How To Declutter Your Bookshelf

By: Gabriel Garcia

Books. One of the greatest inventions of mankind. However, though books are a wonderful source of entertainment and knowledge there is a downside to our wonderful book collections at home; they take up a lot of space.

So when you find your book collection is getting too overwhelming and you need to cut down how do you decide to get rid of the books in a way that won’t break your heart? Here are some useful tips on how to get rid of your unwanted book clutter.

1. Aim to get rid of factually outdated books

Non-fiction books get outdated. As the years come and go information and knowledge change. What we, as humanity, thought we knew 10 years ago may be completely different from what we know now. Textbooks get updated and general/specialised books can be made redundant with the discovery of new information. A good example of the latter point is government files that get declassified after a few decades making former assumptions of events completely redundant or new technology that allows humanity to expand its collective knowledge on what we know about space. The point being textbooks (especially university or high school textbooks) are always being revised and general/specialised non-fiction books can be made redundant with new discoveries. So feel free to get rid of the outdated books, they are a waste.

2. Aim to get rid of books that you have no interest in

Book collections are like a portal into our past. They tell us what we were interested in (or what we were forced to study). But who we were is not necessarily who we are in the present. Tastes change and book collections should evolve to match your current tastes. You may have had an interest in dinosaurs back in your childhood but would you really keep a book about dinosaurs into your twenties? Unless you have maintained an interest in the books of your past get rid of them.

3. Get rid of books that don’t keep pace with your intellect or those of your family

Like how books can become factually outdated, books can become intellectually outdated. What is meant by this is that as you grow in knowledge certain books will seem too simple. If you have no knowledge about World War Two then a basic book that gives an overview is perfect. But if you already know all the basic facts off by heart then such a book is more of a waste of space. You know the Allies won, Hitler persecuted the Jews, and the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour. You don’t need a book to tell you that. Another example is kids’ books. If you have teenagers then get rid of the books you used to read to them as children. They are intellectually outdated and a waste of space.

4. Get rid of books you have read to death

We all have a favourite book. And there is no problem with keeping that book. But there are other books that we have read to death and are best gotten rid of. These can be non-fiction books that have outlived their interest or fiction books that you can literally quote. Unless you still enjoy reading them get rid of them.

5. Get rid of damaged books

It’s a no-brainer. If books have pages falling out of them and can’t be repaired to the recycling bin they should go.

6. Remember books don’t define you

Some people believe that books are a part of their character. Book collections can be seen as an expression of who they are. They like to show their book collection off on social media. And though there is no judgment here books don’t define a person. You don’t need to keep a book collection you will never use just because it looks good or it makes people think that you are intelligent.

Final note

Even though you may not love the books you plan to get rid of doesn’t mean someone else might not want them. If books are undamaged give them to a charity or sell them online. And if they are damaged remember books are recyclable so throw them into the recycling bin.

Article supplied with thanks to 1079life.

Feature image: Photo by Aneta Pawlik on Unsplash

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