If you need to start reducing book clutter, this is the post for you. We book lovers have a tendency to accumulate so many volumes that they start to take over the house. The answer is not to buy another bookcase to accommodate the extra books! Here's how to set about reducing book clutter and restoring some order to your home …
Start reducing book clutter by sorting out some books to donate to charity. There are any number of organisations that collect unwanted books to raise funds. Make sure that they are in good enough condition for resale, otherwise you are landing the charity with the hassle of disposing of tatty books. The only place your worn-out books should go is the recycling bin.
2. Buy Less & Avoid Stocking up
If you're like me, you tend to buy masses of books at the same time. In my case, this is because I live in Spain and have limited access to English books, so a bulk order makes sense. In most cases, avoid stocking up, as that leaves you with dozens of unread books taking up space. Read what's already on your shelves before you buy any more.
Although I'm not a fan of the e-book format, they do serve one very useful purpose - they take up no space. Downloading books onto your Kindle means that you have no book clutter. So if you love reading lots of books, consider buying an e-reader. It's especially useful when traveling as you won't have to fill up your suitcase with holiday reading.
Borrowing books from the library not only saves you money, it also saves a lot of space, so wherever possible, borrow books instead of buying them. You may not be able to read exactly what you want, but you could equally discover some interesting new authors. Or borrow books from friends.
5. Be Ruthless
Parting with treasured books can be difficult for the bibliophile. However, sometimes you just have to be ruthless and weed out a substantial part of your collection. Ask yourself honestly if you really need to hang on to so many. Get rid of books that you won't read again or that are no longer relevant.
6. Resist Sales
It's tempting to stock up on books when you see them discounted. If they only cost a few dollars, they're a bargain, right? The problem is that you end up buying an armful because they're so cheap. That may be true, but you then have to find space for them. So stay away from the sales if you've already got a lot of books.
Perhaps one of the most useful ways of keeping book clutter to a minimum is the recent trend for book swaps. Websites such as Book Crossing tell you where to find books, or you can often find cafés with a book swap. Do be sure to leave a book when you take one, or there will be no books for other people to exchange!
If you have so many books that you could start your own bookshop, and your family mutter that it's like living in a library, then it's time to clear out the clutter. You don't want to end up as one of those hoarders who lives surrounded by piles of books and other possessions, do you? Well, this fate may be unlikely, but too many books can take up valuable storage space. Pass them on for someone else to enjoy. Has your book habit got out of control, or do you prefer the tidiness of e-books?