Clutter is about aspirations unmet; unspoken feelings of loss; relationships we can't let go; old injuries; and lack of self-esteem. For academics, four shelves of books, double-shelved, that you have never read says: "I'm worried I'm not smart enough!" Or, "Maybe if other people see these books, they will recognize that I am smart." Meanwhile, the books sit there looking at you, sending another silent message: "You bought us, now you are stuck with us. Before you get to your own writing, or any reading that would give you pleasure, you have to make good on the promise to read us. What -- you don't" (sniff!) "want us any more?"
Palmer would suggest that you sit down and have a chat with these books, thank them for the time they have spent in your house, apologize for not reading them and explain to them that you want them to go somewhere that someone will really appreciate them. Then box them up and take them to the library sale.
I nearly always try to find a good home for my unwanted books, but some volumes filled with exceptionally low-value content (e.g., religious apologetics, wingnut politics) that have found a temporary home on my shelves may do more good through recycling than through being read be someone else. (Yes, some authors deserve the insult that their books' paper is more valuable than their words.)