Some people collect knick-knacks. Some people buy an abundance of clothes or shoes. My vice is books.
As a kid I would ride my bike for miles to get to the library. I always asked for books for holidays. When I finally made an income my first purchases were horse novels.
Being a coach and writer has made buying many books even more acceptable. After all I have to keep learning, right?
We tackled my son’s cramped bookshelf of sci-fi, spy novels and science non-fiction this past week. And it reminded me I needed to go through my books.
I rarely keep novels because there are too many new novels to read. The ones I keep are nostalgic books like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. I actually do re-read these. So when I am done with a current novel I either pass it on to friends or family, or put it in a box to take to the used book store.
As I go through the non-fiction, I ask if this book is pertinent to my current life situation. I gave some of my how to parent little ones books to my sister, a new mother.
I let got of some craft books that I was no longer doing projects from. And that diet that I will never go on again. I found a style book that looked very unstylish now.
And we don’t need to keep the whole book sometimes.
I scanned a few recipes I used from cookbooks and narrowed down my cookbooks to three. (Love the Art of Simple Food by Alice Walker.) I scanned a food plan and was able to get rid of the book.
My rule is if the books can’t fit in the bookshelves, then I have too many.
How do I slow the flow of books into the house?
- I got a Kindle for Christmas and most new books are now on that device.
- I have a pile of 5 books I am reading, and have to either finish the book or give away the book before i get to read a new one.
- I ask if I already have a similar book and whether I have read it or not before I buy a book.
- I get as many books as possible from the library. Most libraries can get books from nearby libraries if they don’t have the book you want.
- I limit trips to Barnes and Noble. I can easily get at least one book each time I step into a bookstore.
- I take notes on books I read, so I don’t have to keep the books when I am done.
- I remind myself that for most books, I can pick the book up again at the library or bookstore if I really need it again. That helps with the letting go process.
And these tips work for other things like clothes and shoes as well.
What do you need to tackle?
Photo by: Carbon NYC