Books can be an organizing nightmare. Some people have many bookshelves full of them. They are are big dust collectors that many times remain unread and unappreciated.
Categorize and purge
Do you still have old encyclopedia sets? Other reference books? Do you have novels sitting on your shelves that you either read or didn’t read?
Put your books into the following categories: Keep, donate, recycle.
Carefully consider what you want to keep. Do you have some favorites you read over and over? You probably want to keep those. I have a friend who has two copies of his entire Tolkien collection. One set is his hardbacks that he reads over and over. He loves Tolkien so much that he keeps a set of books to loan out so others can learn to appreciate this author as much as he does. However, he’s the exception to the rule.
Donate books that can be treasured by others. Novels that you already read are a good example of those. Kids’ books that your kids loved can be passed along to other families whose kids will also adore them.
The Maryland Book Bank or the Book Thing are good places to take them. Right now the Book Thing is closed, but they are accepting limited donations on Sunday, November 15. Visit their website for details. Goodwill, Savers or Vietnam Veterans are also good donation options.
Encyclopedias are nearly impossible to donate. They are so outdated and kids use the internet to look up things these days. They might be recyclable. If not, they have to be trashed.
Once you have pared down your book collection to the books you want to save, it’s time to do something with them.
Coffee table books are always fun to read. Your well-worn favorites are keepers too. A book of your mother’s favorite poems should be kept if you also appreciate them. Antiques, first editions or other books that have been handed down can be sold if you don’t want them or kept if you do.
References that are not outdated come in handy. Field guides on plants or animals are revised every few years, but mostly they have the same information. You probably want to keep books on your favorite pets, how-to manuals for DIY projects or hobbies. Cookbooks that you use are handy. If you never use your cookbooks, you don’t need to keep them. You can find an endless supply of recipes online.
Arrange the books in a way that makes sense to you. Try keeping reference material together and novels together. Arrange them by subject matter. Put the big books together and small ones together. Or, put hardbacks together and paperbacks together. Organize them in any way that you like, but also make sure you can easily find the reading material you want.
Another way to read is by using the Kindle app. You can do that with a smart phone, tablet or computer. Amazon also has a service called Amazon Prime Reading. If you have Amazon Prime, you already have access to Prime Reading, digital books and current magazines at no cost to you. Read them using the free Kindle website or app.
Make the most of your space by getting rid of books you don’t read. Have so many books that you don’t know where to begin? Contact me if you feel overwhelmed by books or other clutter. I’m happy to work with you to get your home organized.