I love reading. And I love books. I haven’t switched over to e-books yet, and I’m not sure if I will.
Over the years, I’ve kept bookshelves full of the books I read.
There were three reasons why I collected books:
- I liked how they looked on my bookshelves.
- I wanted to be able to read them again.
- I wanted to be able to loan the books to other people to read.
I still have bookshelves and I still like how books look on them. However:
I realized I have never read a book twice and probably never will. The few times I picked up a book to read a second time, I quickly lost interest. I’m much more interested in reading something new.
I’ve watched movies multiple times. I’ve watched episodes of TV shows multiple times. And I know there are people who read books multiple times—I’m just not one of those people.
Regarding loaning books, I don’t have to be a library. There are real libraries. And people are reading e-books more and more.
So, I’ve been giving away books. I’ve always given away many of the books I have read—I don’t warehouse books—but I have tended to keep books I particularly enjoyed (and there are many in that category).
My first experience giving away my books after my decision to do so came when a work colleague and I were talking about the Lord of the Rings movies. When he said he had not read the books, I offered him mine. I told him when he was done to pass them along to someone else.
Soon after that, I was helping out at a shelter for families whose circumstances have led to a temporary situation of homelessness. A middle-school-aged member of one of the families was reading the fifth Harry Potter book and we talked about how much she loved the Harry Potter books. The next night I brought her the final two books in the series.
I haven’t missed the books I have given away. Not for one moment.
My shelves are starting to have gaps, but I don’t care. Those gaps are a reminder of how good it felt to give the Harry Potter books to the young lady who was going through a tough time with her family.
I’ve also been applying this to other objects in my house, following the saying, “If it doesn’t bring me joy, give it away to someone who can use it.”
Are you collecting “stuff”? Have you considered giving more things away? Join the conversation with your comments…