Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Challenging Reality of a Book Junkie

What's the point of having a book collection?  How often do you actually reread books after you've already finished them once before?  Personally, it is rare for me to reread something unless I absolutely loved it.  Having a book collection is not like having a movie collection, because admittedly, I have watched many of my DVDs at least two or three times over, and yet I have only read most of my books once.  The rest of my books fall into the categories "soon" and "someday".

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love having a collection.  I love having options.  If I have an entire room of books, the possibilities are endless.  Unfortunately, my space is so limited right now, I've come to the realization that I have two options: get rid of some or stop adding to the pile.  Recently, my best friend's teenage sister asked me if I had any books for her to have, because she's just starting to get interested in reading.  I was instantly filled with the excitement of opening her eyes to so many new worlds, just as I was able to do at her age, when I started this blog.  Instead of feeling dread, I was looking forward to going through my shelves, piles, and stacks.

For as long as I've been blogging, I've been playing Tetris with my books, placing them where they fit best, not organized by author or genre.  I'm lucky if I can even get a series together.  I tried to Google "how to declutter/organize books", but I was met with many minimalist articles.  While I enjoy watching minimalism videos on YouTube, I also know that lifestyle isn't for me.  One thing did stick out, though, and that was the idea that if you hold something and it doesn't bring you instant happiness, let it go.  The idea seemed simple enough, so I went for it.

First I was able to pack up all of my duplicates.  Next, I started actually sifting through my shelves, one by one.  I remembered reading many of the books in my hands, but I didn't remember the story or if I actually liked it or not.  This is probably one of the biggest reasons to let those books go, but I second guessed myself.  Others were more difficult to get rid of, because I felt they belonged with other books that I wanted to keep. It got a little easier as I went on, pulling at least 40 books off of my shelves and finding room to fit books I previously kept on the floor.

I know that this isn't the last of it.  When I move, I'll go through my books once more, hopefully finding the strength to part ways with the books I couldn't say goodbye to this time.  The more I think about it, the more I wonder, do I REALLY need half of the books I own?  At this rate, I will never get through all of them anyway.  

Do you struggle with this as well?  What are your tips for downsizing?

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