I've begun a much-needed weeding of my own library. At work we use the CREW Method, which uses the date of last circulation as one criterion. For non-fiction it tends to be about eight years, give or take, depending on the subject area. I don't feel the need to be so ruthless at home, but surely twenty years should be adequate. After all, if I really need a title I haven't looked at for that long, I can always use interlibrary loan.
It's hard to believe that I got rid of twenty boxes of books when we moved back to Tallahassee from Austin, Texas in 1987. I don't even remember what they were, apart from my Aleister Crowley books. It is a little like cleaning out your clothes closet. You will never wear that shirt, those boots, again. They are an old you.
Neglected, and gathering dust on my shelves, is a collection of esoterica that I assembled as a young seeker: Alchemy, Tarot, Qabalah, Astrology, Geomancy, Ley Lines, Magic, Sufism, Lost Continents, Rosicrucianism, the Holy Grail. It makes my head spin.
I later came to understand that many writers on these topics were enthusiasts of Fringe Freemasonry. I, myself, was initiated as an adept by such a Hermeticist before I was ever a baptized Christian.
Life is short, more so when you're fifty-five. I don't have the time anymore for that house of mirrors. Charles Portis captured so well the world of "esoteric orders" in his novel, Masters of Atlantis, as did Umberto Eco, hilariously, in Foucault's Pendulum.