I felt like Andy giving away his beloved toys…
I used to be that person who romanticized books so much. I thought that nothing could beat the smell, the feel, and intimacy a book can give to its reader. Reading has been (and is still) such a huge part of who I am.
Over the years, I have collected so many books. They came to me as gifts, bargain hunts, and impulse purchases. It was not enough that I borrow a book—I must have a copy of it, because I knew that I would always want to revisit the pages and relive the experiences of my favorite characters.
Recently, however, I have not had the abundance of time to read and reread. And if ever I do feel the urge to read a new book, or revisit a chapter of something I’ve already read before, I would opt to do so on my iPad. Once I became conscious of this habit I’ve apparently developed, I started digitizing my book collection. Doing this made it easy for me to finally push through with something I’ve long thought of doing: passing my physical books forward.
I have long been considering rehoming my books because I felt that it would be better if I give a huge chunk of my book collection to fellow book lovers who can take better care of them, instead of keeping them in my shelf. But every time I tried, I felt overwhelmed. I eventually got over it and became super motivated to make this endeavor a success.
I started telling my friends about it and the response was overwhelmingly positive—it was beyond what I expected! I told them of the titles I’m giving away, and reservations immediately started pouring in. The best part is, the whole experience brought so many good things to me—greater than just being able to declutter. Through rehoming my books, I was able to support my friends’ love for reading, reconnect with old pals, and some of them even told me that they were inspired by this move, and would want to do the same thing. My heart is full.
Do physical books still have a place in my minimalist life? Yes, of course. Upon deciding to purge my book collection, I’ve immediately concluded that I would not give my entire collection away. Special edition books, rare copies, and some favorites remain to be with me. And that is enough for me.
Now, my heart is at peace upon learning that I have misattributed my love for reading to the physical object that embodies it—I did not need to hoard books to prove that I am passionate about reading! But this is a personal stance, of course. I acknowledge that some people just really prefer reading a physical book. I know, I’ve been there. It’s just that I’ve come to a point where I’m ready to make a shift and fully embrace reading digitally.
So, to my friends who have willingly adopted my pre-loved books, thank you! I hope you’re all enjoying the new members of your (perhaps ever-growing) to-read list. 😊