A Book Lover’s Guide to Minimalism

I’m a bit of a minimalist. (I say ‘a bit’ because some minimalists don’t believe in owning a second pair of pants. I’m not that kind). I donate huge bags of stuff I cull from the house at least twice a year. My teenagers know the drill.

animal big standing fur
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Me: It’s time.

Teens: We’ve already gone through our drawers.

Me: What about your shelves?

Teens: You brought these things back from Africa.

Me: Okay, not those. Do you have anything you haven’t used in a year?

Teens: No.

Me: Six months?

Teens: No.

Me: Two weeks? One day?

Teens: Can we talk to Dad?

But you know what I wish I had more of–always, no matter what?

Books. Not ebooks, physical books. I like giving them as gifts, and I love receiving them.

Ebooks aren’t going anywhere, I realize. They’re convenient to purchase. They don’t take up space. They’re dirt cheap, and I have a billion of them on my eReader at the moment.

But real books are different. They’re permanent. They don’t glow. They take on the shape you give them as you work your way through their pages. They feel and smell like memories (or promises, if they’re brand new). They can be shared, hand-to-hand. They can be stared at as you let your mind drift. They help you read better.

woman reading harry potter book
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If you’re a minimalist like me, and the thought of extra items around the house makes you itch, consider this: shoes, old kitchen appliances, sports gear, electronics, sweaters, picture frames, toys, and pants take up more space than a 300 page book. If you must (and I, for one, must), purge your house of all those items. But, please, make room for some books this Christmas.

Authors everywhere will thank you.