Downsizing: The Library

Whether your library is an actual room or, like me, is a random collection of book shelves scattered throughout different rooms of your home, chances are that you own books that are literally collecting dust.

If you’re anything like me or my husband, books are a difficult thing to purge. I always have ruthless intentions when it comes to books I KNOW I haven’t looked at in years, but when I pull it off the shelf and ‘look it in the eyes’, I freeze. “I love this book, how could I possibly part with it? We’re basically friends!” And so a painful debate with myself ensues, usually ending with me placing the book carefully back on the shelf for that day when my daughter becomes old enough to want to crack it open and enjoy.

Recently we were able to get over the hump and purge our collection down to a single Ikea Expedit shelving unit, and our books share half of the unit with children’s toys.


Here’s how we did it.


1) We finally faced that the library probably has it, or almost always can access it.

2) We got rid of books that we bought years ago and have never read. Even classics!

3) We got rid of books that we enjoyed reading, but couldn’t see ourselves reading again.

4) We finally faced the fact that we are not the sum of our books! They don’t define us, and in fact, nothing we own can do that.

5) Those college/uni books we spent a kajillion dollars on? No guilt required when letting them go.

6) Most importantly, we set aside a specific amount of space, and limited our book collection to what could fit there. Don’t panic, because yes, Harry Potter made the cut!


What can you do with the books you are getting rid of?


1) Donate them! Shelters, some coffee shops, Little Tiny Libraries, and other worthy organizations could really help others to benefit from the pre-loved books you are getting rid of.

2) Give them away to friends or family who want to read them.

3) Sell them on kijiji or something similar.


How to transport all those books.


Because let’s face it, books are blooming heavy. Grab some sturdy LCBO (liquor) boxes! They are the perfect size for carrying when full, and they’re free, free, free!!!

Clear your shelves, your slate, your mind. Make some space for new stories, and revel in the clarity that brings.



One Response to “Downsizing: The Library

  • It might help to know that Opa and Oma are going to get themselves some good bookshelves for our beautiful new front room and bring all our good ‘friends’ out of storage (all our favourite read-alouds, and more) from way back when you guys learned to love books. They will be available for when our grandchildren are ready to make some new friends or travel to distant times and places! I’m looking forward to traveling with them while we sit in the warm sun rays that fill the rooom through the beautiful window your dear husband put in for us last week!

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