How I keep books from taking over my space


books.jpgI love books. I read both fiction and non-fiction ALL the time.

I found that because I love books so much, I tend to collect them very easily. If I don’t have boundaries, the books would overrun me.

So these are MY rules to prevent book clutter:

1. I only buy fiction at about 25% of the normal cost. This is because I read them too fast for me to justify the expense.
2. If I can get it at the library, I don’t buy it.
3. If I can borrow it, I don’t buy it.
4. When I’m done reading something, I rate the book out of 10. The only books on my bookshelf are those that rated 8 or higher. Not all 8’s stay but everything on the shelf is at least an 8 (or not yet read).
5. All the books that don’t make the grade either go to a secondhand bookshop or to a friend who will enjoy them. Or get donated to the library.
6. I contain myself to two small bookcases. When they become cramped, I get ruthless 🙂 . It usually becomes easier to get rid of something that was a must-have a few years ago!
7. I don’t feel compelled to keep any book that has been gifted to me. I want to surround myself with books I love and use.

How do you keep the book clutter at bay?

Please share your ideas in the comments!

P.S. I decluttered that pile of books in the picture recently.


4 thoughts on “How I keep books from taking over my space

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  • September 7, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    I don’t know if I could get rid of my books. Some books are so good that I want to read them again. I might just end up setting up one room with bookcases and have a mini library set up.

  • Pingback: Five Rules for Decluttering Books « Simplify!

  • September 22, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    1) audio books
    not the same thing as reading a book, but can be a way of saving a book in less space. My library allows download borrowing.

    2) Guttenberg Project classics (free downloads),
    a temporary copy can be printed for reading if desired (easier on the eyes) and the book can be saved without wasted space.

    That said, I like classics & rereading books, and I don’t have much spending money, so if I get to buy a book, I usually want to keep it! Plus, I have books I have to keep since I work from home as a writer. So I focus on neat/pretty arrangements on matching color bookshelves.

    (My bigger problem is paper and files… I’m trying at the moment to scan in so I don’t need a unsightly metal 4-drawer file cabinet… but a little time consuming.)

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