Books are wonderful, aren’t they? I used to own a bookshelf full of them and today I don’t own a single book. I bought new books all the time and absolutely loved it. My bookshelf got so full that I considered installing additional shelving in my room. I was a true book lover, wasn’t I? Someone who enjoyed reading and bought books. That’s what you do when you enjoy reading, no?
I let go of all my books
Having a shelf full of books was all wonderful until it wasn’t. Have you ever moved to a different country, via plane, with a huge book collection? My thoughts exactly. It simply wasn’t going to happen and I decided to let go of almost all of them. I ended up moving to New York City with only 2-3 books.
I’ve been living out of a suitcase and carry-on ever since and donated the remaining books shortly after my move. Today, I don’t own a single book and couldn’t be happier. I don’t miss my book collection at all. Crazy right? I used to be obsessed with my physical book collection. I loved their smell, I loved having them and I loved looking at them.
It’s the upkeep that got to me
You know what I didn’t love? Dusting them, moving them around, the space they took up and their weight. I didn’t like it one bit. “I love reading and yet I don’t own a single book” is not something that I thought I’d ever say and yet here we are.
My #1 reason for letting go of all of my books
My desire to let go of my book collection was solely motivated by moving to a different country. Simply put, moving with all my books wouldn’t have made economic sense. Have you ever shipped huge and large boxes internationally? Exactly. It would have been insane.
The best part? I would’ve needed to repeat this process over and over again – for every single one of my moves. It was easy to let go of my books the minute I visualized what would happen if I wouldn’t. I’ve moved roughly 10 times since 2014 and my moves would’ve nowhere near as smooth if it wasn’t for letting go of my books.
Libby all the way
In New York City and London, libraries were my best friend. The best part? They are free! In countries such as Germany and Austria libraries usually charge a small yearly fee.
I started borrowed more and more ebooks and have now been reading primarily ebooks for almost a year. I use an app called Libby to connect to my library and read all the books that I borrow on my phone.
Books can’t be recycled
Books can’t usually be recycled with regular paper recycling because of the glue that’s used to hold it together. If you are thinking of letting go of (some of) your books then the most responsible way to let go of them is to pass them on to someone else.
I have used the following ways to let go of books:
- Gifts for friends & family
- A donation to a local weekly book market
- A donation to my local charity shop (that I used to work at)
Will I ever buy books again?
Yes and no. I don’t think I’ll ever again buy a novel or book that I only intend to read once or twice. However, I do intend to buy books that I know I’ll need to reference on a regular basis such as business books. Of course, whenever available, I’d buy all of those used.
I love books, I swear!
Don’t get the wrong idea here. I freaking love books and yet I don’t own a single book. I just don’t love what comes with owning physical books. If I would’ve held on to my book collection then you wouldn’t be reading this post. Seriously. If I would have held on to all the books that I had back then I simply wouldn’t be living the life that I am living today. It’s as simple as that.
I don’t own a single book and couldn’t be happier.