Making my way through The 100 Thing Challenge, I find there is one thing I love to purchase no matter where I go: Books. When I visited family in San Francisco, I didn’t buy tons of clothes or souvenirs, I bought books. My cousin even apologized for taking me to a bookstore where I spent most of my vacation money. I’m not sure what it is about books, but they’ve always been something I’m eager to dive into. I think this stems from my childhood of being a bookworm, and admiring Belle from Beauty in the Beast. Unfortunately, what this has led to is too many books and no library to store them in. My bookshelves are full and it seems whenever I relocate, I always find boxes dedicated to my book collection. Since taking on The 100 Thing Challenge, I decided this had to come to an end, not only for future moves but also for my back after carrying boxes of books.
Going through each book shelf in my house, here’s what I’ve uncovered:
Fashion books: 8
Craft books: 14
Art books: 4
Travel books: 8
Writing books: 3
Hollywood books: 3
Costume History books: 3
History books: 1
Theatre books: 3
Children’s books: 3
Star Wars and Science Fiction books: Too many
Although I have not provided a specific number of Star Wars books, my first realization is that this puts me well above the 50 limit that I set for myself previously. I also decided not to group any books because it doesn’t help me eliminate books I don’t need anymore. Allowing myself to group books would only let me keep my books instead of going through them and giving away what I don’t need.
There are some books I’ve fallen in love with over the years, but I’ve come to realize that I don’t have a reason for keeping them. Once I’ve read them, is there a purpose to keeping them? Do I need to have them? My writing books I’ve re-read and I know I want to keep the Hollywood, filmmaking, and screenplays because I’ve had a strong interest in pursuing this field, but what I’ve determined I don’t need anymore are my costuming books. There are some costuming books that relate to indigenous and ethnic clothing, something I plan on incorporating in my career, so I’ve kept those books. However, all of my costume history and crafts books I don’t necessarily need anymore. I was planning on taking them to my local used bookstore until a post on my Instagram feed popped up with a new local art gallery looking for art-related books to create an art library:
We've just firmed up the acquisition of our extra space! We will be working on several ideas, one being a library of art books and a sitting room to read and perhaps view art films. If you have unwanted art books, just drop them off at the gallery. Thanks in advance! #artworkscedarcity #artbook #coffeetablebooks #arthistory #artistbiography #read #library #ironcountytoday #visitcedarcity
My questions about where to take these books were answered! I went through each craft and art-related book thoroughly, asking myself: “How much do I really need this? When will I use it again?” If the answer was: “Never,” I knew which pile that book would go in. Getting rid of books with craft projects I knew I would never take on felt freeing and liberating. I no longer felt obligated to keep craft books if my mentality was, “I’ll get to this someday.” Someday is usually never.
As I piled other books in a box for my local used bookstore, my Star Wars books came into question. I loved Star Wars as an adolescent and still admire it as an adult, but would I really read these books in future? What purpose do they serve me? As I mulled over the questions in my mind, my mom made a great suggestion: sell the books on Amazon. As a graduate student looking for opportunities to make extra money, I think this may be the best decision yet! I may see if some are collector’s items, but my guess is probably not.
What my collection of books has made me think more about is how do you stop yourself from collecting something you like, whether that’s Star Wars memorabilia or stuffed animals of a favorite cartoon character? Not telling people I admire something would be hard to do, and I’ve written about it my blogs, so that would be hard to avoid now. Collecting these items over the years, I understand the nostalgia attached to them and the excitement of finding another Tigger toy or Hello Kitty doll or Star Wars adventure book. But, the moment is fleeting and only short-lived. Did I cling to these items for so long as a sense of hope? I’m not sure what kind of hope I thought I would receive, but now it seems this is a false sense of hope that I’ve placed on inanimate objects. It’s time I start looking for hope in other places.
How do you stop yourself from collecting too much? How do you minimize what you own for your hobbies?