Welcome to this week’s blog and podcast. Feel free to read or listen.
I love books. I love to read, and I love the feeling of holding a physical book in my hand.
I have books that I have highlighted, written in the margins of dog-eared pages. That being said, almost all of my books are collecting dust.
I’m always looking for ways to declutter and as I stared at my bookshelf I realized that I not only had my books become clutter (to me) but I had an entire library of fantastic knowledge I could be sharing with others.
Since I’ve switched almost entirely to ebooks and audio books, I thought it was time to give away all of my physical books I deemed as “dust collectors.”
There is nothing wrong with owning physical books at all. For me, I see the greater value my books can have in the hands of others than just sitting on my shelf.
When I made the decision to give my books away, I went through a whole slew of emotions.
I would pick up a book and feel the anxiety of letting go rush through my body. The anxiety caught me off guard at first. I was surprised that I felt this way.
I soon realized that the anxiety was my attempt to hold onto the memories attached to the books, not the books themselves.
My books had become a shrine rather than a library.
I think this happens with a bunch of things in our life. We are trying to hold on to the memories the physical things brings us when that thing is just collecting dust.
Is there anything wrong with keeping items that have a sole purpose of bringing us sentimental value?
Of course not.
This is my personal journey of decluttering and owing less so I can add value to others. For me, my books have become something that can add even greater meaning to my life by giving them away.
The question I asked myself that allowed me to move forward with my plan to give my books away was this:
“Will this book add more value sitting on my bookshelf or in the hands of someone else?”
My answer was a resounding yes.
I didn’t just give them away to the local thrift store. I wanted my collection to go somewhere that I knew they would be read and help people learn and grow.
I have the incredible privilege of being on the board of a non-profit organization that helps men and women become re-acclimated into society after prison.
I was able to donate the books to them knowing that the books that impacted me will affect many more lives for years to come.
What items do you have in your home that could add value to others?
Make a contribution in the lives of others by giving away your dusty books or other items.