|"What? Why would you do that, James?"|
Well, because I had to. And you know what? I'm glad I did it. I still have a huge PDF collection thanks to OBS and as a player, PDFs suit me just fine. Aside from that I did some cold, logical thinking. My brainspace when something like this:
Brain: "Well, James, what genres do you tend to run?"
Me: "Sci-fi and fantasy."
Brain: "Alright, what are your favorite sci-fi and fantasy RPGs?"
Me: "Star Wars, obviously."
Brain: "Duh. What else?"
Me: "Well, everything else I'd want to run in an ideal world can be done using White Star or The Hero's Journey. They were written by me, so they suit my style of DMing."
Brain: "OK, so, what other books do you need?"
James: "Well, I should hold on to books for game lines I regularly freelance on. That's a workplace reference, if nothing else. Also, as a point of pride I'd like to hold on to The One Ring and Rocket Age, since I'm really proud of the work I did on those game lines."
Brain: "Makes sense. What about the other stuff?"
James: "I really like it."
Brain: "And do you stop liking it because you no longer own it."
James: "No, but-"
Brain: "But what? Your memories don't go away just because you don't own the books anymore."
James: "But the Rules Cyclopedia is so cool!"
Brain: "Yep. It sure is, and you haven't opened it in five years. Does you owning it make it somehow cooler?"
James: "No, but-"
Brain: "James, buddy, you're not a collector. You're a gamer and a creator. Stop trying to be a collector."
So, I did just that. And I feel good. I own the books for EXACTLY the games I want to run and no others. That reminds the obligation of my player saying "But we want to play <insert game on my shelf that I'm not into running>," and me feeling obligated to accommodate them. "Sorry gang. I run White Star, The Hero's Journey, and Star Wars. If someone else wants to run something, I'll play anything anyone wants to put on the table - but that's what I run."
It's very liberating.