This year I am really trying to a) reduce the number of purchased books that come into our house and b) increase the number that are given away. It’s not because I’m a book-hater. I love reading and grew up in a home that had lots of books. However I do want to reduce the amount of things in our house (see my initial post on minimalism here). Adhering to the philosophy of William Morris: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’, I am trying to keep only those things that I assign value to. This means books too and so, among the books that I own, I am trying to keep only those that have given me real pleasure and/or I will re-read.
I am also looking at different ways in which to read books without keeping them. The idea is that they come into the house and, once read, are taken out again. I am calling this system: Avoiding the Bookshelf. I have a theory that if a book is placed on the bookshelf it will stay there, regardless of its worth or whether it will ever be read.
So I have borrowed books from friends:
And I have also lent out books, some of which I will give away if I know I won’t read them again:
I’ve also made use of the local libraries. I am lucky to be able to borrow from both the Wiltshire Library Service (we have a mobile library that comes to the village once a week. I can order books in advance and they will arrive on the van) and Libraries West, which covers Bath, Bristol, Somerset and South Gloucestershire. This is my current borrowed pile which features some eco sewing books and a really interesting read, ‘Overdressed’ about fast fashion in the US.
Bit by bit I’m also trying to tackle the technological side of reading books. I have borrowed an e-reader from a friend which I’m learning to get to grips with. The girls have also ‘borrowed’ digital books from Libraries West and I have downloaded an audio book, ‘The Girls of Slender Means’ by Jean Brodie which I then forgot to listen to!