The adventures of a bookworm

Thoughts: My books or How my book hoarding days are over

Thoughts: My books or How my book hoarding days are over

This post I want to tell you how I have stopped hoarding books. I mean, I still love books, but I have started to seriously reduce my collection of books at home. So how did I do it?

Well, let’s first start with my hoarding habit. My parents have an actual library in their house and it is every book nerds dream. Think Beauty and the Beast. It even has a little ladder. (Ok, I am way overselling this by now, but it’s cool). Besides being full of wonderful books, it also made me aspire to have my own one day and so the hoarding started. 

When I first moved out of my parents’ house I had some books, not too many, just a good amount. I left a lot of my childhood books in boxes with my parents and only took the more ‘mature’ ones with me. Over the years of my time at university, my collection grew. I started to culminate a lot of Architecture themed books and I still bought a lot of new books (curse you and your cheap books @thebookdepository). This made moving very hard, the first time I moved again I WAY overpacked the boxes with books and nearly broke my back. I had to start layering my books 3 deep, so they would fit in my bookcase. It was not a pretty sight.

One of my bookcases when it wasn’t so bad yet.
My bookcase when I lived with roommates (80% are my books)

So what changed? Well, I read ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo and it was definitely life-changing. I decided I had to get rid of books I never planned on reading. Then I decided I wanted to be happy when looking at my bookshelves, so only the books I really loved could stay. All the others should be gifted to others or to second-hand shops and such. There is actually a really great place in Rotterdam called ‘De Leeszaal’ where you can deposit books and people can take up to 10 books a day. A great place if you want to leave your books in a good place and also a great place if you want more books in your life.

I slowly started to get rid of books that had been collecting dust for years in the third row of my bookcase. I also separated my ‘to read’ books from my ‘read’ books, in a desperate attempt to show myself I did not need to buy more books. I still do this, it somewhat helps. This year I have also decided I am getting rid of all the books on my ‘to read’ shelve that have been there untouched since the start of the year. 

The biggest change came when I moved again in July of this year. I had finally finished my Architecture studies and it was time to start letting go of those books. I was also highly critical of all the books in my bookcase. They had to really mean something to me, or I had to still plan to read them, or they would not be coming. I nearly halved my book collection this way and made a lot of people very happy with my books.

My bookcase as it is now.

So this is my bookcase now, I think I have a third left of the books I had in my top hoarding days. I am very pleased with the result. Every time I look at my books I get all warm and fuzzy because all the books in them have great memories attached. The two squares overflowing with books on the right are my ‘to read’ books and I can’t wait to purge that too at the end of the year.

Could you do it? Or do you prefer to hold on to all your books for all of your life? Let me know in the comments below!



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