What do you get when you mix a book lover and a minimalist?
Me! (My original punchline was going to be “a paper weight.” Then I reminded myself this is why I am not a comedian. Haha!)
If you are a book lover like I am you have shelves full of books. You gaze at your bookshelf in utter joy of your collection and find it calming to reorganize your books. Every time you walk into a bookstore you know there will be a minimum of three books leaving with you. When someone is giving away books be it the grouchy neighbor or the free box outside the library you seize upon it with zeal. At every holiday you request books and, in a conflicted disappointment, you smile while accepting a $20 gift card to Penny’s or a label maker.*
At this point in my life I have over 200 books. When I moved to Arizona there was a limited to how much I could fit into my suitcase. The bulk of my books, at least 180, are in boxes with my family in California. During this move I realized the volume of books I owned went against what I have been working towards these last two years. In pursuing a minimalist life I have decreased my anxiety and increased my happiness. Books had been my blind spot. I don’t want to be weighed down** by objects or be the warden of books that should be free.
These are some of my ideas for letting go of my beloved clutter:
- This year buy no books. (This will be a challenge and I consider this my 5th New Year’s resolution).
- In 2020 have 100 books or less.
- Possibly buy an e-reader.
- Immediately upon finishing a book decide its fate (e.g. will it be given to a friend, brought to an used book store for credit, donated, etc.)
- Only keep the books you plan to reread in the next two years or have significance.
- When reading a book type up or take a picture of your favorite sentence(s) or thoughts.
- When purchasing a physical book pencil in when you bought it or if its sitting on your shelf what day it currently is.
These are my thoughts and feelings. I don’t expect everyone to understand. If you were to travel back in time and inform my high school self I would do this I’d think you were insane. Insane because “I could never give up my books” and “time travel can’t work, Police!”
Please leave your thoughts down below with how you feel about this topic or if you have any good ideas on downsizing one’s bookshelf.
Until next time,
*I did receive a label maker for my 18th birthday along with Slim Fast and a hat box.
**This is why I thought my punchline would be funny because books are made of paper and weight can understood as being a burden or an object when placed after the word paper. Comedy 101 is knowing if you have to explain something then it’s not funny.