I used to have bookshelves and boxes stuffed with books. I kept every book I read, the books I wanted to read, and even books I knew I’d never read. I moved my heavy boxes of books from apartment to apartment through my college years, and eventually across the country when we moved west. Books were one of my last categories of “stuff” to get rid of as I simplified my life. I thought I might miss them, but I didn’t.
Living without my books gave me the opportunity to appreciate books even more. A book in my hands feels more special when there aren’t hundreds waiting on a shelf nearby. When I open a new book for the first time, I embrace a sense of possibility and a bit of magic. What will I discover? Where will this book take me? Who can I share this book with next? I love getting lost in the library and borrowing books that turn into treasure maps.
I purchase books too because I love to support authors, but I don’t usually hold on to them. Instead, I read a book and then I give it away. I send it to a friend, donate it locally, or give it away on Instagram. I only read what I want to read, not what people tell me I should read. I love recommendations, but when I choose to read something based on interest vs. hype, I get so much more out of it.
Most books aren’t time sensitive, so I keep a list of books I’d like to read in my bullet journal and pick from the list when it’s time for a new book. I read a mixture of non-fiction and fiction, new books, and books I’ve read many times before. If I’m not enjoying a book, I usually stop reading it before I reach the end.
What I’m reading now
How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science, and Practical Wisdom: I just finished reading Jonathan Fields new book, How to Live a Good Life. I plan to hold on to my copy for awhile to implement some of the fun experiments and recommendations, but Jonathan agreed to let me give away 3 copies. If you’d like a chance to win, visit this Instagram post and enter by Friday.
The Artist’s Way Every Day: A Year of Creative Living: Julia Cameron has inspired my creative work for many years, and this daily guide has been part of my morning routine for the last few months.
Love Warrior (Oprah’s Book Club): A Memoir: This memoir is heartbreaking and heart-awakening. If you are looking for a moving, whole-hearted honest book, Glennon Doyle Melton wrote this for you.
The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe: This book doesn’t tell you what you should wear, but instead offers a system so you can decide what you want to wear. If you are just getting started with Project 333, this could be a helpful resource.
Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food: I’ve spent more than 100 days over the last year practicing The Whole 30. This new book from Whole 30 co-creator Melissa Hartwig answers the question, what’s next?
If you are ready to let go of your books, consider a donation to your local library, school, or retirement community. You may find a used book shop that will take them in trade for future reading too. Another idea is to give your books away as gifts with a short love note letting friends know why you chose the book for them. Be sure to include permission for them to pass it on with love too.
I know it feels hard, but let go of your books and make room for more reading, adventure, and discovery. If you aren’t ready to make the leap, test the waters. Box up all of your books and hide them. Only read new or borrowed books for the rest of the year, and then think about letting go again in January.