Hello everyone! Welcome back to BirthMay 2022! Today’s post is going to be my experience decluttering books.
In case you’re new, every May I blog every day and call it BirthMay! Why? Because it’s my birth month and I’m super extra.
My goal every BirthMay (and Blogmas) is to dedicate one day a week to a series that is meant for me to share my experiences and my knowledge on something in hopes that it helps someone else. For this BirthMay, I decided to dedicate Sundays to decluttering in this brand new series, Declutter Diaries! For the three middle Sundays in May, I’m going to share what I have learned about decluttering, my triumphs, my struggles, and thoughts overall.
Declutter Diaries: Books
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a home library. With that dream in mind, I collected books. Any and all books I could claim as my own came into my home and stayed there. For the most part, I have read the books I own, so it wasn’t a complete waste, but I did find myself overwhelmed by the number of books I own. I always would remember these were books I’d “invested” in for my home library one day and quickly move on.
For the past few years though, I’ve yearned for a more clutter free life. The piles of books I own were not helping me achieve that dream! I slowly came to terms with my new dream and slowly started to set aside books to declutter. It was tough! I have many books that I hold onto for nostalgia (the entire Harry Potter series being the main one), books I hold onto that I haven’t read yet or completed yet (Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton), and books I keep for aspirational purposes (someday I’m sure I’ll read all those classics). But then I realized I really don’t need to keep every book and, even if I did have a home library already, I’d want to get rid of some anyway. Plus, I like to imagine that someday when I get married my husband will have piles of his own books that we’ll have to fight for shelf space over anyway, so really, I’m preparing to make that battle less difficult, right? (Probably not, we’re going to have to have our own separate home libraries, that is settled.)
In the end, I compromised for this round of decluttering. I would declutter only books that I read and didn’t want to read again or books I knew I had no intention of reading. Another factor to consider was remembering that I would have access to other copies of the book from my local library. With this in mind, I started to separate out my collection. I actually had a respectable pile going on! It had everything from textbooks to classics to school required reading to fun books.
Once I had a big pile, I headed off to a store called 2nd and Charles to sell the books. I wrote all about that experience here if you want to check it out but the basic idea is you take your books, the store tells you what they’ll pay for them, and you can either take the rest or they’ll recycle it for you if they can. I found that this was the best way for me to let go of my books. That way, I can imagine they’re either being put on the shelves to sell and will eventually fine a nice new shelf in the home of someone who will enjoy them, or they will go on to be recycled into new books to be enjoyed, maybe making back onto my own shelves.
The best to get rid of books you no longer want is probably to gift them to someone you know will enjoy them. For me, my friends either have sizable collections of their own or don’t read at all, so I figured it was better to sell them instead. But I have seen Facebook groups dedicated to books where they can be sold or other groups dedicated to selling/giving away stuff in local communities. It’s certainly something to consider if you want to declutter books of your own!
I am so happy I did declutter my shelves and have already started a new pile. Over the years, my reading preferences change too, so there are books I initially held onto that I’ve eventually admitted I will not read. There is also the fact that I get a majority of my books via the library and having that due date is a great motivator to get to the end of the book! So my goal is to continue to rely most heavily on my local library for new books to read and to continue to declutter.
So that’s my own thoughts on decluttering my books! Next week, I think I’ll focus on clothing. Please share your thoughts if you’ve decluttered anything recently, I’d love to hear it!
Thanks for reading!
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