Hey guys, this step was a hard one!
My family loves books. We read constantly. Everything from sci-fi to Terry Pratchett to self-help to cookbooks end up on our bookshelves and it’s no surprise that they can get pretty crowded.
Most of the books we have, we have read. But over the years, a lot of people have given us books to read, and some of them have never been touched. We have always kept them just in case we get really bored, but they mostly just sit around collecting dust.
Now that we are moving, and I have decided that we will not just drag everything over to our new home, so some (most) of these have got to go.
Drag all of the books off of all of the shelves. This way, I could really see what all we had. There were a lot of books there that weren’t in such great condition. I tossed those right away.
I also found a few duplicate copies of books. Those went to a second-hand store to be resold.
I took all the books that had never been read. It was pretty easy to let go of some of them, cause they weren’t really books we would have ready anyway. They’d just been sitting there waiting to be noticed by someone.
We still had a lot of books left. This was the hard part. I designated 2 shelves to religious books and 2 to general reading. (we have a lot of religious books that we need throughout the year, so they are kind of a necessity.) Then I started filling the shelves based on what I judged to be most important first. There were the books that we read over and over, the books that we frequently use for reference, and books that went together as parts of a series (being the geek that I am, I don’t like to read a series out of order, and if one is missing, I am likely to throw a fit about it until I get a new copy.)
Arrange the books sideways in the shelf. It looks a little odd, but there is a reason for this. As we read books, I am standing them upright. This way we can see what books are actually being used, and which are still just taking up space. In a few months, it should be fairly easy to cull-out the books that aren’t being read.
Once I had filled the shelves, I got rid of everything else. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. At first, my husband didn’t even notice that books were missing. I was very much aware that they were gone, but only because what was left looked and felt so much better. My kids went through a similar process, and we were able to let go of a bunch of unloved books from their things as well.
I plan to go through what’s left of the cookbooks and such and make digital copies of the recipes that I want. You can find recipes for just about anything online anyway.
Now if I could just convince my husband to go 100% digital… 😉
Do you have trouble letting go of books? Have you managed to cut back or even cut out paper books entirely? Let me know in the comments below!