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Declutter 2: Books

I don’t know a single person who finds it easy to throw away books.

I think that’s probably because I myself love books and used to be a voracious bookworm, so I must have surrounded myself with a lot of like-minded people growing up. I was raised in a household with its own tiny library and I used to buy books, not clothes, as retail therapy.

I actually went on a book-buying spree earlier this year as my credit card provided me with free book gift certificates as rewards for my good payment behavior so I found myself stockpiling a lot of books that seemed interesting. Eventually though, I wasn’t able to read them all due to the precarious act of balancing my hectic work schedule, doing extracurriculars, and resting.

Therefore it was with apprehension that I approached the task of decluttering my books. First, all of them were scattered in various places around the house, making it a lot more tiring to get them together and dump them on a table, unlike my clothes which were all in one box. Second, since my family is big on books, sometimes I could not remember which books were mine or were actually owned by someone else.

It took me a day to round up all my books and then go through them one by one, determining which ones I did not want to keep. I’m not sure if it’s because my ability to “detect joy” is better now that I went through all my clothes, but sorting through my books was faster this time around. Yay!

In the end, I chose to discard roughly fifteen to twenty books. What did I do with these?

I find it wasteful to throw away books because they’re a great channel of knowledge transfer! It seems lame to throw away things that others can still benefit from. Since all of my books are in perfectly usable condition, I posted them all up for sale online at greatly reduced prices. It feels nice to think that other people will be getting these books at cheap rates and will love them and learn from them just the same.

To make sure I didn’t needlessly hang on to these books out of sentimentality or change my mind halfway, I set myself a deadline – August 15 – where I can donate whatever hasn’t been sold yet. To be honest, I’m not sure where you can donate books, but I’m sure there is a place out there that would gladly have them.

For the books I decided to keep, I utilized the bookshelf in my old room and organized everything by height. It looks so neat and tidy! I’m sure it would be a breeze to clean it up.

Coming next: Papers!

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