Thursday, December 10, 2009

Letting Go of Books

How To Handle Book Clutter
Guest Author - Jill Florio

Book hoarding is a very difficult type of clutter disease to cure. Everyone tells us books are good; they are indicators of an intellectual bent; they are clues to our inner personalities...blah, blah, blah. For those of us who really love books, it's hard to let them go. Book clutter can get out of hand, to the point where a single person can own literally hundreds or thousands of titles.

If you have the room for a library area of your house, you may not be so concerned. Dust your books every few months, store them upright, and provide comfortable nearby seating to encourage book browsing. That DOES sound appealing. Make sure you have nice teas and mugs you can make quickly to enjoy your library nook.

Not everyone has the time, room or inclination to make a library area in our homes. I personally have moved homes too often to even think about that - and if you have moved a lot, you understand just how HEAVY boxes of books can be.

Not only are books heavy, but they are vulnerable things to keep around. Your pretty coffeetable books get scuffed when you move too much - another thing I have discovered. When you store books, covers can get creased and folded, books are easily ruined when wet, and can get chewed on by rodents. I have lost several stored crates of books over the years to moisture, mold, rodents and general improper care.

It's an excellent goal to whittle down your collection to books you often use and love. Go through your books on a wet or snowy day and try to eliminate any book you have already read or KNOW you will never read. Decide which reference books you really want to keep. Pick out a couple of your art books (how many do you really use?). Keep your own personal classic novels (I would never get rid of my Lord of the Rings, Watership Down or Lonesome Dove copies).

When you go through books like this, it tends to take a LONG TIME. You get caught up in the fun of book discovery. That's okay; don't try to clear out your collection in one session. If you have lots of books, give yourself a month or a season to make your book collection manageable.

Don't worry about missing the books you give away. You can always borrow those titles again from your local library, or download them online, or even grab yourself another copy later if you really feel you made a mistake. Chances are very good that you won't even miss them, however. :)

How you get rid of your books is up to you. You can sell them on Amazon or at a used book store or at a garage sale. You can donate them to a library or to Goodwill. Gift them out to friends. Just let them go and you will feel lighter in life.


Post a Comment

<< Home