I own too many books. Can you relate? And while “too many” is subjective, it is the truth. Between homeschool books, craft books, cookbooks, travel books…well, if I ever wanted to be a librarian, I am halfway there. Being a homeschool family and being voracious readers (all of us), we have enough reading material in this house for ten families. So when the task at hand is sorting out my books and magazines, here are 5 tips I use to help me decide whether to keep or let go. Remember, the simpler you make your life, the happier you are!
1. If you haven’t needed it in over 2 years, let it go. If it is a reference book but you haven’t opened it for your home or homeschool in two years, let it go. You can always find that information via a book at your local library later if needed.
2. Keep favorites, but release those that just take up space. Some books just mean a lot to us. I will never give up certain cookbooks or classic books I have. Ever. If you really love your travel books, cookbooks, old copy of The Hobbit, or some other category, then keep them. But consider being more ruthless going through other categories, or just keeping your very favorites.
3. If you have already read it, seriously consider sharing the love and donating it! Donate gently used children’s books your kids no longer use (or you are tired of reading) to church nurseries, local preschools, any business that offers a childcare area. Consider donating books to a local nursing home! As a speech pathologist I started my career in a nursing home in Florida. I was amazed how much some of the residents read (and those visiting there). I can tell you from experience that new reading material was always SOOO appreciated!
4. ebay magazines. Believe it or not there is a good market on ebay for magazine bundles for magazines, recent and old. (If they don’t sell, you can donate them to office waiting rooms or nursing homes; anyplace where people tend to spend a lot of time waiting.) If your magazines are 20 years old, they are now considered “vintage” and able to be sold on Etsy.
5. Books are HEAVY so when sorting, hold them to a standard. Make sure it meets the standard of “totally worth packing and moving and unpacking again” before you put it in the KEEP pile.
1. Consider buying future books for an e-reader, like kindle or nook instead of buying physical copies. I am doing this now for both my leisure reading and homeschool books. My nook has more than paid for itself. These books are always cheaper than their paperback or hardback counterparts and take up NO SPACE.
2. Utilize your local library. When I finally got around to getting a library card, I spent less than half that year on books and magazines than I did the previous year!
3. Hold a book swap. You get to read new books without adding more physical volumes. Everyone saves money. This is especially great when you get together with your girlfriends and hold a “Cookbook Swap”. Make the swaps permanent and that way no one has to worry about getting a book back to its “owner”.
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