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Minimalism as a booklover

June 2, 2017

Hello cupcakes!

Here's some news: I've been really into minimalism lately. Although I'm far from being an expert, I've found that getting rid of old clothes and trying to keep only the essentials in every aspect of my life makes me feel at peace, calm, and simply happy. 
A big step I wasn't ready to take yet was tackling my bookshelves. 

To give you an idea, until a week ago, I owned over 500 books, which amounts to a wall of books or, to put it simply, a hell of a lot of books! I absolutely loved going back to my room and seeing all of them lined up on shelves. The time I felt the most at home was when I was with my books. 

Let me share with you a little story that might sound familiar to you:

There once was a little who loved words. She liked reading them, she liked writing them, and she wanted them all around her. He dream house had a room dedicated to words, a personal library that would contain all the books in the world. She swore to herself that one day that dream would come true. The end.

I'm that little girl. You're that little girl. Most of us book lovers are that little girl! 

Until suddenly, I wasn't that little girl anymore. 
Which is when I came to the conclusion that some of my precious books had to go. I decided that I would, to the best of my abilities, be a minimalist book lover.

How do I plan on doing that? Good question, here is my answer!

1 Clean your bookshelves

Put the duster down, I'm not talking about that kind of cleaning. I'm talking about putting books in boxes and donating them to your local library, used bookstore, or selling them. 

Getting rid of books, the horror! I used to be terrified of taking books off my shelves, until I started asking a small, but very important question: does this book have value to me?

1.1 Deciding if a book as value to you
  • Is it one of your all time favorite stories?
  • Is it by one of your all time favorite author?
  • If it hasn't been read, do you plan on reading it soon?
  • Did the book have an impact on your life?
  • Does the book have a special meaning to you?
  • Do you plan on re-reading it?
  • Do you need it for school or work?
Those are the questions I asked myself while cleaning my shelves, and they were a huge wake up call. Half of my books didn't fulfill any of the conditions, so half of my books I gave away.

2 Read what you buy

Truth is, I rarely come out of a bookstore with a single book. 
Truth is, by the time I get to my new books, I'm not always interested in reading them anymore.
Truth is, I make impulsive purchase that end up sitting on my shelves for ages.
Truth is, that has to change.

To stop wasting money on books you won't even read, I recommend having no more than five books in your TBR at a time.

For now, I'm focusing on reading the books on my to-be-read list before buying any new one. And thanks to step one, that list is way smaller than it was before.

3 Make the library your new best friend

Libraries are a great way to read as many books as you want without being stuck with them at the end. The sad reality is that not every book you read will be a personal favorite, and having books you didn't even enjoy on your shelves is unnecessary to me.

4 Think before buying book merch

Maybe book merch is the best thing in the world to you, and that's fine! But make sure that what you buy is useful.

4.1 How to know if the book merch I want to buy is useful?
  • Will it serve a purpose? 
    Candles are a source of light, soap a way to clean yourself, bookmarks a way to save your page... you get it!
  • Will it make me happy in the long run?
    Because yes, happiness is a good reason for buying merch. Simply, make sure it isn't an impulsive purchase that, while it might make you happy now, will be forgotten in a closet or a drawer in a month or two. 
  • Am I a merch person?
    I won't lie to you, book merch is beautiful. It's cool. It can be useful. But if you aren't a merch person, and by that I mean if you're not the type to wear a book related t-shirt, to light scented candles, to decorate your home with funko pop, then the merch you buy won't be useful to you.
Having book merch is perfectly fine, I personally have an Alice in Wonderland tapestry on my wall! But when I realized that I liked minimalism, I realized that I didn't need all those fancy bookmarks, or that Harry Potter wand I made, or that camp half-blood bracelet I never wear.

Minimalism is a way to live that I recently realized I enjoy quite a lot. Minimalism is also a process. For me, part of that process is doing my best to be a minimalist book lover. 
My method isn't the only one. My method isn't the perfect one. But if ever you decide to give minimalism a chance, I hope this unofficial guide will be of some help to you.

Take care lovelies!

1 comment:

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