Books can be difficult to part with. We get emotionally attached to our favorite stories and they feel like old friends. But holding on to every book you’ve ever read just isn’t practical, especially if you’re an avid reader. Here are some ideas to help pare down your collection:
1. Books you’ve read – We often keep the books we love in case we want to read them again. But ask yourself how often that actually happens. Cultivate your “desert island” collection (i.e., the books you would choose if you were stranded like Tom Hanks in Cast Away), and let the others go. If you loved it, someone else will, too.
2. Books you haven’t read – If a book has been sitting unread on your shelf for longer than a year, you are obviously not that motivated to pick it up. Remember, almost any book can be purchased online or ordered through your local library, so let it go knowing you can always get another copy.
3. Reference material – We keep these books not because of emotional attachments but “just in case” thinking. The information in reference books is generally more up to date and easier to search online, so unless you are using yours regularly, donate them and use your computer.
4. Set limits – A good way to keep your book hoarding habit in check is to limit your collection to the available storage space. Once the shelves you’ve set aside for books are filled, in order to add more you’ll need to make space by weeding some out. Revisit your collection every six months, and you’ll find it easier to part with a few more each time.
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