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.
Here are the books I’ve read recently or plan to read soon.
1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently
Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life
Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Busy Moms
Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to Being Happy, Confident, and You in a Looks-Obsessed World
Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol
Away & Aware: A Field Guide to Mindful Travel
Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness
WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game
Books are meant to be enjoyed. Read them, love them, learn from them and pass them on. I’ve written more about books here, here and here.