Books…how many is too many??
One of the great debates about organizing is books –
should we keep them or get rid of them?
Of course these days you can now buy eBooks, so you never have to worry about the book clutter in your home. However, there are many who believe books are never clutter. Book lovers like the feel of a book in their hands and the sight of a book on a shelf. They will go back again and again, if it is truly inspirational or just loved. And then there are those who collect books, read them once and squeeze them onto a shelf or put them into a pile and never look them again. AND, they struggle to let them go.
My thoughts are that we all have choices about what we love and desire to have in our life. For some people it is knowledge that comes in books and actually having one in their hands. So…
As long as you have the space, it does not cause financial, emotional,
or physical distress to you or anyone else, and is not a safety hazard-
keep your books.
If you are reading this article it’s likely because you are questioning do I have too many and what do I do with them.
Some people say you should not have more than thirty books in your home. I doubt I have 30 books in my home, however, I have not counted what I have on my iPad kindle app. I too collect my books but not so much in the physical form.
When I start to run out of space on the shelves I purge. I pass them along to friends and charities.
If you have gone past the point of all books having a home and they are just lying about, then it is time for a serious rethink about how many you should keep.
Work through them in categories to make it so that it’s not so overwhelming. Spend 15 or 30 minutes at a time.
Start with those books that have the least sentimental attachment.
Children’s books can be a challenge since you may be more attached to them than your kids. You are the one that has read, and re-read, those books to your kids when they were little. If your child is no longer in that age bracket, give those books to someone who is or donate them. If there is one or two you can’t bear to part with, put them on your bookshelf so you can remember that time. Maybe you can read them again when grandkids arrive.
Your books. There will come a time when you’ll have to say good bye to some of them at least. Be brutal with yourself and seriously look though them. Only put back the ones you truly love. The ones left need to go to a new home – give away, sell or donate.
Text books are a bulky (and expensive) requirement when studying, but you don’t need to hold onto them for the next ten years. If still relevant, pass them on to currently enrolled students – contact your local college/university to find out what is needed.
There could possibly be a big resell market for university textbooks. Here is a site to help you out with the selling of text books. And if you google selling text books in Canada you will find more possibilities.
High school textbooks can also be donated back to the school. If you hang on to them for too long, they will be outdated and no good to anyone.
In the end, only you know what you want in your home. A good rule to maintain order once you have pared down the books, is one in, one out. It is useful for all sorts of things, from home decor, to clothes, toys and more.
Just remember, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”