GO! Challenge #24: Books

Decluttering Books. Today our goal is to clear out the books you no longer need.

We live in a digital world. E-readers, Kindles, Nooks, iPads, tablets… many of us read on these. Nonetheless, old-fashioned paper books are still a part of our lives. Many people simply prefer the paper, and physical books make great gifts. Today our goal is to clear out the books you no longer need.

Sometimes, we hold onto books for poor reasons, such as:

  1. We think we should read the book, although we really don’t want to.
  2. We began reading the book, didn’t like it, but feel we shouldn’t let it go because we might come back to it “someday.”
  3. We received the book as a gift, and although we don’t want to read it, we feel guilty giving it away.
  4. We enjoyed the book as a child and want our child(ren) to enjoy the book as well – even though they have expressed disinterest.
  5. We are keeping it for future reference (e.g. a college textbook), even though we have never consulted the book, and are likely to look online for information before checking the book.
  6. We invested in a “complete series” and feel we shouldn’t let it go. 

In contrast, good reasons for keeping a book include:

  1. We love the book, and enjoy repeatedly reading it.
  2. We love the book, and plan to give it to a friend or family member in the near future. 
  3. We love the book, and are keeping it for children or grandchildren.
  4. We like the look of the book, and enjoy having it on display.
  5. We haven’t read the book, but are looking forward to doing so.

Today’s challenge is to give away 24 books. We are moving through the month, so the numbers are going up. However, you can select any of the following as you seek to find 24:

  • Cookbooks
  • Paperbacks
  • Hard cover books
  • Textbooks
  • Children’s Books
  • Young Adult Books
  • Travel Books/Guides
  • Workbooks
  • Reference Books
  • Coffee Table Books
  • “How To” Books
  • Test Prep Study Books

As long as they are in good condition, books are the ultimate “reusable,” and most charities accept them.

Can you find 24? Can you find more? Which books are hard for you to give away?

11 thoughts on “GO! Challenge #24: Books”

  1. My parents are nearly hoarders, holding onto so many memories of five kids who lost way too much, way too young.
    And Cassidy is the opposite! He’ll throw anything out.
    I feel caught between them a lot. I used to have more books but started doing the library only, even for new releases, a few years ago. I have to wait awhile sometimes, but I like this method.
    Plus a lot of our books suffered water damage a few years back so they had to be thrown away.
    A work in progress!
    Tamara recently posted…Life, Reimagined.My Profile

    1. Yes, Tamara. Your comment speaks to the emotional value that our possessions have in our lives. I give you big points for switching to the library method (which I also use.) At the end of the day, I re-read very few books, so I feel good about borrowing and then releasing. We’ve had our fair share of water around here — the high water table of New England! Stay strong and in the moment and you will make the right decisions:)

  2. This is a hard one for me. I love books. Good news is I only purchase books for myself that I know I will read again and have read again. That being said, my children have books that they have read and outgrown and these are the books I do need to let go of. I’ve been enjoying following the series and although some challenges do not apply to me because I am a big purger by nature, there are a few areas that I didn’t even consider. Thanks Seana, I love your blog!

    1. Thanks so much for following the challenge, Laurie! From the comments, I am seeing that each of us has some areas we struggle with, and some that are on top of. Our state organizing association just ran a book drive and collected more than 2,500 children’s books for a local literacy charity. It felt so great to both de-clutter and support kids who want books and don’t have them. Definitely the type of item where we can have a win/win!

  3. Pingback: GO! Challenge: Recap | The Seana Method Organizing & Productivity

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