I’m calling myself out in this post… I’m a little bit of a hoarder. I’ve gotten a lot better over the years but holy cow is it hard for me to give my belongings up. I like to collect things; books, mugs, fabric, yarn, merch, journals, the list goes on!
Now when minimalism started to become a big thing I really strived to want to be a minimalist. At one point (and I’m a little ashamed to admit this) I got rid of a whole bunch of stuff because the guy I was dating at the time was an extreme minimalist and I figured that I needed to be like that too. Like he literally owned 9 shirts and 1 (one) pair of pants.
I will admit that yes, there is a lot of stuff that I owned/own that I needed to get rid of. Like a really productive thing I did was type up a whole bunch of old papers and got them made into a book so instead of having a box of loose papers I now have a nice and compact book with a whole bunch of my school projects dating all the way back to early elementary school!
But now I think back and think of all the books I just tossed aside that I would actually really like to go back and read now. And yes I can just check them out from the library but so many times I just check books out from there and never end up reading them…
So this brings me to my big dilemma in this post… How important is it really to have an extensive book collection? I love having books, I love how they look on my shelves and it is so much fun buying new books. Recently there have been a lot of books that are new releases or books that released within the last few years that I haven’t read yet that I really want to just buy (I think I have a total of five or six books on this list right now).
My library has a pretty extensive collection of books and I enjoy going there, in fact I’m sitting at a table at my library right now while writing this! The only thing with this is that I often can’t get books right away or I’m not in the mood to read them when they’re available and when they are available then I’m in a reading slump. Like one book that I really want to read right now and don’t want to buy is The Unhoneymooners and that currently has 14 holds on it before me and I haven’t decided if I want to add myself to that list yet or not.
I know a lot of book “influencers” pride themselves in having an extensive wall of bookshelves and I once really wanted that look too! And some part of me still really wants that wall of books no matter what. Some of the books that I really want to add to my collection are books that I read as a kid. I just want to have them on hand because they bring back so many fond memories! There are also a few authors that I want to own all (or most) of their books because I know that I’ll enjoy them. These authors include Morgan Matson and Maureen Johnson. I also own not one, but two sets of the Harry Potter books, one hardcover and one paperback.
One of the biggest things that makes me hesitate wanting to grow my collection is the fact that I no longer allow other people to borrow my books. I’ve learned my mistake one too many times of allowing people to borrow books and then either getting the book back in poor condition or never seeing those books again. So why should I own an extensive collection of books if I’m just going to let them sit there after I’ve bought them? How many of these books do I actually read right after getting them? The answer? Not many. How many sit there for years after purchasing? The answer? Too many. And I think that’s why I forced myself to get rid of a huge number of books over the years. I’ve probably sold off over 100 books since 2015 and there are probably more that I should let myself part with that I just can’t bring myself to do yet.
But that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped myself from buying books. I finally caught up on my Sarah J. Maas books, allowing myself to have all the published books in those series (my main guilty pleasure books). And I also didn’t hesitate buying Again, But Better when that came out because I really and truly wanted to own that book.
In the end, I think that my book collection is going to be one of those things that I will spend years trying to hone but it will always be a bit too extensive for what I feel I should own. I have to come to accept that I will never be a minimalist, I just cherish things a little bit too much. It just makes me happy to see a shelf full of books and I’m not going to take that away from myself just because I feel like I hoard things. Someday I’ll have an office in a home that I’ll be able to fill with things I love, I just might have to let things sit in storage for a while before I get to that point.
Just remember that it’s not important whether you own 1000 books or 0. If you use exclusively your library or only buy books firsthand. It all supports something in the end and reading books that make you happy is the most important thing you can do.