Books are a sensitive subject for aspiring minimalists. Some people assume because I recommend letting go of your books, I don’t like books. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I love books. I wrote a book. I love reading books, sharing books and giving books away. What don’t I like about books is storing them, moving them and forcing myself to read them when I don’t really feel like it just because I own them.
Here is my minimalist approach to books. Once I’m finished reading a book, instead of putting it on a bookshelf to collect dust, I pass it on. I give it to my daughter or another friend. Or, I give it away on Instagram or donate it.
When I first started simplifying my life and decluttering, books were off limits. I never dreamt I’d get rid of hundreds of books. Instead, I focused on the easier things like clothes I didn’t wear, empty picture frames, measuring cups, and spatulas (so many spatulas). Once all the easy clutter was gone, I started to feel differently about my books. What purpose were they serving? I had either read them or avoided them. I moved them when I moved. I installed shelves or purchased furniture for them. I dusted them (occasionally).
My books were there to prove I loved reading, but I wasn’t reading the books I owned. Once I realized that, I let them all go. I let go of the books and embraced my love of reading.
I purchase books to support authors and check books out of the library too. I’m usually reading a non-fiction (daytime) and fiction (nighttime) book at the same time and am listening to an Audiobook when I’m walking or traveling.