There was a time when I couldn’t imagine using an ereader. An electronic device for my reading pleasure? Blasphemy!
After all, one of the joys of reading is that you hold the book in your hand, and turn the pages.
A little more than a year ago, though, I started having a change of heart. It would be nice, I decided, to have a Kindle when a travel. So much easier than carrying around two or three clunky books.
It only took about a month for me to become hooked.
Downsizing the Book Collection
When we began de-cluttering our home a few months ago, I decided to do something that I’d never done before: Downsize the book collection.
Books tend to fall into an interesting category. Many people, even those who are interested in sustainable living and minimalism and other philosophies that have to deal with getting rid of stuff, make books an exception. After all, a book is respectable.
However, I realized that there’s no reason to have as many books as I did. Yes, I could go to the library instead, but my library has a dearth of books I’m interested in. Besides, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to wait for a book to become available. And if I like it well enough, I want to own so I can read it again whenever I want.
The result was that I had thousands of books. I purged my books in two stages, and now I’m down to less than 300 books (I think). And I don’t buy hardcopy books anymore. Instead, I purchase books on the Kindle. And, even better, there are plenty of books in the public domain that I can get for free for my ereader.
It was difficult for me to decide to downsize my book collection, but I feel better about the situation. Plus, having the ereader means that I travel lightly, no matter what, and it can help me avoid building up more clutter down the road. Using the ereader has been a great help to me as I work to practice some of the principles of minimalism in my life.
Deciding What to Keep
I couldn’t make myself get rid of all of my books. I have some old books that I like for collector purposes. I have books given to me by my grandmother and my great-grandmother. Perhaps I should learn to let go the sentiment attached to those things, but I like having those books. Plus, sometimes it’s still nice to pick up a book, touch it and smell it, and immerse all my senses in the act of reading.
The fact that whittled my book collection down was a big step for me. And I am glad that ereaders make it possible for me to enjoy reading without the need to fill up my home with volumes upon volumes. Technology is one of the great things that makes it easier to live minimalist principles — no matter where you live and the lifestyle you choose.