Saturday, April 23, 2016


At the start of this year, I decided that I was finally going to do something about my overstuffed bookshelves. My books are my most prized possessions. But when I have so many that they are just stuffed onto shelves in a jumbled mess, it makes it difficult to find anything. Plus, that's not really a way to show off your most prized possessions, right?

So......I decided that 2016 is going to be a year of actually reading a lot of my collection. Then those books will be traded or donated. I also went on a new book "diet". If I'm purging the shelves, but buying more than I'm purging, the problem will never get solved.  I can have new books, but I have to purge at least 4 off my shelves for every new book.

I'm glad to report that I'm making great progress!

I have been using the library more this year. I check there first before buying a book.  44 of the 69 books I've read so far this year have been borrowed from the library. Read, review, return. :)

The Great Purge has begun in earnest! I went through my son's books & asked him which ones he still wanted. The large stack of books he didn't want are now listed on a trading website, Paperbackswap.  I will trade those for book credits.  Anything that doesn't get requested by PBS members after six months will be donated to the library for their book sale. I went through all of my books as well and discovered quite a few repeats! Why keep individual Narnia books when I have a large compilation book that has the whole series? Same with Mary Poppins & Little House on the Prairie. I also have many classics in ebook format, so I'm donating my physical copies.

I joined a challenge at the beginning of the year to "Read my own damn books.'' I started thinking about how long I have had some of these books.....there are stacks of paperbacks I bought 7-10 years ago because I wanted to read them. I never had time....we ran a retail business and I had kids at home. The poor books sat there waiting for me to actually read them for YEARS.  I only work part-time now, so I have time to read!  I'm voraciously reading every chance I get! Once I'm done with them, the books either get listed for trade, or go into the library donation box.

This process is teaching me a lot about myself. Why do I need so many books? I looked at my shelves and estimated.....I probably have more than 1,000 books. My floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves (it's grand to have a handy hubby - he built them for me when we bought our house!)  are completely full.  I seem to surround myself with too much of the things that make me happy -- we have too many cats...too many chihuahuas....too many books....too many board games....I buy too much food....    See a trend here?? Too much!   I'm not sure why I do it. I'm not overboard like a hoarder. Our house isn't a junk heap. I just don't stop at enough on some things.  Might be a comfort thing or it might be that I'm impulsive and a bit over-indulgent?  Or maybe all of the above. Whatever the cause, I recognize it now.  I'm buying less....and keeping less.  Down-sizing. :) In the end it will be a good thing. My shelves will be organized and nice to look at, rather than just a jumble of books stacked wherever they will fit. I will have a relaxing, comfortable room to sit in during the evening for my reading time.

I will always have a large library, but I want a beautifully organized and attractive one. I don't see a downside to this process. I'm finally getting to enjoy my books. When I finish, other people get to enjoy them, too. I've made some great friends at the library. And I have all sorts of review material for my blog. All that, and I can still buy a book or two when I want. Not 20....just 2. :)

I can love books without owning quite so many. Balance in life is beautiful. :)

Peace out!

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