Our Reading Lives

5 Mantras for Getting Rid of Books


You’re standing there. Staring at your shelves, the piles on your floor, the books you somehow never unboxed after you moved three years ago but have somehow convinced yourself you still need/want to read. You know you have to downsize your book collection, but it feels like cutting off one of your fingers. And not a pinky or something. One of the good fingers.

When you reach this crossroads that we all must encounter in our lives, unless we move to bigger and bigger homes or develop TARDIS technology/magic like Hermione’s, here are five mantras for you to gently whisper to yourself as you clutch that book you bought eight years ago and never picked up again till now but feel that giving it away is agony unto your very soul. May these mantras for getting rid of books help you on your journey to book collecting instead of hoarding, my friend:

My books do not define who I am.


Cindy will never know I got rid of this.


If I need this book in the future, I can find it, for the internet is vast and libraries are plentiful.


If I haven’t read this book after five years, perhaps I do not truly want to read it.


Having this book at my fingertips is not worth the space and freedom I will feel from not living in a book hoarder home constantly fearing death by toppling book pile.