Day 5 – Decluttering Books

Books are a wonderful source of information and joy – a journey into another world. I have written and published more than a dozen books so I have a natural interest in books and you would think that I have hundreds, but I don’t. I read all books on a Kindle now. The problem is the books that accumulated pre-Kindle. I have already done quite a lot of decluttering of books – those I won in raffles (I belonged to a book association)or was given free at conferences, but never read. Also those that were about an interest I had in the past but never think about any more. They are already gone. We do have a large bookcase in my husband’s study but that is his domain and many of the books came with us from Italy, so he is loathe to get rid of them.

The problem is that many of these books no longer serve any purpose but to clutter up our spaces. We have the internet now for research and inspiration and e-readers for fiction. They are also so heavy and bulky to pack and move to a new home.

Book shelves after decluttering

Book shelves after decluttering

A bookcase I used to have

A bookcase I used to have pre-decluttering

We have to ask ourselves some hard questions.

  • Have you actually ever read the book?
  • If you have, will you ever look at the book again?
  • Is the information in the book outdated?
  • Is the book plain ugly because it is worn but not antique?
  • Is the book damaged?

These are all reasons to eliminate them from our bookshelves, which is what I did. Even though my number of books is well down from a few years ago, I still have them on shelves inside the wardrobe in my study. See after photo on the left. I have kept my Jodi Picoult books because I love her work, some cooking books I actually use, my favourite interior design books and some of my own books – on the shelf above my laptop bag.

The photo on the right shows a bookcase full of books I used to have before my first decluttering effort. Many of them are already gone or are now on the shelves on the left.

Below is a photo of the books I eliminated this time. They are going to the local charity shop. There is also a preliminary throw-away pile from my filing cabinet but there will be more to come on that.

A little secret that you can’t see in the image on the left is that there is a second layer of books behind three of the shelves. So this does need more work.

Now it’s your turn. Go through your books and ask the above questions. Then take the pile that you eliminated and recycle them so someone else can get pleasure from them. In so doing, you will free up shelf space and continue the process of decluttering your mind as well as your home.

Decluttered books

Decluttered books


  1. Vivian Lewis says:

    I rarely re-read books yet onto the shelf they go! I try to take books out of the library that I would like to read and despite that, I still have too many books on the shelf. Giving away most of them would be a real positive act. My mission is going to be to find somewhere to donate them.

    • pathtominimalism_iohifu says:

      We are strange creatures where books are concerned. I was lucky enough to find a local goodwill shop where everything goes. They always seem very grateful when they receive another load.

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