downsizing but valuing your books

Although we are in the age of Kindle, many beautiful bookshelves still exist! If you haven’t moved in a while, there could be a collection covering many years.

Do you have to give up your library? We like this bookcase wall, enveloping the door and storage. (Dezeen)

Do you have to give up your library? We like this bookcase wall, enveloping the door and storage. (Dezeen)

It is hard to part with books, though often necessary when going into a smaller house. One friend we knew had 25 boxes of back-breaking titles, ranging from high school math texts through the most unmemorable airport trash pick-ups.

While most books were untouched for decades, she insisted on keeping any book she had purchased. The process of downsizing was difficult, though she wasn’t a hoarder in other ways. We organized things by genre first.

Over the next few weeks, books were donated to libraries, schools and book sales discovered in neighboring towns.  It was a slow enough process, driven in part by bagging and placing books into the car trunk as a motivating force.

Eventually, we were down to three shelves.  At this stage, a new book rule took place to “catch and release” them.  If a book came in, then a book went out the door.  It created a new kind of freedom, without all the (literal) heavy baggage.

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