The clearout was put on hold for a few weeks when my wife had her Open House day as part of the Windsor Fringe (we opened our doors to the general public to show off her ceramics). I had to remove most of the books from our ground floor to make room for the pots and tiles and bits and pieces. They ended up forming bloody great structurally unsound piles in our bedroom and it was definitely a breach of all manner of Health & Safety rules to attempt to weed through them while they were like that.
But over the past couple of weekends I have, with the help of my slaves children, been slowly putting things back in order and deciding which books to cast off in the process.
To give you an idea of the progress we have made, this is what the downstairs bookshelves looked like before the clearout.
And this is what they look like now.
One of the big changes is that the books downstairs are mainly our 'keepers'. The books we have read and loved and want to hold on to. They used to be in the bedroom. The bedroom shelves now have all the unread stuff. Much better all round.
But what difference has all this made to the title count? I hear none of you ask.
Well, allow me to enlighten you.
Excluding the kids' books, cookery books and several boxes hidden in the eaves I did have about 3,000 titles on various shelves and piled up around the house.
I now have just over 2,000.
That's right, the Great Book Clearout has killed off nearly 1,000 volumes.
May they rest in peace.
Most have gone off to the charity shop. Some have been passed on to friends. A few of the rarer tomes from my collecting days will be appearing on eBay shortly.
And you know what? It didn't hurt a bit.
I feel decongested. Uncluttered. Less clogged.
And the whole thing, the simple process of looking at every book in the house and forcing myself to make a decision on it, has got me all excited about my collection again. I have spotted lots of stuff I want to read soon and can't wait to do so.
Get rid of 1,000 books. I recommend it. It will do you good.