The Joy of Books isn’t in Ownership

If you want to find the real joy from reading, let go of your books.

When it comes to decluttering, books are always a touchy subject. I used to save almost every book I read, and until I got rid of all of them, I didn’t remember what I loved most about books.

It was never about ownership and when I finally let go, I remembered the joy.

What I love most about books is …

  • discovering them
  • curling up with them
  • getting lost in them, and then sometimes found
  • inspiration that sparks action
  • finding one sentence that lingers for days
  • giving them away

Books bringing me joy right now

I didn’t make enough time for reading at the end of last year, and I missed the joy I experienced from a consistent reading habit.

To remedy that, I had to trade some of the input to prevent information overload, and remind myself that reading fuels my life and work, and makes me happy.

The books I’ve read recently

Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
Because The China Study completely changed the way I think about food, I couldn’t wait to read T. Colin Campbell’s latest.

This is not a light read, and neither was the China Study, but it is jam-packed with scientific evidence that supports a whole-foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet. I’m pulling recipes from YumUniverse: Infinite Possibilities for a Gluten-Free, Plant-Powerful, Whole-Food Lifestyle.

The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
Dr. Terry Wahls’ inspiring Ted Talk about reversing MS with diet reinforces my belief that food matters and either contributes to disease or health. I don’t subscribe to all of the recommendations in the book, but most of them.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
My daughter gave me this book to read when she was finished with it and it reminded me to read more fiction. It was a lovely story about a mother and daughter finding their way.

Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina
Misty Copeland’s story will inspire you to stop making excuses and do what you love.

It Was Me All Along: A Memoir
If you’ve ever struggled with food, weight, love, or family, Andie Mitchell’s memoir will make you laugh and cry and remind you that healing is possible.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
I wasn’t interested in reading this book. I am a fierce advocate for decluttering and living with less, but I thought I had read everything there was to know on the subject. I was wrong. When I did finally pick it up last weekend, I wondered why I had waited so long. I’m putting Marie Kondo’s recommendations into action and will have more to report in the coming weeks. This is a fresh approach to decluttering that will help you let go.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
I’m reading this gem right now. My favorite takeaway so far, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”

Up Next:

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
After listening to author, Jay Papasan on The Jess Lively Show, this book went to the top of my reading list. There are so many books I’d like to read, but don’t want to buy or check out from the library until I’m ready, so I keep a list on Evernote of books, and even links to lists of books and helpful resources like this one.

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Because I need to know.

If you want to find the real joy from reading, let go of your books.

The joy of books isn’t found in organizing them alphabetically, storing them on shelves or in boxes, or moving them from home to home. The joy is in the words, on the pages and in the hearts of authors and readers.

What are you reading that brings you joy right now? Please share your recommendations in the comment section.