Monday, July 02, 2007

Counting my books before they hatch

Thought I'd pop in and let you guys know that I worked a little ("a little at a time" is my motto) on the Dining Room Declutter Dream this evening. Sharpen your pencils because I'll be doing a lot of math here.

I quickly grabbed 10 books with the intention of putting them all for sale on Of those
  • 2: I decided I didn't want to part with them just yet.
  • 1: I actually had picked up for Audrey and want to send that to her.
  • 2: I have read and seem to be the kind of read my mom would enjoy.
  • 3: Not found by Half. *Sigh* Will have to go to eBay? Bookmooch?
Lastly, I was able to put just two on Half to sell. Not too good a start, frankly. But, add that to what I have already done and ... Hm, how exactly does it add up?

I currently have 39 books on And have already sent out 43. But sadly have also mooched some in, making a net reduction of only 27 books.

I currently have 17 books on I had been doing pretty good selling for a while, but then nothing. When I logged into my account I saw I had put my account "on vacation" back in May! D'oh! Previous to that bit of idiocy, I had sold 18 books, netting about $104.

I currently have in the dining room -- not counting the books already listed with Half and Bookmooch -- roughly 670 books. I didn't actually count every one, but counted a couple of shelves and did a little averaging. I've made a gentlewoman's agreement that I will allow myself to keep 170 of them. How's that for an odd number? It means I have 500 more books to dispense with. That means I can keep 1 in 4, or 25%, of the books. That's severe, but not so severe I can't make a decision. It means also whatever I keep I truly love and will use.

I also decided I'll begin putting aside the money I make from the book sales specifically to spend on that room when I'm done. Good idea, eh? Best case scenario I would sell all 500 books and continue to get a average of $5.75 each. That would be (opening calculator) a whopping $2875!

Worse case scenario, where I only list 20% of the books on Half (as per today's experience) and only average $2 each (if the going price on Half is less than $2 I put them on Bookmooch), I would net a mere $200. Not a huge incentive, but in either case I will be minus the eyesore, which is the real goal. (I like to dream, though, I'll be able to make $1000. Mom, any idea how much you made with Half when you got rid of your, gulp, 1500 books?)

This Declutter goal is so important to me that I've made a new blog label. Now that's serious.

Oh, and one more thing I'm promising myself. Any one who has this number of books (and it sounds like we all have this same problem) knows how hard it is to let go. But we live in glorious times -- you can easily find it again on the internet! I have promised myself that if I accidentally let go of a book that really hurts my heart I will allow myself to buy it again. I've been on eBay since 1999, and trust me, whatever you are looking for will be listed there -- or on Half or on Bookmooch -- eventually. And probably for cheaper than the cost of the electricity it once took to vacuum dust bunnies off all that other stuff that you now don't miss.


Hannah's Mom said...

Bravo Miss Debi!!

Frances said...

Wow Debi
Stunning - you sound really determined.
Go gal!

Bobbie said...

Debi, once you get started it gets to be an obsession and you start digging into all the books to give away. Trust me!

I can only tell you that I made about $1000 on, but did not sell that many books there. Most I gave away, either through Goodwill, or Bookcrossing. Some I got credit for at local bookstores and about 75 I listed on Bookmooch. Of those, I donated points to a couple of charities so I wouldn't be tempted to mooch.

Rima said...

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you. I mean it. You've already inspired me to declutter (again), but this time for real. I'm done with all the anxiety of where to put things. My house is even starting to look larger (well, one of the couches ended up in the garage, that's why).

One of the tricks I used to pare down our books is to stop buying fiction (except for Harry Potter) - but to borrow them from the library instead, and often do books-on-tape/cd (only the full version). It's really worked well these last five years. Between giving books away and only buying what I absolutely know I'll use (not just read), it's become a lot more manageable. I might even end up with a guest room now if I'm creative enough.

The same guy moved out twice in Montreal (coincidentally) - Half a day into packing all our stuff (hubby's company was moving us), he looked very suspiciously at F'zan and said: "Hey, I know you! Man, do you have a lot of books, sheesh! I remember moving all those books last time". That was my first wake-up call :-)

Neda said...

You have my true admiration. It is so hard for me to let go of my books (even the ones I bought under the delusion that a) I had time to read or b)I will have to read this because everybody is talking about it). Once or twice a year, we donate a lot of books to the Children's Hospital and our local library...but the problem is that I always go back and buy some more!!!

I am so envious that you have 600+ books!!!! What are they about??? And I would like to check the ones you have on sale but I can't do this from here! Rats!!!!!!!

I am so proud of you for sticking to your program. It requires great focus and determination and I wish you the best....

I want to know what these books are!!!!!!

Frances said...

Having the links in alphabetical order means I noticed you only have one post on this subject. Tut Tut
;-)) LOL