I am a voracious reader. Since I was four, I’ve read at least a book a week. Most weeks, the number is around two or three. Digital subscription services, like Audible.com, have made my reading obsession less of a clutter problem than it used to be. But, I would be lying if I said that book clutter isn’t still a stumbling block in my home.
To put this into perspective, I brought nine new books into my house this weekend.
Unlike a good number of cluttered readers, however, I actually read the books that make it into my home (see the “voracious reader” paragraph above). As a result, I have devised a series of questions that I use to review books once I have read them. So far, they have helped significantly at keeping my book clutter better under control.
Questions to ask yourself when you finish reading a book:
- Is this a reference book (dictionary, thesaurus, parenting guide, etc.) that I will refer to often? Will it contain accurate content for at least a year? Is the reference book better and more useful to me in printed form than a digital version that I can access from my computer?
- Is this a cookbook that meets the standards set forth in this post on getting rid of cookbook clutter?
- Is this one of my favorite books? Will I honestly re-read it again at several times in the next few years?
- Is this book signed by the author and/or dedicated to me? Am I acknowledged by name in the author’s acknowledgment section?
- Is this a children’s book for my child that she will ask me to re-read to her again tomorrow night? Has my child decided that this book is more important than vegetables?
- If I keep this book, are there two books (or more) that I can get rid of when I put this on the shelf?
If you answered “yes” to the relevant questions above, keep the book. Otherwise, get rid of it by either passing it along to a friend or family member, selling it to a used book store, or donating it to a charity or a local school or public library.