yesterday, i gave away a book to a friend named jenna. it really wasn’t that big of a deal. i overheard her mention that she was planning to go buy a certain book. i knew that i had a copy of the book on my shelf that i had already read. the next time that i saw her, i grabbed it and gave it to her. she was thrilled. i had saved her money and communicated the value that i place on our relationship.
the whole episode got me thinking, “as a minimalist, what should i do with my books?” i’ve seen the same question asked elsewhere. here are my thoughts on the subject:
- books that i have never read nor plan to read – get rid of them. examples would include books that were given to you or books that were recommended to you that no longer interest you. these books are just taking up space, creating clutter, and distracting you from the important things in your life. donate to a local library, goodwill, or garbage dump.
- books that i have read and have no use for anymore – get rid of them. examples would include fictional books or self-help books that weren’t all that helpful. again, get rid of them. there’s just no reason to keep them on your shelf or in your life.
- books that i have read that have become influential in my life – lend them out. these are the books that have helped shaped my life. they have made a difference in me and made me a better person. if so, these books woud make the same positive difference in someone else’s life. holding on to them would be a shame. put your name in the front cover and lend it out to someone who be equally challenged - and keep track of who you’ve given them to so that you can get them back.
- books that i have read and use often – keep them close. examples would include reference books, inspirational books, devotionals, etc. if you are drawing knowledge or inspiration from them on a regular basis, keep them handy on your shelf. and you should be able to find them easier with the other three categories removed.
happy reading. and minimalizing.