…and I know most who know how many books I own would probably scoff at that blog title. But, believe it or not, it is something that I am determined to practice — and have been aiming to do for quite some time.
It’s easy to get overrun with books — especially when used book sales pop up. When it’s only $1 or even $0.50 per book, it’s hard to resist. So what if it’s beat up? It’s CHEAP! I think I vaguely recall that author from somewhere…. Nice cover… Unique edition… Has some nice color plates… Excuses, excuses. Do you REALLY need to buy that book?
Chances are — probably not. Especially before I moved, I amassed a fair quantity of books. Novels I read in high school and knew I’d never read again. Books that professors were giving away for free that contained information that I may or may not ever need (best to be safe and have the resource, right?). Not to mention the many goodies from used book sales with those irresistibly low prices.
But it was, dare I say, too many. And I came to realize that others might get more pleasure out of some of those books than me. So I gave them away. I wouldn’t be surprised if I got rid of over 100 books before I moved (I know it was over 50, at least). And since I’ve been in my new home, I know I’ve gotten rid of at least another 30 or 40.
And it feels great. The best rule of thumb is if you never use the book, and probably never will use it, lose it. (Or, if you don’t love it, give it to someone who will, for the more compassionate-minded folks out there.)
Now, I do still own many, and always will. I have a number of reference materials that I use all the time. And I have many classics — but I keep only the ones that I thoroughly enjoy and have every intention of reading again in the future. I need to keep adequate space on my shelves, though!
Recently, I forced myself into a challenge not buy myself a single book for three months. A little tricky on occasion, but overall, it was a good lesson in self-discipline. And it has made it easier to practice what I preach. The reward at end? Three new books — one for each month I didn’t buy any. And they’re all keepers.
Used book sale season is coming up, too. I have every intention of being highly discerning this year…