77. A Novel Idea

books in black wooden book shelf
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So many people want to declutter but cannot let go of books. Any of their books. I move house fairly often and I can tell you that boxes of books are really heavy and dusty! They have to be packed, carried downstairs and loaded onto a van. Unloaded, carried upstairs then unpacked by me. Some books I owned were just not worth the bother. After one move, three boxes of books remained boxed up for over two years.

I’ve had the following conversation several times with people and the most common responses are “Nooooooo! Why would I want to do that? I could never get rid of any of my books! They mean too much to me. I might read them again. I would regret it”

  • Is there a person inside your head who judges your book collection? If you had fewer books, would they disapprove?
  • If someone took away one book a day, how long would it take you to notice?
  • Would you know which ones were missing?
  • Would you miss them?
  • For the prize of a thousand pounds/dollars, could you whittle your collection down to one bookcase or shelf of your absolute favourite books?
  • Imagine you can take only twenty books with you when you move abroad. How do you feel about leaving the other books?
  • Is it sentimentality, cost, status, perceived value, it was a gift, they are a collection?
  • If you love it and will read it again, then keep it.
  • If you don’t, then why are you holding onto it?
  • If you loaned your copy of a book to a friend, and never got it back, would you buy it again?
  • Does your ‘to read’ pile never seem to go down?
  • Will there never be the right time to read certain books you own?
  • If you knew that someone else wanted to read a book that you owned, and you probably wouldn’t get around to reading it, would you give/sell it to them?
  • Letting go doesn’t have to happen all at once. You didn’t acquire them all overnight, so the cull doesn’t have to be dramatic.
  • Books are meant to be read, not to gather dust. There is barely enough time to do everything you need to do, so don’t feel guilty about not finishing a book.

I’m not heartless. I get the struggle. I do keep some books from childhood with my name and class neatly written inside. I bought first-editions of future classics by accident that I can’t bear to part with. Pangs of memories forgotten of old train or concert tickets used as bookmarks. Those expensive signed hardbacks where I queued for two hours to get two minutes with the author.

I’m into audiobooks now, so have digital clutter to contend with, and unlike my spare room, I have a very restricted amount of storage.

 

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9 thoughts on “77. A Novel Idea

  1. Real good post. I have moved a lot and believe in traveling light. I have had to give my books away many of them. Some I gave to people who wanted a copy of the book but others I gave to charity shops. I miss one or two of my books but cannot carry everything and they do weigh in lugage. With the internet you can download so much information and store it easily. I know it is not the same as curling up with a book in a comfy chair to read it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I mainly keep certain books out of a begrudging grumpiness knowing that I bought it for an expensive price at the time but that I wouldn’t be able to sell it off at the same price to get my money back lol. There is one book I regret throwing out. It was a Christmas themed picture book that my best friend in kindergarten gave me. I never saw her again after kindergarten as she moved away but I remember the book was special since she wrote her name on the inside of the cover and I liked her handwriting.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ve tried to get rid of some but I can’t. I’ve gone as far as putting them out to donate then going back to get them… #thestruggleisreal

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent post.

    I recently had a major declutter – one of the biggest things was perceived emotional fondness for certain books. But one morning l just thought WTF grow up! So l whittled down from about 600 books to about 30, which l am attached to emotionally and properly attached to for the right reasons.

    i read anywhere between 50-60 books a year, but instead of letting them go afterwards l kept them, bad move.

    I used to be a DVD collector and had around 6000, l had sold a bulk off several years ago, and last year l still have around 1200, but l whittled those down to my current content of about 300. Once more l am about to reduce that down to a target of 100. You suddenly realise that hanging onto them for sentimentality is pointless with the likes of netflix and Amazon prime and never mind the actual content and quality of series released on those two examples every year, that when are you going to really get the time to watch 300 titles or 600 books over and over again?

    Once again, excellent post and Rbing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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