If you are like me and I figure many of you are, you have books all over your house. For me, they are on my desk in the backroom, on the floor beside my desk, in my car, on my side table in my reading nook, on the floor next to said side table, in the laundry room, kitchen, family room, home office floor, bedside table, hall bookshelves, bedroom bookshelves, and yes, two stacks on the ironing board. The last one makes it hard to iron slacks.
Now I know that if Farmer Greg gets his homemade wine out from in front of bookshelves, I will be able to organize these stacks a little better. Today I was reading one of my favorite design blogs. It’s really house porn. I’m never going to do all of these things but I like to look at it.
Here are Simply Statedcontributor, Erin Doland’s, tips to unclutter your bookshelves:
1 Give away any books that you don’t plan on reading or referencing again, are in the public domain, and can be found in their entirety online.
2 Keep the leather-bound copy of The Scarlet Letter that your grandmother gave you on her deathbed.
3 Give away or recycle out-of-date reference books. They’re full of inaccurate data.
4 Keep books that you love and books that provide you with significant utility.
5 Give away books that you’ve been storing for the sole purpose of impressing your houseguests. If you’ve never read the complete works of Shakespeare, and you never plant to read the complete works of Shakespeare, get rid of the complete works of Shakespeare.
Many customers think I keep tons of books but I’m pretty good about culling every so often. Please take them to the Houston Public Library (any branch). They usually are not put in circulation but sold at the huge Friends of the Library sale which raises funds for the library. Bestsellers and easy to read paperbacks can be taken to hospital waiting rooms. They have carts there for people to pick up books, wanting to be distracted by a good story.
The final resort is sadly but at least it is earth friendly. Put them in the paper recycle bin and cross your fingers that the paper ends up being used in a new book just waiting for you.
Some people might say that if we all bought e-readers (and yes, I own 2), we wouldn’t have this problem. I say that if I walk into your house and I don’t see reading material piled up, well, I think there’s a little less heart there. And even if e-books are all the rage now, I want my books surrounding me.
Reading in papered bliss,
“We cherish books even if unread, their mere presence extends comfort, their ready access, reassurance.”
A.E. Newton (on Blue Willow’s east wall)