I love the smell of a book, the feel of a book, buying books and reading books, that’s why I know first hand how hard it is to declutter your books. In this post, I will walk you step by step through the stages of simplifying your bookshelf to get your ultimate minimalist book collection.
How many books are too many books?
I am a book lover and my answer would be, you can never have too many books.
As a minimalist, my answer would be over ten is too many. I’m conflicted every day on this subject.
I appreciate how hard it is to even think about decluttering your books.
- Stuffed under the bed
- Shoved into the wardrobe
- In the car
- Anywhere I had space
Every time I passed a bookshop the chances were, I would buy a book.
I was offended when people advised me to buy a kindle, and I was unable to understand why anyone would not prefer the physical version of a book.
I was a book snob. I judged people by their bookshelves and tried to guess their personality by the book they were reading on the train or the beach.
Then things changed when I had kids and my days of curling up for hours with a book came to an abrupt end.
I would manage to read two pages at bedtime before nodding off into an exhausted sleep.
Unfortunately, my book addiction didn’t end there, and my collection of unread books continued to grow at an alarming rate.
How to stop hoarding books
To reduce my book collection from over 400 to under 5 books, I followed these simple steps.
- Unread books were the first to go. I decided that unless I had rushed home and read a book straight after buying it, it was doubtful I was going to read it at all unless it was a reference book. Pretty similar to that crazy item of clothing you’ve got in your wardrobe that you’ve never worn!
- Cookbooks were next. I donated every single recipe book I owned because every single recipe I needed to follow is on the internet, I realised that if I ever needed to find a method, my go-to source of reference for most things was the internet rather than a recipe book, so that made it an easy decision for me.
- Next up were books I’d already read. This was not so easy, but I figured that out of perhaps the 100 books I’d already read, only two had ever been re-read by me, so the logic was to donate them. It’s tough, but it’s worth doing.
- Reference books, I kept the ones we used, nothing else, this too, was relatively easy.
Which books to keep?
I decided to keep the books I truly loved, and I realised that there were only a few books I loved. Once I had donated all the other books it became apparent to me which books meant a lot to me, it was a no-brainer to keep those. They were:
- A book on wildflowers my father gave to me as a child
- A reference book which I use for work,
- A book I read, which I know my daughter will love when shes old enough to understand it.
- A book I need to return to my mum.
So not including my kid’s books, the total amount of books I own today is four. I managed to get rid of a giant bookcase and created a huge empty space which I love!
I do not recommend getting rid of anyone else’s books especially your spouse, to read more about getting your husband to declutter his stuff click here
The benefits of a minimalist book collection
If you’re a book lover like me, it’s going to be tough for you to imagine any benefit of getting rid of your books. but I soon discovered the benefits of a minimalist book collection were:
- I could see my treasured books displayed to their full advantage.
- I stopped impulse shopping for books.
- I enjoyed reading on my kindle especially as it allows me to read in the dark is extremely portable.
- I created a huge amount of empty space
- Less dust and clutter.
However, my book hoarding days are not over; I now have hundreds of unread books on my Kindle.
I do, however, still prefer a physical book and a lazy afternoon visiting a beautiful bookshop, but I also like being able to read in the dark, and of course to have an invisible library stuffed to the rafters.
If you need help getting the motivation to declutter, click here.
If you want to read in the dark, take loads of books on holiday and want a minimalist book collection, order your Kindle today, just click on the photo below to be directed to Amazon!
For further reading about simplifying and minimalism, you’ll also like The Minimalists
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