Lovin’ the questions! Keep ‘em coming. Today I’ll share my advice on getting rid of books! We all have them.
Readers Question About Getting Rid of Books:
So, I’m wondering…how do you help people get rid of books? Weed out the ones they don’t really need? I LOVE books! Don’t have ton, but I’m sure I could clean out a few….but I have sentimental attachment to them. I know that is kinda stupid. Especially ones that I really liked and learned a lot from…I kinda look at them on the shelf as little memories in time…little tangible timeline markers of my personal growth. I think that is why I’m attached.
I look at them and it reminds me of where I’ve come from. What I’ve learned. How I’ve grown. Emotionally…several self help books here I’m talkin’ about. At times I’ve thought to myself…”hey, if I ever need it I can always get another one or there is the library.” But then I think about all of my notes …I LOVE highlighting and writing notes in the margins. ; )
Well Hello to You Kel, (Toots!?! Haha!)
Sentimental attachment is the number one reason people keep things and have a harder time letting them go. As far as your books are concerned, then these tips may be just what you need to make some decisions:
Ask yourself these questions to help you make a decision…
- Is the content sooooo good that you wouldn’t risk lending it out? Then keep it.
- Do you refer the book to other people? (Or risk lending it out) Then keep it.
- Do YOU refer to the book? Definitely keep it!
- Do you rarely tell others about the book because you have a better one on the same general subject matter? It’s just so-so and you think there’s a better version out there. Possibly even an updated version!?! Let this one go.
- Are you keeping it, not because it is the best book ever, but because it is proof of where you’ve been or what you’ve been through? Not a good reason for it to stay on your bookshelf. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone.
- And since you mentioned keeping the books as a way to see and remember your own stages of personal growth (highlights & notes, included) then that’s really up to you. I can tell you it’s been my experience that handwriting is a VERY STRONG bond that many have a hard time breaking. Handwritten notes & highlights seem to bring on nostalgia in a BIG WAY. Make your decision before you open that book and see what’s written inside. You may find that you were willing to let it go until you saw the writing! (Humor me by testing this theory out! And don’t fool yourself by trying to remember any details about the books before you make the decision. Just go with your gut instinct.)
- Are you thinking “What if…” I am researching or doing a project or someone else may need it one day…”because it is useful.” Outta there. The internet and bookstores are great places to research stuff. As a matter of fact, more people turn to the internet before they re-open some of those books.
- Close your eyes or go to another room. Take a piece of paper and write down the color of the book, the titles and the authors of the ones you remember without looking. It doesn’t have to be exact. Keep these books, because they are good enough for you to remember them!
Still having trouble? It’s often hard to break the sentimentalist streak. Try this tactic.
- Do the “how do I feel when I look at this book” test. When you look at a book, do you feel light and happy? Great keep it.
- When you see a book do you feel nothing? Notice if your brain is “trying to make you feel a connection or reason you should keep it.” And if your mind is taking over, then that’s a sign that you don’t really need it. It’s just your mind playing tricks on you. Yep, it’s outta there!
- When you see a book do you feel mad or angry? See ya!
If all else fails, let’s be logical? Try this…
- Do you need the space that getting rid of some books will free up?
- Are you tired of dusting ‘em? HINT: If they’re really dusty, then they are taking up more of your space & energy than they are doing anything for you at this point in your life. They served their purpose & time with you. Let those babies go.
- Do you really, really, really refer to them? I bet there are at least 2 out of every 8 books that you can let go of. (I made that number up, by the way!)
- Do you really want to let some go, even if you don’t really want to? How’d you like that twist on words & thinking!?! If you do, then just feel the pang of letting go of some books and know that life will still go on. You will still be wonderful, beautiful you.
- Are you using the book as a decorative piece in your home? Then keep it.
Thanks for a great question! You can keep as much as you want. Don’t feed into the “I should get rid of this” mindset. Do it because you want to get rid of it. The so-so books can go. Keep the rest and when you are ready to purge some more, then it’ll probably be even easier the next go round.
Do you have a burning question you want advice on? Send your question to melody @melodygranger .com!
What do you think? Do you have any suggestions or tips for Kel that have worked for you? And if you’ve gotten rid of books before, please tell me the upside to your decisions. How’d you end up feeling about it?
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Enjoy your day!