mean the annual cull of books.
Annual because each year in the Spring we donate one or two boxes of books to the CFUW Annual Book Sale. The CFUW is the Canadian Federation of University Women. Their book sale raises money for scholarships for women at institutions of higher education. A worthy cause, and conveniently their book sale is located just around the corner from where we live. There are two days in which you can drop off your books (only items in good condition are accepted), and the next day the madness begins.
Did I say “madness”? I mean book sale. But it truly is mad. For two days ravenous book bargain buyers hunt through thousands and thousands of books (usefully sorted into fiction and numerous non-fiction categories). People leave with bags and bags of books, all purchased for two dollars per item, whether it is a hardcover in pristine condition, or a much-loved (but still in good condition) trade paperback.
The CFUW book sale is coming up in April. So it is now time to embark on the annual, and painful, cull. On the other hand, soon there will be more space on the shelves for whatever exciting new books come along this year.