Books, magazines, catalogues... All reading material that is supposed to enlighten us. Free our imagination and enrich our souls.
As a lover of words, books are more than just a collection of paper and ink. It's the physical embodiment of ideas, wisdom and emotions.
Discarding a book instinctively feels like abandoning all those attachments. I was once like my brother, who is a hoarder of books. He is of the opinion that we should keep our books where it could visually prompt our memories of its lessons.
These days I am under the impression that the most influential and important readings will not leave our memory and it is our duty to share the knowledge by passing on books to others.
Sticking to the method of only keeping the books that truly sparks joy. I was struck by how few books I read often and frequently. I have come to the conclusion that I rely on my kindle much more for fiction and only purchase physical copies of books for references such as cooking, study and guides.
Even though as an avid cook, it's astounding at how few recipes I have actually tried from cook books. These days, the beautiful internet is more likely to inspire me than the recipes sitting on my shelf. I enjoyed buying these books because they were a "must-have" and to fill a gap that supposed other books didn't cover. It is a revelation to discover that my recipe library was less about being guides for me to nourish my body and more about vanity.
I possessed a handful of Nigella's books because which "self-respecting cook" wouldn't have her books on their shelf? Or Ottolenghi? or Jamie Oliver? I purchased these books to show myself that I enjoy food and show others who visit my home that I enjoy food. Although if you had met me or an acquaintance, I'm pretty sure that you would pick up the fact that I really really love food. Whether I had the biggest library of food books or not wouldn't have been the big clue on that.
Through this process of decluttering, I held each book tightly. Thanked the author for their hard work and wished the book well in the future. Hoping that another person will use it more fully than I ever could. I took those cookbooks into the office the next day and donated them. Thankfully there's a couple of avid cooks and some unconfident cooks in my office who were keen to dive in and taken them home. I'm hoping I get to try out some of their efforts soon.
During this process I managed to declutter an array of literature, ranging from children references to crime fiction. I kept all the children references and visual books for the charity I volunteer at, where our members are learning English and this would assist them. All the fiction, I have donated to a local charity book shop where they can be sold. I never threw out a single book into the bin or the recycling bin.
What sort of books did you find hard to let go?
Where did you donated your books so that they had the best chance of being reused?