So I just got new bookshelves, which means I now have space to hold more books, but they actually served as a good motivator to finally get rid of a stack of books sitting next to my old shelves that I’ve been meaning to unhaul for a while now.
When I first started thinking about why I own and keep books, I went through my shelves and pulled out everything that didn’t meet my criteria for keeping a book and put them in a stack to donate. I never actually donated them, though, so the stack has just been slowly growing. Then I went through my physical TBR to try and shrink it down, and the stack grew even more.
That stack has been sitting next to the bookshelves in my bedroom for months, and when we decided to upgrade to new ones and get rid of the old ones, we finally got rid of the unhaul stack, too.
I’d love to be able to sell some of these and use the money on more books, but I don’t think there’s really a great place to do this in New York. I’m more than happy to donate them, though, and that was the original plan; I actually wanted to take them to Housing Works since I knew the proceeds from the book sales would go to a good cause. But my unhaul stack grew so much that I would have had take multiple trips to get them all up there, and I just wasn’t ready for that commitment. So this time I actually just put them in my apartment’s community library, but my goal going forward is to make sure and take the books I’m unhauling to Housing Works before the unhaul stack gets too big!
Unfortunately, I didn’t think to actually put this post together until after I got rid of all of these books, so I don’t have any photos to share with you, but next time I’ll do better!
Also, just to be clear, the fact that I didn’t like these books is in no way a reflection on your tastes if you love them! They just didn’t work for me for various reasons, which I’ve detailed below.
Anyways, on to the books!
Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins: While there were parts of this book that I liked, overall I thought it was just ok and not something I really want hanging around on my shelves. I absolutely plan to read more Beverly Jenkins though!
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: So this is absolutely an important book to read, but it’s not my favorite. I don’t want my criticism to in any way take away from Anne’s horrifying experience or the importance of accounts like hers, but at the end of the day, this is a young girl’s diary and I wasn’t that interested in it. I might have kept it anyways for its importance, but I have a super old copy that I got at a used book sale years ago, and I’d rather have a nice copy of this book if I were to keep it.
Ireland by Joseph Coohill: I bought this on a trip to Ireland because I think Ireland has such an interesting history and I wanted to learn more, but I didn’t want to get too massive of a history book. I might have been better off with the bigger book, though, because I thought this glossed over too many things and generally didn’t satisfy my desire to learn more about Irish history.
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel Jose Older: I was super excited to get an arc of this at BookCon even though I hadn’t read Shadowshaper yet because I’d heard amazing things about it from Leigh Bardugo. When I finally read Shadowshaper, I thought it was just ok, and I didn’t like it enough to continue the series. I was going to anyways because I had the arc, but when I tried to make myself sit down and read it, I just couldn’t do it. So it got unhauled.
Take Me by Bella Andre: This was a book club pick, and we pretty much all disliked it. There was a lot of emphasis on the heroine’s plus-sized figure, but no one thought she was really plus sized. Also, the hero could be really mean to the heroine and had some controlling tendencies. And then there was the fake wedding that was actually real…it was just a lot, and I have no desire to keep this on my shelves.
I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott: My friend Kelcee was super nice and stood in line to get this for me at BookCon when the arc dropped because I was in a panel, but I thought I was having her grab a copy of An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole for me and only realized I gave her the wrong time when she handed me this book. I’ve read and enjoyed Hamilton by Ron Chernow and am not particularly interested in a fictional account of Eliza Hamilton, so I decided to unhaul it because I have too many other books I’d rather read.
No Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky: Ugh, I tried not to succumb to the lure of free books I wasn’t interested in when I was at BookCon, but this one got me. It was sitting right next to Shadowhouse Fall, so I grabbed it. But I just don’t think I’m going to read this, so it got cleared out.
Empire of Cotton by Sven Beckert: I actually kept this book on my shelves for a while as a trophy for finishing it. It sounds like an interesting book, but it wound up being a pretty academic and tedious read, and eventually I decided that the joy I got in knowing I completed it didn’t outweigh my bitterness over what a disappointing book this was, so it went into the unhaul pile.
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares: I actually really liked this book when I read it in high school / early college. But I remember it ending on a bit of a cliffhanger, and the sequel was never published. At this point, I think it’s safe to say it never will be, so I don’t see myself rereading this and suffering that cliffhanger again. I can always repurchase it if a sequel is ever published and I feel the need to own it again.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman: This was another free book from BookCon, though in my defense, when I followed the directions on a sign telling me to ask at a certain counter for a special His Dark Materials prize, I didn’t realize it would include a copy of a book I already own. It also came with a print, which is gorgeous and hanging up in my office right now, but I don’t need a second copy of this book, especially when it doesn’t match the copies I already have.
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes: This sounded like an interesting YA fantasy series, but I did not like it at all. I thought a lot of the characters were juvenile and irritating and I didn’t like the storyline or character development. I have no interest in continuing this series.
Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: I enjoyed this book, but it’s another one where I don’t feel the need to continue the series. I thought the premise of not knowing who was the prince and who was the assassin was interesting, but I just felt like nothing really happened in this book. Plus the sequels are massive, and their summaries don’t make it sound like they’re worth the time investment.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: I bought this used on Amazon and was not happy when I got a former library book because the description didn’t indicate that it would be. I still read it, though, and when I wound up enjoying it, I bought the pretty U.K. edition instead, so this particular copy was unhauled.
Reinventing American Health Care by Ezekiel Emanuel: I bought this to follow along with a health care class I found on Coursera, but thought this was a tough book to get through. I’m not sure how much I ultimately got out of it as I really don’t remember anything, so when I started running out of room on my nonfiction shelf, I decided to donate it.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer: I know a lot of people love this series, but I thought it was just ok. I actually am not sure why I read the entire four-book series, because by the time I finished it I decided it was largely a waste of my time to read it. I should have stopped after the first book. I thought the characters were kind of juvenile and that the scope of the conflict got way too big for Meyer to handle and overall just didn’t love the characters or find their story arcs particularly satisfying.
The Arabian Nights: I love the idea of Arabian Nights and I enjoy a lot of stories inspired by them, but I generally didn’t enjoy reading this Barnes & Noble edition. It just wasn’t that interesting or engaging overall and sometimes I had a hard time keeping track of what story within a story I was in. As you might have already noticed in this post, I don’t feel the need to hang on to classics that I didn’t personally like, and that’s what happened with this one.
A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage: So the premise of this book is super interesting. As the title suggests, it looks at the importance of six beverages in terms of the development of today’s world. Those beverages are: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. I actually enjoyed learning about each of those things, but overall thought this book didn’t go far enough in-depth on them. I actually would have preferred this book to be much longer so each beverage could be adequately addressed.
American Street by Ibi Zaboi: I picked this up to participate in a local book club, but wound up not actually going to the book club meeting about this book. I still read it and overall enjoyed it, but it just didn’t stick with me enough to justify keeping it on my shelves.
The Dialogues of Plato Vol. 1: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Gorgias, Menexenus (translated by R. Allen): I bought this for a class in college and read a number of these dialogues, but I never got around to finishing the rest of them. I can admit to myself now that I will probably never collect the other volumes and read them, so I think it’s time to let this copy go.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: I think I went into this book thinking it was going to be something it wasn’t, so I wound up being pretty disappointed in it. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn’t been so disappointed, but that definitely made it just an ok read for me, so I decided to unhaul it.
Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson: I picked this up for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I didn’t mind it, but I’m not sure graphic novels and comics are my medium of choice. I don’t really feel the need to continue with this series, so into the unhaul pile it went.
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub: I bought a signed copy of this book to support Emma Straub’s bookstore, Books Are Magic, but wound up just finding the book ok. So even though it would be cool to keep a signed copy, since it’s not personalized, I don’t have a personal reason to outweigh my so-so feelings about this book.
So there you have it! The 22-books I finally unhauled last week. Let me know in the comments if you’ve unhauled any books lately!