How To Have A Book Shelf You Can Be Proud Of
Lots of people tell me they have “too many books.” To that I say, too many for what? To carry at once? Okay, that I can understand. Otherwise, it’s not a thing. Too many to fit on your bookshelf? Not a problem:
Some of my shelves are a mess, some aren’t even book shelves. I’m proud of them because they are my choices. I’d like to say I’d read every book I own if I had enough time, but I doubt it. I’ve owned some for over a decade yet haven’t gotten to yet.
I enjoying owning a ton of books. I appreciate all the information and stories stored in my home. I never know what I’ll be in the mood to read next when I finish a book, so I value having so many options.
In Steven Leveen’s A Little Guide To Your Well-Read Life, he explains that in order to be well read, one should possess a library of more books than they expect to read. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to ramp up their reading life, or simply to feel good about the reading life they have already created!
You don’t need to have Moby Dick and Jane Austen on your shelf to be proud of it. These books are only in my house because my husband loves classical literature. I haven’t read them, and while I plan to tackle some Austen eventually, it isn’t at the top of my list.
Acquire books you want to have. None of this “I don’t have the ____________(space/money/time to read)”, or myriad of other excuses I hear. If a book is calling to you, get it. Store your books under your bed, box them up in a closet, whatever you need to do to have them around. They are a resource you won’t regret saving.
Read books you own. Then read other books. Even though I have many books to choose from at home I go to my library once a week, on average. I appreciate being able to pick out something brand new or completely outside my wheelhouse. Sometimes I bring home a pile of books, only to end up returning most without having read them.
*Pro-tip: If you want to get through the books on your shelves “faster,” listen to audio versions. It’s nice to have a physical copy to reference.
Cull your shelves occasionally. It’s okay to keep books you’ll never read, and it’s okay to get rid of them. I acquire books on a regular basis, so every few months I look through to remind myself of what I have! Sometimes I see a book I want to pass on to a friend, or maybe I picked something up at the bag sale because it looked interesting but turns out to not be what I was expecting. I keep a box in my garage for books destined for the Little Free Library.
If you enjoy reading and want to own books, that’s all the motivation you need to be proud of your shelves (and/or stacks!)