My New Year’s resolutions for 2023 include reading at least 52 books this year. This prompted me to go through my collection of books and sort out the ones I have not yet read. Which then prompted me to think about how I could save money on books and declutter my space at the same time.
I tend to collect books like crazy and don’t like to get rid of them. But they are starting to take up a lot of space in our house. And like everything in my home, I like to have things mostly organized and tidy, both visually and physically. So, if you are interested in finding ways to continue to buy and read books more affordably and keep your collection organized and manageable, follow these steps.
Step One: Sort out all the books you have not yet read and set them aside
Go through your book collection and pull out all the books you haven’t read and still want to read. Set those aside for your 2023 reading challenge. I’m reading 52 books this year so rather than go out and buy 52 books, I am at least going to start with a few of the ones I haven’t read yet. Already I’m saving money!
Ask yourself if you are really going to read each book. If not, put that book in the donation pile. Don’t be wishy washy about it either. Also, keep the books you want to read in a separate pile from all your other books. I have mine stacked on a shelf in my home office so that I can look at them and think about which ones I am going to read next. I go back to this stack of books before I go out and buy another book. It doesn’t mean I am never buying a new book, but it sure helps curb the constant purchase of new books.
Step Two: Sort out books you have read but no longer want to keep and set them aside
Everyone should have their own set of criteria for this step, but I would challenge you to ask yourself these questions about the books you have read in your collection:
- Is there a chance I will read this again?
- Does this book have sentimental value for me so that I want to hang on to it?
- Do I want to give this to a good friend or family member to read?
- Do I consider this book a “classic” that I want to have in my permanent collection?
If the answer is “no” to all these questions for a particular book, then that book is a candidate for the de-cluttering pile. Try to be consistent in your decision process and think about how pleasing it will be to look at your book collection after you have cleaned it out and know that each book that remains is one that you value.
Step Three: Find a place to take books you have decided to give away or sell
So, I am very lucky to live near a used book store that will take all my books whenever I bring them by and they give me credits or points towards new and used books in their store. This is
such a great way to save money and support a local business. Plus, I just love hanging out there and talking to people about books. If you do not have this wonderful option, another idea is to donate your books to Goodwill, a local library or take a handful at a time to one of the Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood.
Step Four: Make a rule for yourself about buying new books and stick to it
Now that you have done a delicious decluttering of your personal book collection, you probably want to keep up the good work, right? I suggest making a rule for yourself so that you don’t let all those books pile up again, spend too much money on books, some of which you may or may not read. My rule is that I only bring a new book into the house once I have taken a full box of books out of the house (from that stack of books that I already said goodbye to). Each time I want to buy a new book, I load up my meori Grocery Basket and head to my favorite local used bookstore.
Did you make a reading challenge for yourself this year? If yes, we want to hear about it! Comments welcome down below.
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