I'm going to tell you a secret: I have not read that book about decluttering that everyone seems to love, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. That being said, I personally think I, myself, have a tendency to be a slight hoarder, especially when it comes to the thing I enjoy the most: books. And I don't think that's a good thing, so I'm working on it.

After having moved into my own place, I've very much made an effort to not have too much stuff. If I can't fit it in my apartment, I don't need it. I don't need to start collecting things for when "I get a bigger place" because what happens is that you move into said bigger place, and then start collecting even more things for an even bigger place and one day you're old and drowning in things you don't care for and don't need.

Wow, that escalated quickly. But you know what I mean.

Getting rid of stuff, I do with most of my other things naturally, but I've had to force myself when it comes to my books. I think it's because I put more value into a book than say, a shirt. I used to keep every single book I'd ever bought and/or read, even if I didn't like it or had lost interest in it. And I still do this to a certain extent, but here's why I think none of us should: books are supposed to, in my mind, invoke inspiration and joy. They're supposed to be something to appreciate and rejoice in, something you look at, think about, and it makes you happy.

And you know what doesn't make anyone happy? Keeping that edition of that one classic the teachers made you read in school and that you hated with a fiery passion in your dark, teenage heart.

If it doesn't make you happy, if it doesn't bring you inspiration or joy, what is the point? This is what I tell myself when I come across a book on my shelf that I simply do not wish to keep. Now, books I've read and didn't like, I've gotten pretty good at getting rid of. However, there's a lot of books on my shelves that I haven't read, books I've had for years that I still have not picked up that I feel unsure of giving away, and I think part of this is because I don't like unfinished business (which is ridiculous in this particular situation). These are the books that fill a lot of space in my shelves, space I could use for other books, or just space I could have free for the sake of free space. Why keep a book you know you're probably not going to read? It induces much more stress than it's worth, at least it does for me.

So, I've started getting rid of a lot of them. Old YA books I bought when I was younger, classics I have no interest in really reading again, poetry books I didn't like and novels I hated. I peruse my shelves, scoop them all up, donate them to charity, and hope someone else can give them some love. And it makes me a lot happier than having all these things I don't want or need.

All this being said, I do still own about a ton of books. But most of them invoke happiness in my little bookish heart, and the ones that don't, I try my best to weed out, let go and I feel more peaceful. It is, after all, just a thing.

What do you guys think? Do you get rid of books or do you keep them all?


  1. Lovely post, I relate with this so much!
    My main problem was that until recently I felt guilty giving away books –more so with the unread ones that I haven’t shown the slightest inclination of picking up even if they’re sitting on my selves for years –I felt guilty of the money I spent/or towards the person who gifted this book to me.
    As with the books that I had read and didn’t like I felt as though I HAD to keep them because they sort of completed my reading profile, that they’re part of my reading history and I needed to keep them as well.
    It was until 2 years back that I’ve decided that I don’t want to keep books that I struggled to finish or disliked anymore – I want to look at my bookshelf and see books that inspired me and shaped me to the person I am today, books that I loved and I would recommend wholeheartedly to others. I want others to browse through my books and get to understand some small parts of me. So I practiced myself to give away all those books I didn’t need and now it comes naturally. Read it? Hated it? Someone else might like it. Bought this 5 years back and my reading tastes have now changed? Somebody else might find it interesting…
    Like you’ve said, this attitude towards books induced stress –books shouldn’t be something stressful anyways- and I too feel more peaceful having books that make me happy to look at and think about! Plus on a more practical note: As much as I would love having Beast’s library from Beauty and the Beast, well, I must make do with the room I have, which for better or worse is limited… much more limited.:)
    (Sorry for the long post but your bookish reflections on this matter somewhat inspired me :P)
    Happy reading!

    1. That's exactly what I was getting at :D Good to know it's not just me! :)

  2. Jeg er så med dig! For mig er det faktisk særligt de ulæste bøger, jeg er blevet god til at skille mig af med. Det krævede lige lidt at acceptere, at det bare ikke ville komme til at ske, men det er så lettende, når de endelig er væk!

    Jeg har det faktisk sværere ved at skille mig af med de bøger, jeg har læst men ikke kunne lide. En del af det handler nok også om, at jeg ynder at notere meget i mine bøger. Så selvom jeg ikke kunne lide dem, føler jeg, at jeg har givet noget af mig selv til den bog - at jeg ligesom indgik i en samtale med den om, hvorfor jeg ikke kunne lide den. Og så bliver den, somehow, sværere at give slip på.

    Anyway, meget relevant indlæg (især for boghoardere ;) )


    1. Det er bra det ikke bare er meg! Jeg sliter også med å kvitte meg med bøker som jeg ikke likte - spesielt hvis de har det veldig vakkert cover :P

    2. Haha ja, jeg er også en sucker for et lækre covers! Men jeg plejer at følge denne selvbestaltede regel: Jeg vil ikke købe/beholde en dårlig bog, fordi den er smuk - men jeg vil gerne undlade at købe/beholde en god bog fordi den er grim.

  3. And I thought I was the only one that hasn't read 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up'.
    Over the past few years, I have grown rather fond of cleaning out and decluttering, but in all aspects of life. I do not really strive for minimalism, I found that rooms with almost nothing in them feel really uncomfortable and not cozy at all, but the same goes for packed rooms.
    When it comes to books, I recently set up a few rules, well, more like guidelines:
    As you pointed out, there really is no point in owning books you don't like.
    And due to my limited budget (I'm still in highschool) I've decided to borrow everything, wheter from the library or friends, and only buy them afterwards if it's worth it.
    And, after all, as a consumer in society, I do not like the thought of supporting aan author who is not good at what he's doing just because I'm buying after trends and bestsellers that maybe don't fit my taste.
    Of course I adore beautiful collections like yours and make occaisonal exceptions for gorgeous editions of Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, etc.
    Such an inspirational post, I might have to go through my shelves again.
    It's a lovely thought that someone else might find joy in a book that you've given away.

    1. I think that's a great way of putting it - I don't really strive for minimalism either, but rather a happy middle ground :) It's fantastic that you borrow books from the library or friends, I think that's a great way to go about it. So happy you enjoyed the post! :D


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