I will just admit at the beginning of this post that I have a lot of books. But I don't have nearly as many as I used to have.
I used to be of the mindset that a person couldn't have too many books. I love to read and would proudly display all my books on bookshelves. I hoped people would look at them and know a little bit more about me.
We've lived in some houses that have had great built-in bookshelves and they were screaming for books to be placed on their shelves. And we also had a couple of our own bookshelves. Between my husband, myself and our two little girls (budding readers), we had a lot of books!
But then we moved into this house....a house with no built-in bookshelves.
At first I thought we'd just buy some bookshelves, but then I took a good, hard look at my books and decided it was time to let go.
These are some of the questions I asked myself when going through my books:
- Have I read this book?
- If no, will I ever read it?
- If yes, will I read this again?
- Do I use this book as a regular resource?
- Do I have access to this book somewhere else? (library or friend)
- Is there someone I think would enjoy this book? (gift it!)
- Is this book worth money? (sell it!)
It was easy to get rid of books I knew others would enjoy or I could easily access somewhere else. I also got rid of a bunch of books I'd had for quite a while but never read. I couldn't believe the weight that lifted off my shoulders when I let them go.
I sold quite a few books that were worth money and used PaperBack Swap for others.
As a home educating family, I like to have books on hand to enhance what we are studying and learning. I also want to create an environment where reading is important and enjoyed by all. I want my girls to have favorite books they can pull off the shelves and read. I'll never get rid of all our books, but I have stopped hoarding and collecting them.
We use the library a lot. It helps that we live a mile away and have a great inter-library loan system. I can order what I need from home and run in and pick them up when they are ready. My girls have favorites they like to get whenever they can, and it's been fun to teach them they don't have to buy and keep every book they like. They can check it out from the library as often as they like!