5 tips for tidying up your books


There are some things we never want to get rid of. But when the shelves of your cabinet are bending and you have to make piles on the floor, windowsill or table, you know it’s time to go through your book collection. These tips will make it a little easier.

Limit the number of books in your cabinet

Determine how many books you want to keep (the number that fits on your bookshelf, for example) and stick to it. It can be pretty painful having to thin out your collection the first time you do it, but then it becomes easier: for every new book you buy, one has to go. This also helps you be more aware and think more about which books you want to have.

Use the Marie Kondo method

Sometimes you hold onto a book because you got it from someone, because it is a signed copy or because it is a special edition. It’s times like these that you have to ask yourself: Is this book really making me happy? Will I (want to) read it again? If the answer is no, then it’s time to say goodbye.

Set a ‘best before date’

Decide how long an unread book can sit on your bookshelf. Three months? Half a year? A year? If you haven’t read the book after that time, you might want to make someone else happy with it.

Go to the library more often

Instead of forbidding yourself to buy new books, simply go to the library more often instead. You can choose as many books as you want (although there is of course a maximum for any one time), while saving mountains of money and space. And if you read a book that you love so much that you want to read it more often, you can always purchase it afterward.

Think about the way you read

Do you also like to listen to audio books, or do you have an e-reader? Then there might be books in the cupboard that you would rather enjoy in a different way. Do you really want to keep a physical copy or can you free up that space for other paper books?

Remember: Don’t throw books away if you no longer want to read them. Give them a second life by passing them on to someone else, swapping them, setting up/donating them to a Little Free Library or doing something else with them.

Photography Suzy Hazelwood/Stocksnap.io

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