In our effort to try to creatively get rid of our stuff without it just going in a dumpster, Laura and I hosted a Books and Beer party. All our books on the shelves were fair game. We even pulled out a box of CDs and a stack of DVDs for people to go over.

Our group of friends are pretty beer sophisticated. I would even go so far as to call them beer snobs. One of them use to be the head brewer at Gorky’s in downtown LA in the 80s. A few are home brewers. And all, which I attribute to an affection for hops, are readers.

Because we had sold almost all our glasses, we encouraged everyone to bring their own glass. We had a few guest glasses for those that forgot, but most remembered. I opened the large bottles one by one starting from light to dark beers. I think the first beer we opened was a Bear Republic XP Pale Ale (a lot more oomph than your typical pale) and we ended the beer flight with Black Flag, a thick, coffee ground tasting stout that you sip and not chug. Everyone got a little pour from each. It was a beer tasting after all, not a frat party.

The discussion was good and lively, ranging from sharrows to marriage to most formative books to the finer points of cooking on a stick fire.

At the end, by our tally we sold about 115 books. Which is a lot by any measure, but our bookshelves still look full. We’re going to invite a few owners of local bookstores to return and take the rest. What’s left from that will either go to the public library or Goodwill.

I recommend this to anyone that’s looking for a creative way to de-clutter and have some friends over!