You’ve checked you read that title correctly, and now you’re wondering how someone can love books and read a lot of them and be a minimalist at the same time. So I’m going to chat about it!
I became a minimalist a few years ago and got rid of the majority of things I owned. Most of it didn’t serve me in any way, some I was keeping for the sake of it or for sentimental reasons. Now, I’m not a monster. I didn’t get rid of everything, and what I did get rid of definitely wasn’t all at once.
Books and dvds, for example: I had a shelf attached to my wall full of them, and I spent a good amount of time re-watching films so I knew whether to keep or donate (I donated most, put the few remaining downstairs with my familys small dvd collection) and read or re-read books. The book side of things obviously took more time, but I sorted them into categories.
- Read, loved it
- Read, but a long time ago
- Read, not interested in keeping
- No longer interested in reading
These categories made it easier to decide what to do with the books I owned. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak for example was one of my favourite books at this time and I kept this book for longer than I kept most. I re-read a bunch, my favourites I kept and the rest I donated to charity. These favourites I ended up donating too, once I realised it’s unlikely I’d re-read them and if I did I could just purchase them again but for my kindle.
Which leads me to my next point. eBooks! What a blessing. I have a rather silly amount of books on my kindle (I’ll read them all one day, I swear) but the brilliant thing is that they don’t take up a large amount of physical space. This is perfect for minimalism and my kindle is so convenient to pop in my bag and take wherever I go, without a lot of extra weight to carry about. I also read on my phone using the kindle app, BorrowBox, and occasionally iBooks, which is slowly becoming a favourite way of reading (I wasn’t keen on reading on my phone for a long time.)
I borrow a lot of library books, of course this doesn’t save space while I’ve got them but it does save money, and I return them once read. I love using my local library as a way of accessing books, I always find books already on my TBR or ones to add to my TBR, and it’s super handy as I’m not stuck with heaps of books long after I’ve read them. Another feature my library has is a second hand book stand, usually containing books they’ve taken off their system due to its age or condition, so I make use of this too and then return them once read!
These days, whenever I’ve finished a physical book I will either
- Donate it to charity
- Give it to my local library
- Let a friend have it
And I know, you’re all sitting there shocked at me saying I don’t keep books. If it helps, sometimes I keep a book for a little while if it’s a favourite. I just don’t see the point in keeping a book that’s likely just going to sit pretty – someone else can read it if I’m not going to! All it’ll spend its days doing with me is take up space. However, I have been clinging on to Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles because I love it too much to let go. In my defence, I have kept re-reading it!
I do still buy too many physical books (in comparison to how much space I have available in my room), so it’s not really very productive in the money department aswell as minimalism itself but I’m working on it. I’m trying to not buy so many, at least until my physical book pile has significantly reduced in size. As mentioned, I get some from my local librarys second hand stand (and then return), and I also pick some up from charity probably too often (but it goes to a good cause!)
Sometimes I do feel like a failing minimalist when I see how many books I own, but they are something that gives me pleasure, I will read them all at some point, and I do donate them in one way or another once I’ve read them. Minimalism will never be perfect, I can always do better (and do try to do better) while at the same time not preventing myself from buying/owning things that make me feel good!
I really enjoyed writing this post, I found it quite cathartic to type it all out as I don’t talk about minimalism often anymore, so I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it!