You know when I first started minimalism, I felt obligated to live by all of these unspoken rules I thought existed. Like I needed to have a tiny home or live out of a backpack in order to really be called a minimalist. How silly is that? Whenever I would have a stressful day I would turn to my favorite past-time: decluttering. Decluttering became a way for me to feel in control when I felt so out of control in other areas of my life. I would look at my book collection and feel like I had to remove some books from my life. I was a minimalist after all, I had to follow the unspoken code of minimalism that said if I haven’t read it in a year, it must go out the door. Right? Yeah, no. I’ve decided this is all nonsense and I’ll tell you why…
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First of all, can you ever have too many books? I mean, if you’re a book reader of course. If you’re someone who just buys books and lets them collect dust, well then, I feel sorry for you, my friend. You are truly missing out.
But for the rest of us avid book collectors, I think it’s safe to say that these magical little pampflets actually improve our quality of life. We learn new things, challenge old ideas, consider concepts we had not previously thought of. In books we read new tales. We laugh, cry, scrunch our noses…
Reading a book is an all around experience, and if you know me, you know I’m all about experiences.
Isn’t it so bonkers that most of us so badly wanted to shun the “herd like” mentality of materialism so we joined minimalism. In our pursuit of standing against the system and fighting the ads that told us what to buy and who to be, we just created a whole new set of rules and standards to live up to.
This is all so backwards.
Minimalism is about getting back to basics so you can get back to yourself. To me, it is deconstructing a false life in order to build a richer, fuller life in its place. This is what my entire Rich Minimalist program is about after all. Choosing completely and open-heartedly who you want to be and what you want to do.
This was what I originally called my Minimalist Diet — an overall life transformation that can take place when you adopt the concepts of minimalism to your life in a way that works for you.
Take it from a former shopaholic, getting in the habit of always buying stuff only gives you a temporary high. That’s where minimalism got its start. It was created to allow us, encourage us, to be more intentional with what we bring into our homes.
But here’s the thing….
Random things at gift shops that made me chuckle didn’t bring lasting joy.
Clearance rack items that I bought so I could say I saved money didn’t bring lasting joy. (Spoiler alert, I didn’t save money either.)
But I’ll be damned, if my book collection doesn’t bring me a crap ton of joy day in and day out. I love being able to finish a book and head to my bookshelf to see what feels right for my next read.
Don’t worry, there isn’t a new secret rule that says owning a lot of books is cool because I think they are beneficial. This doesn’t mean you should head to the local Barnes and Noble and start stocking up in order to meet this new trend.
No, what I’m saying is, allow yourself to collect and hoard and hang onto whatever boost your mood and makes your heart go pitter patter. Like a Disney movie.
Yes, minimalism is heavily about getting rid of things, but we do this in order to get clearer about the things we want to fill our lives with.
I stopped buying $245 worth of stuff at the Target Dollar Stop so I could start buying new books I want to read and combing the local Goodwill in search of a new random book find that might be exactly what I need. It was a trade off and I’m glad I made it.
Oh, and PS if you’re a Goodwill book lover, then you just might poop your pants to hear that you can actually make money this way. For real. I have a friend who made over $2,000 flipping books!
If you came to this post hoping someone would tell you that having some books was an OK thing to do by the minimalist rules…then here you go. This is officially your permission (but remember, you don’t need this from anyone either).
One thing I do think is a fun idea is to display your books in a way that they become seen. Like a work of art in your home.
We display ours on an old bench my mom’s first husband made (yeah, it’s weird that I own his stuff). I have all the books color coordinated and every day I smile at them. That could be because I just love books that much or because we are going past 1 year of this Covid craziness and I have officially lost my mind. Ya never can tell.
Anyway, if you love the idea of displaying your books proudly, here are some really cool shelving ideas I found on Amazon!