Let’s Talk Bookish: Unhauling Books

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the July 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

Unhauling Books

Prompts: How do you feel about unhauling books? Do you get rid of books often? Or do you hold on to every book you buy? How do you decide which books to get rid of? Are there any books you would never get rid of?


I think I’ve gotten good at unhauling books and find it pretty cathartic! I don’t unhaul books that often but whenever I redo my shelves (which has actually happened quite a lot in the past year!) I take time to reassess my owned books and end up unhauling at least 2-3 books each time. In the last three years, I’ve also moved houses three times and each time I had to unpack and repack my books into boxes, I managed to let go of a few… Well, more than a few!

Before I left Bali in mid-2020, I ended up giving away/selling three medium-large-sized boxes of books! In my experience so far, it’s been surprisingly tough to sell books for decent prices in Indonesia and it’s also quite an effort because I had to put up ads on various marketplaces and it took a while for posts to gain traction and for me to wade through to find people who were serious about buying them.


The easiest books for me to unhaul tend to be paperbacks (of any genre) and books of genres that are outside of my main reads (i.e. literary/cultural or non-fiction). I mean, that sounds bad lol but I tend to lost interest the fastest when it comes to these genres because they’re usually out of my comfort zone. A lot of the titles I have in these genres have been on my shelf way longer than the others because there’s generally less chance of me actually wanting to pick them up! Lately, I’ve also realised that my interest in certain YA contemporaries and fantasies has started to wane and I find it easier to let go of these books. It does make me sad because I think about how excited I was to get certain books but it doesn’t make sense for me to keep books I’m no longer interested in on the shelf especially when unhauling them means more room for the books I want on there!

That said, I do struggle with when to unhaul them. I have so many books that I probably wouldn’t mind giving away after I’ve read them but I’d only want to unhaul them after I give them a try and although I say I’ll read them soon, it never actually happens lol? so they end up staying on my shelf indefinitely. Book worm problems, am I right?


The books I’d struggle the most to unhaul would probably be the special and/or signed editions—especially the editions that I buy separately from receiving them in subscription boxes. Since I got my first signed book in 2017, I’ve only willingly unhauled maybe three signed books. I say that like I’ve actually got rid of them but they’re still sitting in boxes in our basement because I haven’t had time to deal with them, lol! 😂 I received these books in sub boxes and I’d never heard of them when I got them nor did I have any interest in reading them but there were also books I’ve read by authors that I no longer wish to support.

I think I would also struggle to unhaul any of the multiple editions of my favourite books. I have a few books that I’ve collected several copies of and I would hate to let them go! I also have one or two signed books that have special dedications to me that I’d never let go even if the copies are battered and look like they’re on their last legs!

Do you find it easy to unhaul books or are you like Gollum when it comes to books and treats them as ‘your preciouses’? 😅 What books would you never consider unhauling?

26 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Unhauling Books

    • Oh yeah, when it comes to getting rid of books I don’t like or love it’s easy for me to say bye to them! I admit that if it’s a book that’s super popular or really hyped and I didn’t end up loving it, I sometimes keep it around on the off chance I’ll want to give it another try—especially if it’s a book I really wanted to love! 😂 But mostly, if it’s not loved (or even liked a lot), it’s not kept!

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  1. I tend to unhaul books that I didn’t enjoy or that were just kind of meh. I also tend to unhaul books that were good, but I’ll probably never read again. I always keep books that are favorites or that mean something special to me.
    My bookshelf is pretty full right now, so there may need to be a small unhauling session in the near future.

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    • Yep, those books are the easiest to unhaul. Sometimes if I’m sad I didn’t love a book that I thought I would, I keep it on my shelf just in case I want to give it another try (mostly, that never happens lol)! 😂 Someone said that they were thinking of doing an end of year unhaul session and I think that sounds like a really great idea so I might do the same!

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  2. I tend to get rid of books that I’m not totally in love with, or ones that I have multiple copies of (like…two of the same exact books!!) We had books for our center pieces at our wedding reception and it meant we had to go buy a lot of used books. So we had multiples of some of ours favorites til I gave a bunch away.

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    • It’s definitely the easiest to get rid of the books I didn’t love. I surprisingly don’t have the exact same copy of any book but I do have multiple different copies of books I love and even though sometimes I tell myself that I need to free up space for other books by giving those copies away, I never do it! 😂 Omg books as wedding reception center pieces sounds incredible and like a fantastic idea! 😍

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    • Someone else mentioned they were thinking of doing a regular end-of-year unhaul and my brain is definitely on board with that! It sounds like a great way to get rid of the old and bring in the new! 😉 Ngl, I wish I could keep all my books too! What a dream that’d be!

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  3. I will say that it has gotten easier but also I do want to hold on. 😂I try to only keep 4 and 5 stars but will keep 3’s if it’s a part of a series I have overall enjoyed.

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  4. I can relate to the “when” to unhaul them. I currently have a lot of books sitting unread on my shelves because I haven’t quite reigned in all of my self control on NG. That means I spend most of my time reading ARCs. And though I want to read those ARCs, I also want to read the books I spent my own money on. There are some I’ll likely unhaul after I read them. But, in general, I tend to unhaul not very often, but when I do it’s books I know I can easily get at my library or books that I enjoyed but not enough to keep around for a reread.

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  5. Unless it’s a signed book or an author I love, I don’t mind unhauling. I have just a few shelves of books, so it helps. I tend to go through them yearly. Sometimes I take them to Half-Price books to sell.

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    • Going through the shelves yearly sounds like a more appealing idea by the day (instead of doing it each time I re-do my shelves, lol)! I wish that they had places in Indonesia that would buy the books that I want to give away… I honestly that’s part of the reason why it’s so hard for me to part ways with them because I know I spend so much money on the books (usually)! It does suck a little sometimes 🙈

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  6. Uhm yeah I’m a total Gollum when it comes to books 😳😂 It does help that I read digitally a lot so my paper book collection doesn’t grow very fast. Once I run out of space I’ll have to unhaul but let’s not think about that yet 😂

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    • Haha, I’ve definitely slowed down on the paper book collection and mostly only have digital books these days (since I’m also mostly reading ARCs as well). Glad to know I’m not the only one whose fingers have to be pried off my preciouses to get rid of them! 😂

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  7. It was funny reading this. When we moved, I lost my full wall of floor to ceiling shelves. We had tons of books from years of conventions and events. My daughter pulled those signed copies. Those were the ones she really wanted to keep. I had no issue parting with any of the books.

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    • A full wall of floor to ceiling shelves is honestly my DREAM. What I would give to have a library room like that… I can’t wait to be able to build one for myself one day 😂 It’s great that your daughter could take the signed copies and that you don’t have any issues parting with any of the books. That’s goals, lol!

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  8. The most I ever unhaul happens whenever I move, too! In the last few years it’s happened a lot, and there is nothing like realizing how many less boxes you would have to take if you get rid of a bunch of books! haha. Great post!

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    • I totally get the feeling of realising how many less boxes you’d have to prepare to move without all the books around and I definitely unhauled the biggest batch of books when I moved the first and second time. But ngl, by the time I did my third move I was too tired to give even more books away! 😂

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  9. It’s become a bit easier for me to unhaul YA books lately. I think I’m starting to outgrow most of that genre but that’s okay! I do try to hold onto anything that I think my kids would like, unless I hated the book. LOL! I do think it is very cathartic to unhaul books! I think I’m going to do this every December.. kind of get rid of the old and things that I still haven’t picked up!

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    • I think that I’m slowly outgrowing the genre as well. I know I definitely still read a lot of YA fantasy but when it comes to the romances and contemporaries, as much as I love the covers and initially become interested in them, I find I lose interest just as quickly (lately). I think that’d be pretty awesome to pass on some of your well-loved books to your kiddos! You also have the start of such an awesome personal library, I’m more than a little jelly 😉 Haha, unhauling books every December actually sounds like a great idea! Ushering out the old books just in time for the new in a new year! 💜

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