Several years ago, today would have been quite painful. There was a time in my life when I loved to collect books – the paperback or hardcover kind. Before we moved into our house 8 years ago, I donated almost $1000 dollars worth of books to a gay and lesbian community center and that barely put a dent in my collection.
In 2007, I joined Bookmooch.com and started thinning the shelves a bit, though I earned points there to get books I wanted. It was fun but costs a lot in postage. I also have given quite a bit up to used bookstores the past few years. Now I like giving them to friends on permanent loan.
Let’s face it. I have a limited amount of bookshelf space and I have books piled on top of each other. And other things cluttered in front of the books. And I’m getting tired of looking at it. Downsizing my book collection has been on my list of things to do for quite some time. It was just a matter of making myself go through the shelves and pull off the books I was willing to part with.
Surprisingly, it only took about 30 minutes before I had gone through every book I owned and filled a large cardboard box of books that I was willing to part with. They ended up mostly being books I’d already read and know I won’t read again, or books I’d forgotten I even owned and I know I’ll never read them. Gone now are the books left over from my indie reviewing days and also any advanced reading copies.
I thinned my Dean Koontz collection quite a bit. There hasn’t been a new book of his in a few years that I’ve cared much for. I even bought his last two on the Kindle and didn’t like those either. About the only thing I didn’t touch is my hardcover Stephen King collection, though I did throw in an audio book of his, only because I already had it in hardcover. King is one of the few authors that I know I’ll continue to buy in hardcover. I also found a few duplicates of some titles and part ways with at least one of them.
Like I said, years ago this would have been a painful process, but as I get older (and as technology improves), I’m not as emotionally attached to my books any more. And I need shelf space for other things! Believe me, there’s a bigger problem to address on Day 5! This Life Edit challenge is about making space and utilizing that space, but in order to accomplish what I have planned for Day 5, I need more space! So something had to give and the books were an obvious choice.
As I pondered the books, if I had second thoughts it went back on the shelf for me to think about some more. But most of the books were easy for me to part with. I’m an Ebook reader and Kindle lover, so if there are doubts later, I can always buy the Ebook version. There will always be more books (new and old) to read!
The pictures you see here are of the bookshelves in my office and the three shelves in our dining room. Our house is already so small that when the shelves in the dining room get cluttered, stuff starts to pile into the floor as you can see, and the small space starts to feel even smaller!
I also utilized my new night stand, which is taller and has a door, for hardcover books that I have already read. That cleared a lot of shelf space for tomorrow’s project!
So are you with me or against me when it comes to parting with books? Yeah, I know. Most of you are probably against me. And that’s okay. Editing your life of things like this which you love is tough. Like I said, several years ago I wouldn’t have dared part ways with a single volume, but I’m different today.
I like who I am today too. I’ll never stop loving books. I’ll never stop buying books. I’ll never stop reading books. But today’s technology should be embraced. The devices are awesome and easy to use. And think about how much physical space in your life you can save or devote to other things!