No, the two are not mutually exclusive! It is possible to love reading books without having to own many of them.
In my post last week, we talked about the reasons for holding onto the books that we have, and the reasons for getting rid of them. I LOVED hearing everyone’s feedback. Seems like us bookworms are all over the map: Some of us keep everything that we’ve read, some of us keep only the books we love, and some of us fall somewhere in between.
I also realized something about myself and my book-collecting habits: The thing is, I admit to myself that I will probably NEVER collect a whole series, or all the books by my favourite authors. On my bookshelf right now, there is a mishmash of standalones and series that I only have one or two books of. For a given series, I will very likely have book 1 as a physical copy, book 2 as an eBook, and book 3 borrowed from the library…
Another thing I realized is that I don’t own physical copies of some of my favourite books for this reason, and that some of the books that I DO own, I actually don’t like.
Since I already suck at collecting series and keeping physical copies of my favourite books, and I don’t have much space in my tiny metropolitan apartment, it gives me license to, well… Focus less on owning physical copies.
(WOW, that sounded really……….. zen. Speaking of which:
Anyway, I digress :’)
Today, I want to share with you some of my tips I’ve brainstormed about approaching a life of bookish minimalism. I am by no means an expert. This is kind of an instruction manual that I am writing for myself. I haven’t done an unhaul yet, therefore, points #4-6 are still works in progress!
#1. Take advantage of the library!
If you are like me: 95% of the books that I read, I will only read once. There are books that I enjoyed that I will probably not read again. If that is the case, why not read a book and return it when we are done?
#2. Ebooks and audiobooks!
You may have noticed that eBooks and audiobooks do not take up (physical) space!! If you are short on space and looking to reduce clutter, then these digital options may be a solution for you.
Psst…. I am OBSESSED with the Overdrive app which allows you to borrow eBooks and audiobooks from the library!
#3. Prepare for an UNHAUL
This is a word that I’ve learned from some of you guys: Unhaul = Getting rid of the books that we actively dislike or wouldn’t bother to reread.
…….. Okay, maybe less dramatic.
My approach to an unhaul would be to sort our books into four categories (and a fifth optional category):
A) Books that we hate to the end of the earth
B) Books that we don’t plan to read or re-read
C) Books that we loved and might want to re-read one day
D) Books on our TBR that we look forward to reading
E) Books from category A and B which have REALLY PRETTY COVERS (optional)
#4. Donate or give away books from category A
Why hang onto book that we actively dislike? They say, the key to happiness is to let go of things that make us UN-happy, right? Remember that there might someone else there who will give more love to this book than you ever will.
#5. Decide what to do with category B
The “meh” books are the hardest, aren’t they? I would say, do what your heart desires with this category. If you don’t want to give these away, maybe hang onto them for a bit longer. Perhaps pack them away into a box and see if you miss any of these books. If and when you feel ready to part with them, that will be a time to give them away.
#6. Keep the books in categories C, D, and (optionally) E
Of course we want to hang onto things that make us happy 🙂
And as promised, a shelfie 🙂
As you guys can see, it is not so much a bookshelf as a shelf in my kitchen where I keep my books. The top shelf is out of the equation because it is not within reaching distance. Therefore this shelf is already at full capacity! It makes sense to optimize this space and fill it up with books that I love and look forward to reading. Let me know if you guys want to see more about my upcoming unhaul 🙂
Last but not least, please check out Hannah’s blog post, where she gives some more tips about being a minimalist bookworm.
Have you ever done an unhaul? If so, what was the approach that you used? Do you prefer physical copies or do you rely on eBooks and audiobooks like me? What is your approach to clutter?