Ideas for Too Many Books (as If there is such a thing)
Books, glorious books
Oh, how I love my books, too! I feel your pain, Caryl, and everyone else who finds comfort in being surrounded by books, yet overwhelmed and perhaps guilty at the same time. Excellent suggestions have been made in the prior hubs answering your request. I will add just a few more ideas.
Regular, frequent reassessment
I am getting myself in the habit of re-examining my collections every few months. Because I have done a career change or two, I have a plethora of job-related tomes. Once I feel that a need for certain information is in the past for good, it is easier for me to send those subject matter books elsewhere. Also, the explosion of good information available on-line has reduced my need to keep books with possibly outdated material. I apply a similar philosophy to children's books. Of course, I am keeping my favorites, classics, out-of-prints, etc..., ones I want to have on hand for nieces, nephews, neighborhood rascals and grandchildren. However, I now look at a children's book and ask myself if some else could benefit from it more than me. I hark to a scene from the movie Star Trek IV in which Captain James T. Kirk sells a pair of antique eyeglasses at a pawn shop. His philosophy was that it was time for someone else to enjoy the item. So, who needs it more: them or me?
Ins and outs
A strategy that some people use to avoid cluttering their lives is that whenever one thing comes into the home, something must leave. I am not a purist in following this system, but I like the flavor of it. If I am intrigued enough to acquire a new book, perhaps I can decide that I am well done with another that I own and send it on its way.
..to a Good home
Knowing one of my beloved books is going to be loved and cared for makes it easier to give it up. Sometimes I will offer a book to a friend and ask her not to return it; just pass it on to someone else who might enjoy it. Another way I can insure that my book is wanted is through freecycling. I post the description of the book and only those who want it reply.
Find Space where none exists
There is a possibility that you, like I, have not exploited all the possible space in your home to store your library. In my home I have added shelves above some doorways. This would have been otherwise wasted space. Knowing that I need to do more looking up along my rooms, I am comforted that I will create more storage and I will be able to manage my book collection.
Oh no, another book!
to us all! :)
Text copyright 2008 Maren E. Morgan