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Is it Time to Purge Your Bookcase?

  • November 26, 2018
  • Blog

“Too many books?” you cry. “How can I have too many books?”

It happens. Maybe others in your household have grumbled complaints or given you the stink eye as they tried to find a place to sit. Maybe your home is neat and clean but feels tiny and cramped.

Marie Kondō’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up offers a solution. She’s a bit intense, but this is some of what I’ve taken away from it:

1. Keep what you love.

2. Keep what you need.

“But I love all my books! I need them!”

Relax. Breathe. And prepare to be honest.

Take one book off the shelf and hold it in your hand. Read a few chapters. How do you feel?

With some books, I felt that yes, maybe at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday three months from now, I’m going to want to reread it. So that book went back on the shelf.

But with others… I found myself skimming through them, knowing I could probably borrow them from the library if I ever wanted to. In two days, I tossed 11 Louis L’Amour westerns (don’t worry, I still kept 30 that I know I’ll reread in the future). The books were thin but they left a nice space on my shelf. And I liked it.

Try it. What’s the point of keeping a book you’re never going to read again? Think about the space you’ll create.

So you can buy more books.

Happy purging!

  • Lydia • November 26, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Bravo! I adored this post, and I couldn’t agree with you more. There are plenty of people out there who would love to read the books that you or I have neutral feelings about.

    • J. M. Levinton • November 26, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks! While some did get donated, I have to admit that a number of them went out with the recycling. They were unbreathable due to age or humidity, I don’t know. Still, those books were over thirty years old so I got good use out of them (and so did the people before me). 🙂

      • Lydia • November 27, 2018 at 8:09 am

        That makes total sense. Nobody wants mold in their house!

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