Book, Friend, Foe?

Written by Martha on October 9th, 2012

Don’t you love checking out the bookshelves when you visit a home? The books that make the cut to “keepers” tell you a lot about their owner. When you recognize a book you love, there is an immediate feeling of connection to the other person! That makes for a great conversation starter.

With the Kindle and Nook, the day may come when we can’t be nosy anymore! Until then, you may struggle as I do with letting go of books you have collected along the way.

The approach I use at home and with clients is from Judith Kolberg’s book Conquering Chronic Disorganization. She advocates sorting books into three piles:

  1. Best Friends – Those books you love, refer to often, or plan on reading again (and again) are definite keepers.
  2. Acquaintances – These are the books you enjoyed at one time, but have no ongoing desire to revisit. Let a friend enjoy these?
  3. Strangers – Non-fiction you read half-way; fiction that one reading was enough. You have no problem saying goodbye and letting these go to another owner.

For book lovers, this personification of inanimate objects makes perfect sense!

Options for the books you don’t keep:

  • Share with friends
  • Sell at Half-Price Books
  • Donate to Better World Books   (shipping is prepaid)
  • In Columbus, OH area, call Rodger Williams of Crestview Books. He comes to you, makes an offer, then carts away the books you no longer need.

Now you are ready to put your friends back on your newly cleared shelves. Organize by size, subject matter, or author. A designer friend suggests shelving like-colored jackets as a group. Add photos or colorful accent pieces for eye appeal. Nice!

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