Our library isn’t very extensive,’ said Anne, “but every book in it is a friend. We’ve picked our books up through the years, here and there, never buying one until we had first read it and knew that it belonged to the race of Joseph.–Anne’s House of Dreams by L. M. Montgomery
Are your books like old friends? Do you find comfort from their pages? If you’re anything like me, then I know you’re nodding your head at your screen as you read this.
As much as I love stories and books I know it simply isn’t possible for me to collect and store all of them. Several years ago I decided to slowly begin a small collection of my very favorites. I stopped buying brand new releases and instead promised to be intentional and minimal with my book collection. This meant a huge purge of most all my books.
Some people may be shaking their fists at me thinking, “You can never have too many books!” Maybe if you have an actual space in your home for a full out library then I totally agree with you, and by all means collect them all. But, if you’re like me and limited on space, and you need to be picky. I’m here to tell you, you can most certainly still have a beautiful [small] library that brings you joy without feeling overwhelmed about where to store it all. Here are simple ways I decide what to bring in/keep and what doesn’t stay.
Does the book bring you joy? If yes, then it’s a keeper for sure. However, If you don’t treasure it, there is no need to store it. If it’s a classic you love and it’s beautiful to boot, then it’s a must have in my opinion! Like these favorite classics!
A few of my other favorites are books like, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and a few favorite Devotionals and Christian books, such as the Life-giving Home or Power of a Praying Wife.
Make use of your local library. I like to use our library as a starting point. We will usually borrow a book first, or maybe several times. If it’s a book we find ourselves reaching for again and again then I know it’s one we need for our home library. Your library has room to store thousands and thousands of books. Let them store them for you. To borrow one these days is just a click away. I can make a list of books on my library’s website and request them online as I want or need them. I do this with most all of our morning basket books! If your library doesn’t have a site you can simply make a list a bring it to your librarian in person.
Have you grown out of the book? Maybe you loved it once. Maybe it helped you during a specific time or season in your life. Was it encouraging or informative, but you haven’t reached for it since then? My advice would be to let it go. Remember the library likely has the book on file, so if you’d ever need it in the future you can simply borrow it at that time.
When it comes to reference material, you probably don’t need that “how to for dummies” book anymore, or maybe you have cookbooks you never use. Again if it’s not something you find yourself reaching for often you likely don’t need to keep it. I try to keep resource material on hand for homeschool, but honestly I stay pretty picky with what I keep. Just a few essentials like our bird book, nature guide, dictionary and a few art books. So much can be found online nowadays and you can find so many printable resources. Unless the particular book is used frequently, a rare find, or a cherished item I think it’s safe to let it go.
Be sure to curate a small children’s book collection. I apply my same rules for children’s books as I do to my own. I think every home needs a little section just for the little ones. I like to put them at their level, so they are always accessible + I’m not sure about you, but I still love a beautifully illustrated picture book.
A few of my favorite children’s books are
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads live only one.” – George R. R. Martin
Thank you so much for stopping by today, I hope you found these tips helpful! Happy collecting and happy reading!