Have a passion for books? Are books stacked high, covering all available surfaces and shelves of the house? Bookitis, the inflammation of books in one’s life, is a common malady and source of clutter. As Julie Wallace, the owner of Wallace Books in Portland, Oregon says, “Recycle and clear those shelves., You will be able to find Any book you really want to read again. Things have changed, and it’s no longer necessary to stockpile your house with every book you’ve ever owned.” Whatever your relationship is with books, take some time to sort and reorganize your book clutter. Where to begin?
Start by sorting and categorizing your books.
- Sort according to what you want to keep and what you want to toss.
- Categorize the keepers by subject matter, purpose, or authors. Fiction may be sorted by authors’ last names, while work-related material might be grouped according to subject matter.
Once you have determined what books you want to keep, set them aside (or rope them off if the pile is too large). Determine what to do with the books you’ve decided to toss.. Suggestions include:
- Donate books to charitable organizations: assisted living homes, half way houses, libraries
- Sell books. Have a garage or yard sale, sell books online (amazon.com, powells books, ebay, PaperbackSwa)
- Trade at used bookstores;
- Bookbuyers Bookstore
- Carpe Diem Fine Books
- Other local Monterey bookstores
Swap books. Passing around books among friends is a good way to keep books moving off your coffee table. Have a book swap afternoon with your neighbors and neighbor children. Get yourself and your children in the habit of letting go of books you’ve outgrown.
Store books. You may have some books that will be used later. Store those books in a high, dry place in a dust-free container. For example, you may have a set of Great Books that you want to save for your grandchildren or family heirloom books, yearbooks, or other keepsake books. I have old grammar and music books that I keep for the history and memories associated with my mother. Whatever books you treasure, but no longer read, tuck them safely away.
Once you have determined what books to recycle, it’s time to organize and shelve the keepers. Our relationship with books is very personal, so deciding what books you want where needs to fit with your lifestyle and purpose. Organize according to your main reading needs. For example, the following categories might fit:
Decide on categories then , store or display the books near where they’re used. Keep current reading on the nightstand, coffee table, or reading nook. Shelve cookbooks in the kitchen. Put reference books, work or study-related, books in your home office. Minimize dust and allergens by keeping just a few books in the bedrooms. Use bookshelves to keep your books organized, and consider built-in shelving if you redecorate. Ikea and Target both have inexpensive shelving which will help keep your books organized.
Having fewer books and learning to let go of books when you are finished with them, frees up a lot of space and energy in your home. Sharing books and knowing that the books are being used, should help motivate you to move some of those volumes off the shelves and out of the boxes (you know the ones in the back of the closet or in the spare room!). Happy sorting!