I have multitudes of shelves filled with books for a variety of different, pen and paper based, role playing games. I pretty much love them all for one reason or another. :)
But sometimes you come to realize the amount of gaming stuff you have, and how little of it you will actually use. I admit that I like a good deal and, because of when I started to game (back in the day), owning different systems to play many different genres or simply mechanical approaches was completely acceptable!
If I wanted to play a game in Middle Earth, it wasn't D&D that came to mind but rather MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing). Star Wars was Star Wars (ahem... there was only the West End Games d6 version), Shadowrun was Shadowrun, Traveller was Traveller, and Rifts was just messed up. You get the point. D&D (and forgive me if I lump all pre 3rd edition together here) was the game of choice as fantasy was my genre of choice. This was also before the 90's and TSR hadn't alienated me as a consumer yet. All I know was there were many games to be head all with their own systems and I had no qualms what-so-ever about checking them out and acuiring them if I happened to stumble upon them in a hobby shop.
Of course, the 90's kind of burnt me out on the whole D&D thing and while my interest was renewed with 3rd edition, aside from a small campaign I ran when it had just came out, I hadn't really touched it again till about 2005. In fact, I had hardly touched anything related to gaming in a period that lasted about a decade (between 1995 and 2005) and it was during this time where I parted with a couple of things. Unfortunately, when the interest got re-awakened again largely due to C&C and finally cementing a good gaming group, I came to regret a couple of these decisions and, in some cases, began tracking down things I had sold or given away as well as exploring other systems again.
To a degree, exploring other systems and older material in general became important to me for nothing else but because a lot of it was being 'washed away in a see of d20 OGL material'. At least this is what it certainly looked like when visiting my local hobby shop at the time.
I am older and a bit wiser now. It was initially an incident with my cat that shifted my decision to sell some of my gaming material a couple of years ago. And I did manage to sell a small chunk of the collection (which freed up about half a bookshelf). The money was welcome and helped with the bills but it felt oddly comforting to 'free myself' with material that I once loved but knew I wouldn't be using again. I've sold and traded a few things here and there, though nothing quite as substantial as the lot I sold then. For the curious: the lot was the majority of my TSR-era Forgotten Realms material (mostly 1st and early 2nd edition AD&D).
The unfortunate thing is that it can be a time consuming proposition to try and sell these online made more complicated when dealing with the realities of selling 'across borders' with the increased shipping rates it incurs. I have had about two crates of stuff ready to be sold for the better part of a year now and still a few items from a couple of years ago.
I also have a bunch of other stuff I haven't really thought much about and other stuff that I do have an attachment for but know in my mind, I won't touch. A few examples:
I enjoyed Shadowrun, and I have what I need to run a campaign (1st / 2nd edition). I have multiple rulebooks... 1 hardcover and a couple of softcovers as well as some key accessories for it.
I had a love for WEG's d6 Star Wars... I have a CRATE (30 or so books and around 10 of which are hardback) ready to go and that still leaves me with a bunch of that material to run Star Wars if Iwas so inclined.
I have a couple copies of Nephelim... a game which I thought was really cool but ultimately never took off.
I have the majority of the DCC run up to and including the Castle Whiterock. I am missing around 4 modules and considering which 4, it will likely remain incomplete. Even then... I love those products and I don't know if I can part with those.
As an example of some things I have parted with and then got again:
MERP... I had parted with the cool MERP box set I used to have with a few of the sourcebooks but, when Role Master Express was released, I got really nostaligic and just had to track down MERP once again. Fortunately in that case, I was able to get it without spending much money.
Anyway, the list can go on and on... Pendragon... Role Master... Rune Quest... Call of Cthulhu... Stormbringer... Twilight 2000... Twilight 2013... Traveller... Marvel Super Heroes... Rifts... TMNT... Tunnels & Trolls... etc etc etc
Add to that all that d20 material I have also collected in a short period of time and I think it's safe to say that my gaming collection is easily 5x larger than it once was and this was largely accomplished in the past 5 years.
I just need to break the collection down one piece at a time I guess. ;)