Letting go of books

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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.

 

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