That book stash

Hello, my name is Kyles and I am……was…. a book hoarder.

I love the feel and the smell of books. I love to line them up on shelves around the house; arranging and rearranging them according to colour. I love to be surrounded by the written word. I love to go to bookshops and browse the aisles; always coming back with a new title or two….or three.

But in my desire to create a less cluttered house. I have done the previously unthinkable……I have sorted out my books.

Keeping only the ones that speak to me in some way. The ones that made me cry my heart out or made me laugh till I couldn’t breathe. The ones that changed my life; encouraged me to change my habits, to try something new, to be brave and write this blog. The ones that still have more insight and inspiration to offer.

The rest I have gifted to my sisters and my niece; who is quite the book hoarder herself with 465 books on her bedroom shelf; or donated to charity.

Having so often experienced the joy of finding a really good book for as little as a dollar at my local charity store, I enjoy being able to give back.    To give others the opportunity to find a book they might love; that might inspire them or bring them joy. I like to wonder who might pick them up and take them home; just as I wonder who owned the books I bring home before me.

It is this desire to give back; the joy of sharing good stories; the idea that donating makes reading more accessible to people who may or may not have $20 – $30 to spend on a brand new book from the bookstore and my current need to declutter my house, that has lead me to donate a large proportion of my book stash.

I feel uplifted knowing that by donating the things that I am releasing from my life, I am in some small way helping others and somehow paying it forward….whether my donations be books, clothing, miscellaneous household items or even furniture.

Now I look at my mostly empty bookshelves and I feel strangely freer. As much as I love books, I am becoming more and more content with having less.  I am becoming more intentional with what I buy and bring into my home. That’s not to say that I don’t buy books any more. I absolutely do. But I am a bit more choosy about the books I collect and keep. I have begun to make good use of my local library and have become a fan of audiobooks. I am yet to become an e-book reader but it’s probably only a matter of time.

Are you an e-book reader?  Or a book hoarder? If so, where do you find room for all your books? How do arrange your book stash? What criteria do you use to sort the books you want to keep? What do you do with the books you don’t want to keep?