I would love to have tons of shelves, filled with books, but in our current living situation, that's just not possible or practical. I was running out of shelf space before my husband moved in several years ago, and since then, I've completely run out of room as Tom is using my bookshelves for some of his things and my collection of books has become overwhelming.
I used to be an indiscriminate book-buyer. The bargain rack at Barnes & Noble was my best friend. I rarely went to the library and didn't vet books as well as I do now before buying them. The result was a collection of books that numbered close to 300. That might not seem like a lot, but it definitely feels that way when you're living in a one-bedroom condo. In the last several months, I've taken on the large (but sometimes slow) project of decluttering my bookshelves. The main reasons are threefold:
- I like things to be neat and organized. Right now I have too many books and not enough space, so there are books stacked in front of other books and it's driving me nuts!
- Eventually we'd like to move to a larger place, and packing up and transporting all those heavy books is not going to be fun.
- In my former book-buying frenzy, I ended up with a lot of books I'm not crazy about. At this point, I'd rather just have a collection of books that I love, ones that I can see myself reading for years to come.
I've been donating my used books to Goodwill. I like the idea that they're going back out into the world for someone else to enjoy, instead of gathering dust in my house. Over the past year, I've brought 24 books to my local Goodwill center, and I have 22 more books waiting to be brought over. I still have more work to do, but this is a good start!
How many physical books do you own? How often do your purge your collection? Do you donate them, sell them, etc.?