Downsizing Books.jpg

Are you someone who owns many books and the time has come to rightsize or downsize?

For any of us who are book lovers or whose career has involved collecting books, there comes a time when we know that at least some of them must go.  This can be a very challenging task! 

For some readers, organization guru Marie Kondo’s question does a book “spark joy” may help you quickly decide to save a favourite children’s book or let go of one that is only partially read or you will never read again. 

However, for many of us, we look at our bookcases, and joy abounds on every shelf!   

We need different tactics. 

Thanks to several friends for their ideas:

  • Save several books in a variety of categories.

  • Identify your favourites and keep them nearby. 

  • Ask yourself if you still need to possess a particular book, or if you have moved on in your life from that author or topic. 

  • Adios to half-read books and your guilt.

  • Farewell to those that you have had for a year or more and never cracked. 

  • Goodbye to any genre that you will never read even if they were gift books.

  • So-long to favourite books whose font is so small that it makes sense to borrow in paper or digital format from your library.

  • Adieu to outdated reference books.

  • Are current reference books available online? Do you need that book on your shelf?

Marie Kondo suggests that if a book has been in our possession, we need to believe that we have learned what we need to even if it’s half read or we’ve forgotten the content. Believe that you have absorbed what you need whether it is the inspiration of the book’s hero, or a self-help strategy that gets you through each day.  Give the book a nod of thanks and let it go.

Donating books to a fund-raiser for a good cause can help release books. Check with schools, hospitals, care homes, daycares.

Recognize that if you are attached to your books, there may be some that you just can’t say good-bye to even if you feel you should. Give yourself permission to hang on to some books that you know are irreplaceable, or are still important for you to possess, whether or not you will ever reread them. 

Downsizing books is often a two or three stage process! Be kind to yourself!