What Should I Do with All These Books?

Okay, this is definitely a book lover’s dilemma. My TBR pile keeps growing perilously taller. Death by falling books is just waiting to happen.

Having a (literal?) ton of books means that I keep upgrading to bigger bookcases. Unfortunately, during this timespan, my home has not expanded.

I also house books in this ornate wooden trunk my mom gave to me. Side note: She used it to store beautiful clothes.

I’ve donated a number of books to my local library in the past. However, they’re not currently accepting donations. On my daily walk, I sometimes drop off a few copies at various Little Free Libraries.

Over the winter holidays, though, I saw friends with book trees. These were tomes stacked in a way to resemble a Christmas tree. I wondered then if I should be creating displays of art from my book piles.

This could be literal art. I’ve seen Pinterest pics of books, their pages open, gorgeously scattered across a wall. The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles has a beautiful book tunnel. At The Ripped Bodice Bookstore in Culver City, they have books suspended from the ceiling.

Maybe I could turn my books into furniture? I’ve seen a photo of a table made from authors’ works; there’s a board at the top and bottom, with a literary stack in between. With the amount of books I have around, I could perhaps create a couch—but I doubt it’d be very comfortable.

Here’s what I’ve done so far with my books to re-use them:

  • Zoom: That’s right. Pile those babies up as a stand for the proper eye-to-camera height.
  • Bookshelves: It’s quite bookish, but I use them for bookends.
  • Weights: I probably should use them for exercise, but instead I’ve weighed down flowers (to press them) and homework (to uncrumple them).

Please tell me: What are your solutions to book overflow?

49 thoughts on “What Should I Do with All These Books?

  1. Jennifer,
    I hear you about book overflow problems!
    I have over 20 bookcases in my 2-bedroom apartment.

    My TBR bookcase has book stacked sideways to the ceiling, and 2-3 rows deep.
    That one is the most likely to cause “death by falling books”.

    So, I have over 14,000 books (in my book software catalogue) in my collection but I have been buying more ebooks to deal with the lack of space. Having said that, I did buy over 60 hard copy books before Christmas….so HELP!

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Becky! Yes, I know, but I am glad to say that I have met several people at Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime who have much larger book collections than me! They need a separate storage unit for their book collection which is over 20,000 or 35,000 books, lol.

        My greatest fear is when I have to move to a new place. My former employer (Canadian federal government) paid for all my previous moves, and professional packers and movers boxed & unboxed all those books and dismantled and reassembled all my bookcases!

        Liked by 4 people

      1. Jennifer, I don’t know but I think the late Karl Lagerfeld would be up there …he had 90,000+ books, I think?

        My worry about ebooks is whether they will still be accessible 10, 20, 30 years from now?

        Whereas, I can easily go to my physical book collection, find and re-read a classic such as a Dorothy L Sayers book I bought 40 years ago.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s funny you say that, Jen. My first book was historical fiction for middle readers, specifically, reluctant (boy) readers. Hubs and I were in the library and stumbled on one of the copies on the shelf. It was beat up, but good—dog-eared pages, scuffs, worn spine. Hubs was horrified but I was THRILLED. All that wear meant the kids were freakin’ reading it!!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Heh. I’ve used books for Zoom, too.

    We have bookshelves in almost every room – except the kitchen, where I have a cabinet of recipe books and the bathrooms, where we just stack them on the commode. After we built our sunroom (which I guess means a bigger house, right?) we put a bookshelf in and in less than a week it was full.

    So I guess what I’m saying is I don’t have any advice for you. LOL

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I should tell you that I’m shutting down my Etsy shop. I’m never on there and as I peruse it, I see that I’ve sold most of the books I’ve highlighted there. Oops. Mostly I give them away as prizes for contests. They’re fun to make and it gives me a jolt of productivity when I can get into my workshop, which is all too rare these days!

      In answer to your question, though … I give my extras to the senior center near our house. They are very appreciative.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. LOL … I’m crafty like a FOX with an anvil and a sewing machine! And don’t feel bad about the Etsy shop. Nobody ever found me there anyway. When I get a minute—or it becomes an emergency—I’ll put a section on my website. I do an annual fundraiser for foster kids, so maybe I’ll put a donation button on there for anyone who wants a book purse.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Pull out the books you are least likely to read and take them to a used book store to sell and or exchange. If there are books they do not accept for money or credit, they may have a “free” book bin where you can donate the remaining books.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. When the library accepts books, I donate them for their Friends of the Library bookstore. I’ve also shipped several boxes to Books for Soldiers (a great organization but it’s a detailed process to get approved in order to keep military personnel safe). But I know those so far from home appreciate any type of reading material to keep themselves entertained.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. My TBR pile is truly a pile. Currently I have four stacks of books on the floor in front of an overflowing bookcase and more stacked on a window sill. I’m about two stacks shy of an episode of Hoarders. Like Dru, I’m trying to limit my new book purchases to e-books. I don’t, but I’m trying!

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Lol, Jen! I wish I could help you but I’m facing the same dilemma. After double stacking every bookcase and running out of room, I started putting books under my bed and ran out of room there. Now I’ve started a freestanding stack in my bedroom. Which I swore I’d never do. Help!!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I don’t have a solution for book overflow, but I need to find one soon sinceI don’t have any more room in my condo.

    Which reminds me, I need to go out and order a few more books.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Ditto here. Right now I have stacks of books in my office, which unfortunately, block my other books! But I plan on donating as many as I can (and as many as I’m willing to give up–a difficult task) to the local library, and if they don’t want them, to the Friends of the Library, which has terrific book sales several times a year.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. It seems we’re in good company here with our bookish ways!

    In addition to donating to our local library, I also force–er, heartily recommend–books to friends by giving them favorites I’m sure they’ll love. It keeps the book love (and conversation) going. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Ooo, so glad to hear I’m not the only whose shelves runneth over–badly. I still have tons of books, of course (including sentimental ones), but I did find homes for a lot of extra copies of kids/YA books I’d edited or written over the years. I gave them to organizations like our local food/clothing closet (they take toys and books) and to schools for the teachers to use in their classrooms for free reading time. After-school and second-language programs are also delighted to have them, and especially women’s and family shelters (adults and kids). Our local library does not want any books, period–except at certain times of year, when they sell them at a dollar a bag on their covered porch to raise money for the library.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Great post, Jen! All of my bookshelves are full. There is overflow on desks and counters and four freestanding piles next to my nightstand. Just donated a bunch but will definitely be doing another donation soon (need the desk back). It’s kind of painful to let any book go, every time, but I then I remind myself that it means other people will enjoy them. 🙂


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