I learned to read when I was 4 years old, and have loved it ever since. Back in the day I did the “7 books for 99¢” club where they sent you a new, overpriced book every month. When my town got a Barnes and Noble, the angels sang. Ok, maybe not, but I do love to read, and that has produced a rather large library over the years that started to over-run my bookshelf.
If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I hate clutter, and neatness is a core value of mine, so something HAD to be done about my book situation. We live in an apartment with limited storage space, so as much as I would love floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, that isn’t realistic in our space. How did I downsize?
I do have an extensive collection of Kindle and iBooks. Many book-lovers have a hard time trading the feel, the smell, and the experience of an actual book for a tablet. I GET that. But nothing beats being able to store thousands of books on a Kindle or iPad. Not to mention the fact that there are hundreds of free books available on both platforms. My only issue with digital books is that not all are shareable, and sometimes it is hard to organize and keep track of which ones I have and haven’t read. Book journal to the rescue.
My husband got me this book journal and I absolutely love it. This makes it much easier for me to keep track of what I have read, and its fun to go back through and reflect on what I have read.
I also track on Goodreads.com, when I remember. 🙂
But seriously, don’t discount digital reading. Invest in a reader that you really enjoy. Kindle Paperwhite is my favorite, even tho I also have an iPad with reading apps.
When I Buy Actual Books
In order for a book to make the cut to be purchased as an actual book I have a few guidelines. The main reason I purchase a hard copy is because it is something that I want to be able to share and loan to people. Some digital copies are loanable, but not all, and not everyone has an e-reader. Another reason i would buy an actual book is if it is something that I want to take notes in, or do a study on.
How To Declutter Books
It is sad to get rid of books. Its like seeing friends move away. There are two main ways that I get rid of books. One is giving them away. Whether I give them to friends who will appreciate them or donate them to the library, its easier to part with them when I know they are going into appreciative hands. Another way I get rid of books is by selling them. Ebay is where I have sold the most books. Usually I only make a few dollars each on them, but something is better than nothing! If you decide to sell books online just make sure that you weigh the books and properly calculate that shipping, because they can be expensive to ship.
You need to decide BEFORE you attempt to declutter your books how important minimalism is to you. Don’t get rid of books you love, but keep things in perspective. I have to say, I really don’t miss the books I got rid of.
You can also think outside the box on book storage. A few piles of books here and there can be a nice touch on your decor, and a nicely arranged bookshelf can be a thing of beauty. But at the end of the day, if books aren’t being enjoyed, its time to pass them on and free up some space!