I used to have a LOT of books, but recently in the past several years I’ve been getting rid of a lot of the paper copies of my books. I still have my kindle but I haven’t been using it as much.

I used to pick up books at every thing I could. School book fairs, club book sales, library book sales, garage sales, you name it.

I’ve always loved the idea of having my own at home library. To that end, I suppose it’s counter productive to get rid of them.

But eventually I came to several conclusions about my book collection that really helped me de clutter the amount of books I own.

Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

I don’t need a library to enjoy the books I like.

I realized that even if I like a book, that doesn’t mean I have to buy a copy of it. Especially if I’m not actually going to read it again.

If I’m not going to read it that often, I can go to the library and check it out when I want to. Or rent it on my kindle or phone.

Having a large collection of books is very pleasing to the eye of course.

A lot of the books were outdated.

I have a thing for history and nonfiction books. I love reading these books but I don’t usually reread them that often.

Because most of those books I had gotten from my school library book sale, they were often not in good condition and were usually outdated.

I think it’s okay to keep outdated books, especially if they’re not THAT outdated. But I felt weird keeping them in my personal library collection.

I’ve been moving around a lot.

One of the biggest reasons I got rid of most of my books is because of moving. Books are HEAVY and I often have been the only person moving my stuff.

I have two rolling suite cases and so my trick is to pack my books in those. But due to only having two suitcases, that limited the amount of books I’ve been able to pack.

I think we can still love books and not have a huge collection.

Obviously some day when I have my own place and enough money, I plan on having a huge library collection. But I also think we should normalize that even if you love books, you don’t have to own a lot of them.

I’ve been into minimalism more lately and one of the areas I’ve been more minimalist in is my books for sure.

I also haven’t been keen on spending a lot of money lately and even if you get books second hand, that can still get expensive.

I do think there’s something to be said for keeping a book because you honestly enjoy it over and over vs just keeping a book to keep a book.

Some people are not able to buy books a lot even if they get them on sale or secondhand. I think recognizing that we don’t need to own a lot to still love them is another reason why that’s important.

Photo by Radu Marcusu on Unsplash

There are some books I regret giving away.

I made sure that the books I donated were ones that I’ve either read before or ones that I owned but never actually picked up to read.

But there are a couple of random ones I wish I still had. I still wish I had taken the time to read some of the more academic books before I donated them.

Some of the books I regret giving away were books from my favorite series as a kid. For example, I hadn’t read the Artemis Fowl books in forever but I used to love them when I was younger. When I found out the movie was being released (glad I saw it on Disney+ instead of in theaters), I brought all the books I had with me. Except then the books sat there for months, I never touched them.

So in light of that, I decided it was best if I donated them and hoped someone else gets to enjoy them as well. I somewhat regret doing that as I loved them a lot and reread them quite often until I got to college.

But I also think it’s okay to understand when we outgrow a series and when it’s okay to let them go. We don’t need to hoard every book we own, even if we used to love it. Our tastes change throughout the years and it’s okay to acknowledge that.

I Keep a lot of books on my Kindle

Although I prefer to read paper books, I do keep a lot of books on my kindle now. I think this is a great alternative to having a lot of paper and hardback books until I settle down in a place.

My biggest drawback to this method is that my account is on my mom’s old account and I am unable to transfer the books. I think this is an essential feature and I will never understand why Amazon hasn’t created this yet.

If I ever get locked out of the account, I will have lost so many books.

However, I still enjoy having an e-reader and I love taking advantage of some of their great features. I also enjoy being able to rent books online through my phone and Ipad. Especially when I’m traveling, this is a fantastic option to bring several books with me.

I can make better decisions now

It helps knowing that I donated the books I didn’t want to good causes and to people who will really love them. I also sold a lot of my used books to Half-Price Books which has been a great way to get a little something back.

I think the decluttering process has really helped me form better money habits as well. Now I only buy a book if I know I will love it, already have read it, or am trying to complete a series that I’m reading. I also understand that I can pick more quality selections from book sales, just because it’s a book I’m interested in, doesn’t mean I need to buy it however cheap it is. Instead, I can check it out at the library if I’m unsure. In the end, my bank account thanks me.

In the End

Overall, although I have some minor regrets, it has been worth it. Especially deciding which books I really loved and understanding that I don’t need to keep every book ever. It doesn’t make my love of reading any less than what it is.


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5 thoughts on “Why I decluttered the majority of my book collection.

  1. This was such a nice post 🙂 I wasn’t able to buy many books growing up so the library has always been my favorite place to get books. I feel like a lot of times we get this constant flood of a “need” to buy books from the book community to show that we’re book lovers, but in truth, a love a books has nothing to do with materialism. It just has to do with how the books make us feel 😀

    I’m also not really big on rereading books so if I buy a book, it’s more so to have it to lend to others (mainly my younger cousins)

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    1. Thank you! I could have bought more books new when I was younger (and even now) but honestly it’s hard to justify spending $20 per book roughly unless it’s a special event. The library has always also been my favorite place to get books as well. And I agree, I think there is a lot of pressure to buy books, I’ve been seeing some push back from the community when book bloggers talk about that this can turn out to be an expensive hobby. Especially if you’re trying to do a review before other people do it. That’s true as well, books make us feel something special so no wonder people keep them around.

      I rarely lend my books out! Most of my friends and family don’t like the same genres I do so I usually don’t have many people asking to borrow something.

      Liked by 1 person

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