Books have to really make an impression to claim a spot in my home.
My process starts with borrowing books from my local library or from friends. I make note of any segments or quotes that were useful or beautiful which I then keep in a folder in Evernote.
If months later, lines or content from a book come back to me I borrow it again. And if that round of borrowing doesn’t satisfy me I will then, and only then, buy myself a copy.
This not only curbs how much I buy and own but also ensures that only very meaningful books make it into my home.
I know that many people are very attached to their books and that it can be one of the most difficult categories to declutter. If you feel that you have too many books and are thinking that it may be time to move some along, here are some handy hints that should help make the process less painful and instead a joyful stroll down memory lane.
- Start the process; 10 minutes a day or one book at a time sounds small but it’s a step in the right direction;
- Separate your favourites from the others and set them on their own shelf;
- From what’s left, only keep the books that you will read again and once you’ve identified those ones, question if you really will;
- If you’ve never opened a book, don’t open it now! Just pass it along! Immediately! If that’s too harsh for you, think about how long you’ve owned the book – if it’s been over a year then it doesn’t get to stay;
- Trust that you can get access to a book again if it does turn out that you need it or want it in the future – libraries are extraordinary and then there is always the internet!
- Let your space determine how much you are allowed to keep – keep pruning until what remains fits nicely into the designated area.
- Take the books you’ve passed on and donate them to your local opportunity shop or charity book fair.
- And lastly, consider what your strategy might be for future book purchasing.
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