I am a book lover. I love books. I love physical books. I love digital books. I appreciate holding a book in your hands and making your way through the pages one by one. And I also love how liberating a feeling it is to use an e-reader, effortlessly making your way through 1000 word tomes without having to sit and hold the fucking thing.
Whatever option is cheapest is generally what I buy. I’m trying to go mostly digital, however if a paperback is the cheaper option then that’s what I’ll get. So even when trying to adopt as minimalist a lifestyle as I possibly can (a work in progress) books are still something that accumulate in my house and it’s often necessary to cull them every so often. Up until now I’ve felt inspired to do this by the KonMari method but not actually followed it religiously. I’ve gotten rid of books I don’t really like before, which is easy enough, but this is the first time I’ve ventured into letting go of stuff I really like simply because it isn’t actually useful to me any more.
I have in the past collected books just for the sake of owning lots of them but the fact is that my life has changed as I’ve become older, I live with a man who’s well over 6ft and therefore takes up a lot of space, and we have 2 growing boys who’s needs are ever changing. And so our needs as a family are constantly (and I mean constantly) evolving and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. We live in a 2 bedroom flat with basically no storage so something has to give. Our every day life has to run as smoothly as possible for the sake of our sanity and we wish to create a harmonious relaxed environment for our kids to thrive and feel comfortable in. (And ourselves!)
Being active on Bookstagram, seeing everyone’s beautiful libraries, and perfectly arranged shelves, it’s easy fall under the influence of coveting the same, but for me personally – the functionality of my everyday life feels a lot more important, and actually, I get a lot more satisfaction out of having a smaller collection of titles that fall into two categories:
A) Special in some way – either a favourite book, series, author, and/or a particularly nice edition of something.
B) TBR – strictly titles I’m looking forward to, that feels managable to get through and isn’t stressful to consider (it shouldn’t feel impossible, and you shouldn’t feel like you need to keep something you have no enthusiasm for just because you think it’s something you ‘should’ read.)
Minimalism might not be for everyone, but the fact is that reading is fun, it doesn’t matter how you do it. Get an e reader, go to the library, it’s easy enough, and as lovely a community as it is, nobody on Bookstagram thinks twice about you after hitting that like button, people are living their own lives, it doesn’t fucking matter.
Reading is a personal experience, you aren’t any less of a reader or book lover for only physically owning 5 books, you aren’t any more of an accomplished reader than anybody else for owning 5000.
The most books I’ve ever owned was about 2000 or so in my mid to late teens and this has gradually come down to the hundreds as I’ve moved a few times over the years.
THIS TIME I started with 150ish books, between two sets of shelves.
BEFORE – Horrendous I know, but the whole point of KonMari is to prevent this:
Had already started before I realised I should take a pic of the shelves in our bedroom, where dvd’s, non-fic, my Discworld’s and a few other fantasy titles were kept (and that little pile I unhauled weeks ago and then just left in the corner along with a travel cot we literally have no use for👌🏻):
Taking all of my books from their shelves and collecting them in one place for sorting:
- Does it ‘spark joy’? Yes – keep, No – off you fuck!
- Did I love it but havent re-read it in the past 2 years? – Bye bye
- Have I recently read and enjoyed but know I won’t re-read? – Ta ta for now
And so on…
So after much deliberating this is some of what I unhauled, what I could sell to MusicMagpie.com I have (box) and anything else I’m donating (bags):
(Not pictured are the non-fic which are mostly Sam’s to sort thorough, and about 30 classic YA titles that are going round to my old room at my mum’s for the boys to read in a few years if they want. I know it’s against the rules but I love that they are 3 and 1 with the most badass YA library in Toddlertown)
So NOW I’m left with about 60 titles on just one bookcase and we’ll be getting rid of the other from our bedroom. Sam can maybe have this empty shelf for his film books. Maybe…
DON’T FORGET: Before you send them off to their new lives, you have to thank your wee books for fulfilling their bookish purpose.