For as long as I can remember, I have always loved reading books. One of my favorite ways to spend a rainy day is curled up on my sofa with a book that is so engrossing that I feel transported into the author’s story, and I become emotionally involved with the characters.
Most of the books that I have read I completely enjoyed and, for years, refused to part with any of them. My collection of books has been like a badge of honor to wear proudly. Even though I was a voracious read since my preteen years, it was not until I was in my late teens that I decided to keep all the books that I read. I was 19 when the stockpiling of books began. I had just watched a documentary movie titled “In Search of Noah’s Ark.” I was totally engrossed in the movie, and began to think more about the Bible as a whole. I was raised as a Christian, so I attended Sunday School and regular church services throughout my formative years. However, I did not really know the Bible. I knew almost nothing about the Old Testament, and very little about the New Testament.
In Search of Noah’s Ark ignited within me a deep yearning to finally know the Bible better by reading it from cover to cover. So, I went out and purchased my very own copy of the Bible, the NIV, and began to read it until I reached the last book.
Next, I found myself reading dozens of the popular romance novels of the day by authors such as Kathleen E. Woodiwis, Johanna Lindsay, LaVyrle Spencer, Sylvie E. Sommerfield, and Catherine Coulter.
I also became passionate about reading autobiographies of famous and notorious people from all walks of life.
By the time I reached my late twenties, I felt compelled to return to my search for the true nature of my existence, so I began to read hundreds of books of a more spiritual nature, but from a non-traditional perspective. Each genre of books that I read reflects certain periods of my life as I have grown.
As the years went by, I had stockpiled more than enough books to have a dedicated room in my home as a library. Actually, the four walls of the room were not enough to house all of my books, so, I had to go through them all and make a huge donation to the local library.
Over the years I purged more of my books. Last week, I decided to purge some more, limiting the books that I keep to the spiritual books that had a huge impact on my life. I also kept a few history books, and some of the classics.
My book collection now is a far cry from what it originally was. I still love books and reading, but keeping all of them no longer made any sense. It is also part of downsizing to live a simpler and clutter free life, as I have been trying to do since reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up, by Marie Kondo. I do not resonate with everything in her book, but it has helped a a great deal, and yes, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was one of the books that were purged.
If you recently purged your personal library, I would love to hear about your journey to letting go of books.