You can get rid of your old books because even though they are lovely and treasured, they are slowly dying on your shelves from lack of use. What life was breathed into them by folding corners and spilling coffee or wine or even writing in the margins, has now faded. Like all the dried up receipts and tattered paper you may have used to recall the last paragraph you read. Bookmarks slung out of the top of the book, like the tongue of an old, tired dog.
And worse, the sparkly clean books with so much promise, kept on shelves but never read. Hot off the presses, folded and glued and wrapped in glossy jackets. Given as gifts. Meant for coffee-tables. Instead they sit alone and untouched, like 40-year old debutantes. Slowly spinsters biding their time until they can finally have a wild and crazy adventure. The one dreams are made of. One last kick at the can. Eventually borrowed or given or traded or left at thrift stores, so they can be ravaged and used as coasters and wrinkled and maybe even quite possibly, remembered.
All the inscriptions in the world aren’t worth keeping, if you don’t open those pages again.
Give them away, get rid of shelf-dressers, collecting dust and wooing past memories. Words can be more than nostalgic keepsakes that no one gets to read. Words should always be much more than that.
Get rid of your old books, they aren’t badges or medals or ribbons or honours. They aren’t adjectives for your ego or closed-off memento’s saved from past use. They aren’t talisman for who you wish to be. If no one sleeps with you because you didn’t save that book you read in college, well, trust me. It’s not the book’s fault.
Get rid of everything and keep nothing but what you can actually remember and recall. Without the cheater text, just by time spent, just from memories of when it was passed to you.