Living

How to Declutter your Bookshelf

Clarification

I have always had an organized bookshelf. I have two categories my books are organized on my shelf and that would be “read” and “to-read”. Within these two categories, all my books are organized by author’s last name since I have spent too many years within a library and know no other way at this point.

When I say “declutter”, I mean get rid of all those books that I no longer need. There are many books on my shelf that have sat there since 2015 and I have never had a true intention of reading them.

Realizing It Is Time

Let’s be honest, as a college student, author, and part-time employee, I do not prioritize reading as much as I wish I did. A lot of my reading these days consists of current manga or sparsly a fiction novel here and there. I wish I was able to sit down more often than I do so I can read the novels that are piling up on my “to-read” list.

There are so many books in the world that I do not want to waste my time with something I know I will not like! I have given the classics a try because I have felt the peer-pressure from other English majors when they realize that I have not read any Jane Austen. If we are still going on the honest run, I did not like them. At all. Sure, Frankenstein was interesting, but I most likely would never read it again. I do not want to read these titled classics because that is not why I like literature. I understand that in order to get the current day writing we have now, we have to pay tribute to the classics but I don’t want to dedicate my time to reading a book that drags out. I like the worlds that are quick moving, have language that I can actually understand, have characters that I can relate to, and are not, well, old.

Okay, rant over.

The Books I Threw Out

Before you have a heart attack fellow book lovers, no I did not throw them out. I actually donated them to my college bistro so we can start a student book exchange (more information coming soon). But I needed them gone! My book count was to 400 and I had only read about 100 of them! I started feeling stressed out that I had all these books that I was never going to finish.

So I started with the classics. I got rid of Moby Dick and A Tale of Two Cities first. Then I scanned my bookshelf for all those books that have stared at me so many times to remind me that there was no way I was ever going to finish them.

Then I went to my “read” shelf and got rid of the books that I would either never read again or suggest anyone to read. I realized that there was no need to keep all the books that I, myself, didn’t enjoy because I would never read them again and it would be a waste of someone else’s time to read them. So I said bye to a load of those books.

Finally, I got rid of all the murder mysteries or fictional books I had. I don’t like them. I got them when I was younger, thinking that there would be a day when I matured in my taste for books and read some more “adult” content. Obviously that didn’t happen. I still love the world of fantasy and so much so that that is the category I have found myself to write in.

In total, I donated roughly sixty books. Books that no longer haunt me so I can finally read the books that I have wanted to read for so long…

Outcome

I totally feel a difference in my reading because I am no longer reading to get to the next book, but rather being enveloped in the world the author has provided. I have time to read slow and take in every detail so I can finally get the whole experience again.

Also, I am finally including my favorite books on my “to-read” list again because I no longer see it as a problem to reread my favorite stories. Instead, I am able to revisit the universe and remember just how amazing (or sometimes not as good) they are.

My Wishlist

I have no books on my wishlist because now that I can see all the books that I truly want to read on my shelf, I just want to devour all of them first. But someday when I finish the books I still have and want to move onto a new series, I will buy the books that intrigue me. I have realized by now that I am into the young adult fantasy bestsellers because if everyone is talking about it then 1. there is a good reason why everyone is talking about it and 2. there is going to be a fandom waiting for me at the end when I want to rant.

Hopefully I inspired some of you to reconsider your bookshelf or “to-read” list because reading as a chore should be a sin. Now, excuse me as I get back to my current reading addiction at the moment! Stay tuned for some book reviews in the near future!

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