When I was younger I dreamt of having a huge library, with books from the floor to ceiling. I imagined a room that looked like the library in Beauty and the Beast or My Fair Lady, one where you had to climb a staircase to reach the books on the top shelf. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that in order to have a library like that, you have to have the space to hold those wall to wall books.
I live in studio apartment.
I do not have the kind of space needed to hold all my books. I love my books but sometimes it gets to the point where there is just too much.
A few months ago, when I was getting ready to move, I realized that I had a lot of books and that it would take a large effort to move them all. Also, although I love looking at all my books on their bookshelves, the bookshelves themselves were not very attractive. I personally do not find it aesthetically pleasing to have books stacked here and there, have books piled every which way on a shelf, or have 3 rows of books in the bookcase. I also had books stacked on the floor, books stacked on my desk and coffee table, books stacked on and below the nightstand, basically I had books everywhere. I was being overrun with books and I had to do something.
So, I decided to purge a lot of my books.
Some books were easy to get rid of – books that I didn’t like or books that I knew I would never read again. But some books were difficult to put in the discard pile.
Part of the reason was that I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I had spent money on a book, read it once or twice, and now I was getting rid of it.
Also, a lot of books were books that I really enjoyed reading and I liked. I felt that if I liked a book, I should keep it.
I ultimately decided to only keep the books that mattered to me or books that I loved. I kept books I thought I might want to read again and books that are part of series that I haven’t finished reading yet (in case I needed to go back and look at something). I also kept books that I haven’t begun to read.
I had to tell myself that even if I got rid of a book and decided later that I wanted to reread it, I knew I could find it again. I can always borrow it from the library or pick it up from the bookstore or used bookstore.
And now? I thought I would miss all the books I got rid of. But I haven’t yet.
P.S. All books were either donated to the library or sold/donated to a used bookstore. None of my books were thrown out.