How to deal with Books.
Hopefully our clothing and everything that we wear is decluttered now. When we open our wardrobe and drawers, it’s like being at a good party where we know like everyone. It is easy to see everything we own and easy to put together outfits. Although, everything should be easy to see, don’t break your heart over the storage of your clothes at this point, as storage tends to become clearer as we continue on Tidying.
This week we are moving on to book and I have split this into a couple of smaller categories. First up is Fiction Books.
Books can be a very emotive category and I have had clients, initially at least, point blank refuse to look at them. However, by the time I have reassured them that I am not going to make a bonfire of their books, that the only criteria is to handle each book and make a decision on it, they usually unbend and are always surprised by how many they are able to release.
Let’s get to it! For books, the biggest step is removing all the books from the shelves and yes, I mean ALL. They all have to come off, just scanning the shelves and saying, “Yes, I’m keeping them” does not cut the mustard. You must handle each one. Pick each one up and see if it Sparks Joy and brings a positive emotion. Any that have guilt or sadness attached to them (we’re not talking sentimental books here, just your normal ones) should be released.
You are keeping books that speak to your heart, not books that you think will impress people who come into your house.
The time to read a book is when it arrives in your home. Chances are that if you haven’t read it already, you won’t. Free your mind from the guilt and let it go. Many people actually find that they start reading more once they have completed the method due to the unread books not hanging over them.
If you have a partner and some of the books belong to them, or collectively, then the easiest thing to do is to take all the books off the shelves, replace the ones that Spark Joy for YOU and then ask your partner to look through the remaining books that are on the floor and put the ones that they like on the shelves. It may well be that they keep far more than you would like, but do not try to get rid of books (or any of their belongings) without their say so, this will only lead to problems further down the road!
As always, there are no right or wrong numbers here. Some people will keep hundreds, others only a few.
What is my own house like? I am a bookworm, I LOVE reading. Most evenings find me curled up on the sofa with a book in my hand and I usually read over a hundred books a year. My PERSONAL collection of physical books totals around 30. I read mostly on my kindle now, keeping paper copies of only those that I want to read and reread again and again. My husband has about 100 books (despite me being the more avid reader!), but it’s my children who have the most! I Home Educate and we live fairly rurally, so I like to have a personal library for them – they have about 600. I pick up all sorts of interesting books and have them on the shelves and the kids browse them and then pick out ones that they like. Sometimes a good book might sit on the shelves for a long time and then suddenly they’ve all read it! We do whittle out books every so often, but I do accept that in this chapter of my life, lots of books are something that Spark lots of Joy for our family and we have a fair number of them…