Downsizing Personal Libraries

HomeBlogDownsizing Personal Libraries

If you have a love of reading, you know it… and your friends and family know it. Why? Because there are books in almost every room of your home — books to be read on the nightstand, ones you’re finished reading on the floor, and probably a few still in the store bag.

Downsizing Personal Libraries

Let’s be honest… a book lover cannot be turned loose in a bookstore without proper supervision! You may go in with one book in mind, but money on the table says you’re coming out with three or more additional books! And, a used bookstore where books are discounted — book heaven is one of the most dangerous places on earth! Why get one or two when you can get 12 for the price you’d pay for a couple of new ones?

So, what are you going to do with all your books when the time comes to downsize? No crying — that’s not one of the choices. No, you gird your strength and review your home library. Just as you would purge your closet, have three boxes ready — one for donating, one for re-sell, and one for what you’ll keep.

Suggestions to get through downsizing:

  • This will take time, so don’t plan to do it all at once.
  • Be honest… do you have books you planned to read but never got around to it? Or, did you start a book, only to find it didn’t hold your interest? Those are the easy ones to either donate or re-sell. The decision is yours. If it’s a current book and in good shape, you’d probably get more return by re-selling.
  • If you have favorite books that you re-read often, you may want to keep them. Just use self-control in making those decisions. If you’ve read it so much that you could recall dialogue, perhaps you need to let it go. Remember, the goal is to reduce the number of books.
  • Don’t forget cookbooks! Rather than keep all those club, church, and latest-trend cookbooks, select only the recipes you use the most from them. Google to see if someone has already shared that recipe or a version of it online that you can then save into a new electronic cookbook.
  • Craft/hobby books — oh, my. If you haven’t worked in that craft for years, let someone else enjoy those patterns and instructions. Save only the craft books you actually use. Hobbies come and go. If you’re letting go of items you made in that medium, then let go of the reference books as well.
  • Consider transitioning to electronic or audio format for some of your reading. On average, one in five Americans have listened to an audiobook. Electronic or audio versions are so much easier to take on the go than a heavy bag stuffed with books. In fact, many people have more in their virtual library than they ever did in their physical library.

You can do it! Share your love of books! Donate to local hospitals, hospice facilities, local libraries, or service organizations. Just resist the temptation to replace them all with new books.