I Love Reading And Don’t Own A Single Book

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 love reading and yet I don't own a single book

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.



  1. November 19, 2018 / 3:57 AM

    I couldn’t agree with you more! This year I did a huge declutter on my book collection and still have so many that I have to double stack them on the book shelf. I really want to read more this year and I’ve been really slack on it, but my current attitude to my bookshelf is once it’s read, it gets donated. Unless it’s an absolute favourite of mine that I will read over and over.

    • Nina
      November 19, 2018 / 7:27 AM

      I am so happy to hear that my post resonates with you! Awesome that you decluttered your book collection! It must feel freeing! I must say that letting go of my collection has actually resulted in me reading way more! I no longer need to spend money on books – I just get them from the library or borrow one from friends/family. I love that! I think that’s a wonderful attitude to have! There’s no need to hold on to a book that you don’t intend to read over and over again! 🙂

  2. Laura
    February 5, 2021 / 9:24 AM

    Great Post! I totally agree. I’ve been thinking about getting rid of my books for quite a long time (I only have one shelf right now, but I want to get rid all (!) of the novels. But as I want to remember them, recommend them etc. I am thinking about creating a list on excel with my favorite books. I already have done something like that with movies and series. The exception are non-fictional books (in my case mainly dog books) that I read again or look up something from time to time. I still dont own a ebook reader- I dont know, for me the feeling is different to looking at a physical book with a nice cover etc. However, I love going to the library and to public book shelves to look for new books. Greatings from Germany

    • Nina
      March 27, 2021 / 11:53 AM

      Hey Laura,

      I feel you on loving physical books! There’s something about it that makes reading physical books different and special. Creating a list with your absolute favorites and letting go of your novels sounds like a great idea!

      I’ve stuck to reading on my phone and while it was initially odd – I really enjoy it now! A blue light filter in the evenings also helps! 🙂

      All the best with decluttering your book collection and keeping your favorites! :))

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