‘The Great Purge’

A month ago, I began a ‘Great Purge’ of my books to solve the problem of the acute shortage of shelf space. I sold the books guilty of constricting the available room in my book case to my friends in Facebook.

The term ‘purge’ has acquired a rather negative connotation stemming from decades of western propaganda against the ‘specter of communism’ and distorted Hollywood images of bestial orgies and ‘killing fields’.

And yet in its original usage by political parties before the advent of the ‘Red Scare’ purging simply meant the removal from the membership list of members of bad standing.

In short, it really is nothing more than the disposal of what has become superfluous:

P50 - CopyWhile most of the books were sold at P50 and below, my five Haruki Murakami novels were, of course, sold for a higher price in keeping with the laws of supply and demand:

5 Haruki Murakami novels were purged.All in all, I got rid of one third of all my books, that is almost 200 mostly fiction and general nonfiction titles. Good riddance for all the books I had extra copies of, I didn’t like, or didn’t found useful anymore:

P30There are still more than 20 books that have not been claimed yet and over 40 books marked for purging that are still languishing in the house.

But with the spatial constraints posed by the excess books overcome, I now have more space to rearrange the remaining books on my shelf:

Rearranged But even before the ‘Great Purge’ has concluded, the process of accumulating new books already began:

New Books



  1. Well done. I just reviewed Linda Grant’s I Murdered My Library recently which is an essay on book purges. I’m glad to see you adopted sound free market capitalist principles in your approach to pricing…

  2. We either purge our books, or take them off the shelf to re-arrange and file the new ones, which can take a long time if you allow an accumulation of books to grow, as I do. For me, it’s always the latter as I have yet to be able to get myself to conduct a purge. Congratulations on being able to let go.

    1. Thank you very much! I used to just acquire books indiscriminately. I’m now acquiring and keeping only the books I really like or find useful. I find purging a good way of disposing books I don’t need anymore and replacing them with new ones.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.