Recycling (1)

Big clearings out going on in our house just now. With our son about to go away to university in the autumn we have finally got round to updating his bedroom. Our daughter has sussed our glacial rate of progress on the home improvement front, and has decided that she's not going to wait until she's about to leave home for improvements to her room, thank you. The upshot has been bags and boxes full of outgrown/no emotional attachment/why do I have this anyway books and just 'stuff'. And my husband and I have also entered the fray, sorting through books that we'd forgotten we had.

Until now I've always been a hoarder of books. I would get rid of anything else, but not a book. But with the exception of the true favourites that I read and re-read, I have little stomach for fiction any more. Two university degrees spent dissecting novels have given me my fill of fictional worlds. Now I'm hungry for facts: history, current affairs, the natural world, anything that fills the huge gaps in my scientific knowledge.

The result of all this physical and mental creation of space was Saturday's mammoth trip to the Oxfam bookshop in Stockbridge to donate a dozen bags of books. Donating to charity shops is now a slick business, especially with Oxfam. You sign up to Gift Aid your donations if you're a tax payer, enabling the charity to reclaim the tax and so increase the value of the donation. You get a donor card, and a sheet of sticky labels with your unique donor number to put on each bag you bring to the shop.

While I didn't give the fiction section a second glance, I did have to steel myself not to browse the gardening shelves on my way out. Immediately starting to replace what I'd just donated wasn't the purpose of the exercise.


  1. Oh how I wish we had OXFAM in America. It's such a good place to take good used items and help someone with less at the same time. I always manage to visit one or two stores while I am in Scotland and the UK.

    I love the idea of having a donor card.

    I'm in the same mindset, but having a difficult time parting with many books.

  2. I am a mover/housesitter so I don't stay long anywhere however books and art I have collected are the two things I have trouble giving up.
    We do have a wonderful library service here on the islands so books are slowly finding there way to the thrift shop, swap and shop or passing them on.
    I have to wonder about the wisdom of buying art if you don't hang it or show it!!!
    I must admit the divesting of "stuff" is very liberating.
    Good luck and smiles

  3. I don't like to part with my books either so good for you on doing it and not buying more!

  4. Passing 'stuff' on is a liberating experience. I usually take books and magazines to the laundry mat and leave them on the table. It's always fun to see what disappears first....

  5. I used to be a book horder but it just gets outta hand and i'm no really one for rereading when i know how it's gonna end.

    So any non-reference book either gets passed to a pal or recylced through charity shops/jumble sales.

    Good work, Linda.

    Is it the wather in Embra or something but i've been clearing out all weekend anaw. Space and lack of cluter are underrated.

  6. "Bridget Jones" is "who" I 1st heard of Oxfam from. What a summer of changes for you.
    We are hoarders of books. I'm a reader of fiction and travel books - and often surprise myself when I like a non-fiction. I'm listening to History of the English Speaking People right now - Sir Churchill could really write a good story.

  7. I know that feeling. Just took lot of stuff to fleamarket and had to fightnot to buy something else. 12 bags sounds like a lot of books.


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