Letting go of books


The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.  ~James Bryce

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. Every book I read teaches me something new – a new perspective, some value-addition, a challenge to my beliefs, getting to know about different cultures and of course, enriching vocabulary.

For example, I read Leo Babauta’s ‘Power of less’ and it made me have a serious look at my consumption patterns , the way I had been cluttering my house, getting into debt with my habit of finding solace in shopping. The book is, as Leo describes it,

“A how-to manual on how to simplify and focus on the essential. How to do less while accomplishing more. How to focus and use that focus to achieve your goals, no matter what they are.”

All by doing less and owning less.

A few months back, I probably would have found it very hard to let go of my books. Every book I read used to be proudly displayed on my bookshelf as a trophy. I guess every book lover goes through a similar phase and can’t even imagine to let go of even one.

But a sudden shift came with my acquaintance to minimalism. I started questioning my pride of having my own library. I asked myself how many books I re-read and if I am not going to read them again, then why am I hoarding them?

Still giving away books was difficult for me, so I decided not to buy more books and bought a library membership instead. However that didn’t work out for me as library was quite out of the way and I found it difficult to take out time to go there. Also, at times, the titles I wanted to read were not available in the library.

And then I bought a ‘Kindle’- the most amazing gadget for book lovers. Though I must admit that, I miss the feel and scent of a book and ‘Kindle’ can never replace the pleasure of reading a real book! But still it’s a fabulous device. Your own personal library in a tiny device, you can carry your library with you wherever you go, you don’t have to worry about the physical space the books occupy and the books on kindle cost less too!

During my Diwali decluttering challenge, I gave away some of my books to friends and I found that it’s really not that hard to let go. So I put up some of my books on ebay for sale and I have started the process of downsizing my library.

I still buy books like my recent purchase of ‘The Tarot Bible’. I find that reference books are more handy to use if bought in physical form. Or my purchase of  ‘The Oath of Vayuputras’ as the title is not available on kindle.

It’s more important to read and savour the book rather than hoarding it. Read, learn and share – that’s what essence of reading should be all about!

Please leave a comment telling me about your personal library.


Books that inspired me in 2012


The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~James Bryce

Books are rightly said to be the most accessible and wisest of counsellors and the most patient of teachers. To sit alone in the bed snuggled in a warm quilt with a hot cup of coffee by your side and a book spread out in front of you – it is a pleasure beyond comparison.

Books are an inexpensive form of entertainment and also a powerful source of learning, capable of changing your life. Here I have compiled a list of the books which inspired me in 2012 and have enriched my life beyond words:

  1. 29 Gifts: This autobiographical account by Cami Walker narrates how her life changed by giving away 29 gifts in 29 days. I was so moved by Cami’s story that I immediately signed up for 29 days giving challenge and I have been on a giving journey since then.
  2. Who will cry when you die : The title itself is powerful enough to set you thinking and question about the purpose of your life. Robin Sharma is at his best in this little book filled with potent life lessons and powerful wisdom. As I was reading the book, I was reminded of Rishi Nityapragya ‘s words ,” Consider your life as a project for attaining Nirvana.”
  3. The Present: Since my journey into spirituality with Art of Livng, the most powerful life lesson which transformed my life has been “Live in the present.” So simple, yet so profound. This classic parable by Dr Spencer Johnson follows a young man’s search for an elusive gift that holds the promise of work fulfilment, a quest that is complicated by his fears about the future.
  4. The Leader who had no Title: A must read for all those working in a corporate set-up. The book contains valuable leadership advice from Robin Sharma where he insists that regardless of a person’s standing in an organization and in life, he must live up to his full potential and be the best in the world in whatever he does.
  5. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A different approach to success by Deepak Chopra where he gives seven principles to attain personal and professional goals. I particularly liked the way he beautifully describes the ancient principles of Karma and detachment.
  6. Many Lives, Many Masters: It is a real-life account of Dr. Brian Weiss ‘s life changing discovery of past-life regression during his patient’s therapy. We have a similar process in Art of Living called ‘Eternity Process’ which is a guided meditation that takes you through your previous lives. I have yet to do it but inspired to enrol at the earliest after reading this book.
  7. The Power of Less: Leo Babauta tells us how to simplify our life by identifying the essential and eliminating the clutter. This book has inspired me to start decluttering my life and focussing on the goals that can change my life for the better. A must read if you are interested in simplifying your life.
  8. Eat That Frog: A great book for someone like me who is always procrastinating and doing things at the last minute.  A powerful quick read which will immensely improve the way you manage your time.

What books inspired you this year? Please leave a comment and share your recommendations.