5 Ways to Let Go of Your Beloved Books
In a few months, we're leaving our family home for a smaller yet cozier place in the South. Since our new space has limited room, we've had to do a lot of downsizing and one of our biggest challenges was paring down the books we owned because we all love to read.
While it was a lot easier for me than the rest of them—I don't have a lot to begin with because I decluttered them a little over a year ago using the KonMari method!—I found that it was still a tough process. After half a day (and hours of emotional struggle), I can safely say that I'm happy with the results as I'm left with only my favorites and titles I know I'll keep going back to.
If you're also interested in letting your library breathe, here are some things I did that I think can help you, too. Check them out below:
- Sort them by category or status.
If you enjoy collecting books of all genres, it's best to sort them out in different brackets to make the decluttering process less overwhelming—try Fiction, Non-Fiction and Reference. Once you're done, you can start purging by category.
In my case, most of my books were generally fiction so I decided to sort them out in To Read, Did Not Finish, and Read piles. I made the call to move all the Did Not Finish books to the donation stack immediately as I know I will never reach for those again.
- Purge your Read pile.
This part is a little tricky—especially if you really love reading, your Read pile is probably a giant stack of paperbacks and hardcovers. To make it a little easier, I broke it down further to Favorites and Enjoyed categories. I kept everything from my stack of favorites while I went through the Enjoyed pile and discarded books that were already falling apart or ones that were just for required reading before returning everything back on the shelves.
- Curate a proper to-read pile.
Whether you collect them through book swaps or you love taking advantage of sales, we're all guilty of hoarding books—sometimes, to the point where our To-Read pile is twice the size of our Read pile. To help me conquer my To-Read pile without getting sentimental, I did the try-a-chapter organizing trick. I read the first chapter of every book and if I didn't find it engrossing or interesting, I made the executive decision to let it go.
- Create guide questions.
Having a set of guide questions gives you something to work with—a pattern to follow to help keep you on the right track. If you have difficulty deciding whether to keep or let go of something, try answering these quick queries:
- Have I read this book in the last year (or at least browsed through it)?
- Do I have multiple copies of this book?
- Will I actually read this book again?
- If I lost this book, do I love it enough to repurchase it?
- Be honest with yourself.
This is probably the hardest but most important step! One of the challenges I encountered while sorting through my books was I found it difficult to discard titles that were rare or expensive even if I had no intention of reading them.
Be realistic and only keep titles you see yourself enjoying in the near future—if you find that you have books you have owned for years without cracking them open, chances are, you're never going to and it's best to find them a new home.
This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.
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Outdoors Danielle Flestado @artdkf | May 1, 2020 "I miss the outside world. The last time I went outside of our house was on my birthday. We just bought coffee across our village and went back home immediately. This painting made me feel that I'm in a field, just appreciating the beauty of God's creation. Can you imagine the green grass and pink flowers?"
When everything around you suddenly turns dark, the first thing we'd prolly do, as humans, is to find and grab anything that is closest and nearest to us. We'll hold onto them for as long as we can, trying to collect ourselves and gather courage to adjust our eyesights to the pitch black environment that's consuming us minute by minute. And then you'd hear nothing. Your sense of hearing would somehow go off after not seeing anything for quite awhile. You'll let loose. Cry. Panic. You'll be exhausted for fighting your way out. Then just when you're about to stop and give up, you're no longer afraid. There's only this deafening silence and pithole of darkness that's gonna eat you up alive. And surprisingly, you'll make a home out of it.
You'll make a home out of the darkness that when a ray of light suddenly hits you, you'll try to avoid it. You'll try to cover your eyes. You'll try to cover your ears from the voices trying to help you get out of it. You'll try to hide because your mind and body will go against your will to come out and live. Because the darkness that used to scare you, now comforts you in a way you thought has helped you survived life. And you'll try to live. Day by day. In the darkness. Not knowing where to go. Not knowing where to start. Not knowing who is with you. You will try to live until the darkness that once surrounds you is now within you. And everyday, it's gonna be a cycle of subtle torture. But let me tell you a secret. The darkness won't make you whole.
You'll be broken. And in those hair-like cracks, the light will stubbornly fight its way through until it warms you up. Until you realize to check the switch and turn it on. Until you allow other people to help you find your way back in the light. Until you realize you're ready to live in light again. There's a light at the end of this long and dreading tunnel. The only question that matters: will you let them in?
I always thought of life, like a bead where each piece makes it worth sewing together with other piece of beads to make a stronger bond and to create a beautiful result. Today, how do we bond well with different people especially this difficult time? As this day challenges us to a new normal, may we continue to bead along positively with our life.