Tag Archives: Minimalist

Reviewing Books

Nope, this isn’t a book review. It’s just a few thoughts about my own quilting/textile library. You’ve seen the picture below of my one bookcase, shelf bowed by the weight. Each shelf has about 24″ of space, and it was full.

I have a rule, though. That’s IT. That’s as much space as my books get. As said before, I want to be in control of my stuff. I don’t want my stuff to control me. Since I add several books to my collection every year, to stay within the confines of that bookcase, some need to go away.

My book shelf was empty, having been moved to wash walls. When I put it back, I turned the bowed shelf over. As I put the books back last night and today, I reviewed them. I looked at each one, considering whether or not they were worth their shelf space. (Okay, I’m analytical, but in truth I didn’t think about it like that. I just thought about whether they were useful to me or not.) A surprising number were not.

For those left, I made sure one of my name/address stickers was placed inside the cover. And I updated my spreadsheet that I use to keep inventory. Each is recorded by title, author, publication date, and category of book. Why keep track? There are hundreds of dollars worth of books in that little case. If bad things happened and I needed to make an insurance claim, I want a record of them.

My history books. Best? American Quilts by Robert Shaw. Worst? Hidden in Plain View.

Eighty-one books made the cut. The largest portions of them are on quilt history and what I consider to be pattern books. I have nine books on quilt design. Eight books are on medallion quilts or borders. Two of those are not very good, but I keep them because there are so few books specifically on these topics.

My small quilt group is doing a used book exchange for our holiday meeting. I’ll save one or two of the discarded books for that. The rest will go to our local Mennonite relief thrift store.

What’s in your quilt book library? Do you sort it regularly like you might a clothes closet? Are there items that no longer fit or are no longer your style?

What do you do with books and other quilty items you no longer need? Do you pass them on to other quilters?