Reliving Its Purpose | Indie Spirit by Augustin Ra

As a bibliophile, having my own library is the ultimate dream. I always tell my mom and the people I knew that it is one of my goals to have a number of books that will form a bookish paradise. I guess all bookworms can totally relate. So in order to achieve that goal, my mom supported me. During book shopping, my mom would help me buy the most interesting reads she could ever find from the sea of sale. Even people I knew would gift me the same thing and I highly appreciate them if the book is published by Penguin. I don't even know why I have this huge fascination with this publishing house. It's beyond happiness if I could ever find a treasure in a very affordable or the lowest price unimaginable.

Of course, the number of books I have grew as years passed by. From two digit numbers became three digits and the book lover in me jumped for joy. However, this growing number also resulted to a growing number of to be read books. As I grow, my taste for genres and writing styles changed. But this didn't stop me from collecting books. 

Alas, minimalism came into my life. Decluttering my stuff was such a therapeutic experience but every time I'd look at my cabinet where my books sit peacefully, I'd shrugged the thought of decluttering it because it would mean that I am letting go of the dream of having a library. Having that goal in mind is such a heavenly thing to experience but looking at the growing piles of printed word inside the cabinet, I became worried - worried that I won't have enough space for the future books to come. 

Then, my mom and I decided to move in another place for a convenient living especially for me in terms of transportation. Moving requires a lot of packing. In fact, it was also a light bulb moment for me. I grabbed this opportunity to start fresh on my minimalism journey so I could establish a room with only my essentials. I don't want to bring a lot of stuff when we move especially stuff that I no longer need so for the love of decluttering, I decided to face the most difficult task first which is to let go of my books.

Reliving Its Purpose | Indie Spirit by Augustin Ra

Decluttering is a non-stop journey, my friend. For example, I'd give time to evaluate my wardrobe and I will always have something to let go and later on, sell or give them away. When I said decluttering is a therapeutic task, it's indeed one, why? Because I let go of the stress that the particular object brings into my life and I earn cash from getting rid of it.

In order to accomplish of letting go of my books, I thought of the WHY. Why would a bibliophile like me get rid of her books? Why would a book worm like me let go of the dream of having a library? However, there's a catch. I didn't purposely let go all of my books but only remove the books that I thought are:

  1. no longer serve its purpose of giving me joy
  2. haven't reread for a long time 
  3. haven't read and don't have plans of reading because of lack of time or my taste for books already changed 
  4. to form a new mindset of having a library - a library composed of worthy books and sparks joy into my life which is what Marie Kondo stated on her book, 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up' and; 
  5. Paulo Coelho wrote something on one of his books that he appreciates an old battered book than a new one because he knew that the old battered one lives its purpose which is to be read and touched by many.

Reliving Its Purpose | Indie Spirit by Augustin Ra

I prepared a bag where I will put the books I have plans on giving away or selling and old papers that I'll be using as gift wrappers. There were books that were easily distinguished to be put into the bag and some were tough to decide whether to keep or not. If you have this kind of feeling, it means it's not worth keeping because you have that tiny pinch of doubt but if you're still hesitant, it's okay. You still have that bag and just put it there and if you didn't look for it on the coming days, then, you really don't need it.

One of the motivators for me to get rid as many books as possible was the box where I will pack the books. A medium-sized box was provided for the books and I decided that I'd only use one box for all the books that I'll be bringing to the new apartment. I failed many times but as the purpose of only having well-curated library in mind kept me going until I was able to fill the box with books I'd love to keep and read.

So what happened to the books I got rid of? Well, as what I've said earlier, I prepared old piles of paper when I was still in college and used it as gift wrappers. I also used old paper bags for some. The challenge was to find a new home for all of them. Not all people are book readers and majority I knew here in the office find them boring or they don't like reading which makes me sad. I still have a lot to give but considering the number of books I was willing to give away decreased as each day passed by since each day, I'd discover someone worthy of having them.

Last month and yesterday, I gave books to my officemates, friends, and the daughter of my manicurist. One workmate is a close friend of mine and I gave him three novels. He told me a while ago while we were eating our lunch that he opened the package yesterday when he arrived at their house. He started reading The Brethren by John Grisham and little did he notice that he already read 30 pages and still wearing his uniform. My supervisor also heard our conversation and told me that she's halfway through the book I gave her.

Reliving Its Purpose | Indie Spirit by Augustin Ra

I felt joy that I made someone happy with the same interest that I have and knowing that I let a book's purpose live made all the downsizing worth it. If I didn't give them away, then, they'd end up useless and sitting on my shelf for a long time.

If you're a book lover and owns a hundred of books or maybe even more and wants to pursue minimalism, it's okay to have that kind of massive collection so long as you feel happy and it gives value. As for my situation, some of my collection no longer serve me and in fact, it was already too overwhelming. I didn't regret giving them away. I repeat, so long as it serves you with value and joy, keep it! You can still pursue minimalism despite having that kind of collection.

Are you a book lover? Have you experienced downsizing your collection?

10 comments

  1. At first, I actually thought that I'll be lonely decreasing the number of books I have and giving them all away but it was the other way around. I felt there was a heavy weight removed from me and this lifestyle changed me for the better and how I look at life and things. Thank you, Bill. You, too. :)

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  2. I'm happy and sad at the same time that you're giving away your books. Still I look at the bright side that you'll be much happier living the minimalist life. I know that in the near future when you could own your own house, you'll be having your own library (minimalist style) hehe. Good luck with your plans. Hoping for the best. :)

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  3. Yes! I was so happy when I got my 100th book. Then the number just kept on increasing. Haha!

    Congrats on finishing your studies and having a job, Fads! It's also one of my goals to teach and hope I could some day. I think we have the same major if I'm not wrong. I try to insert a little reading time once in a while and it helps. However, it's much better if I could give an hour or two or even a day just for reading but my Netflix life consumes majority of my time if I'm not working. Haha!

    Thank you, Fads! I'm also happy for you. I wasn't even aware that some of my actions since I was a kid was how a minimalist live and now, I'm on the journey of embracing it fully!

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  4. That's better than I expected! I hope you're still that Caffeinated Book Junkie I know of, even if things go well for you hehe. ;)

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  5. I still have the books I bought when I was in high school. Wow, that's ten years already! I wanted to give away my books before I left, but I feel sad every time, so I just left it at home. But you are right; downsizing is worth it if someone with the same interest will be happy to receive your books. I think I have given away a few books, but I'm still not ready to let go most of it!

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  6. I'm in the process of packing my stuff and I've sold and given away a lot of stuff and there are some left that I still have to give away or sell. I can now fit some of my stuff like books, school supplies, and shoes in three medium-sized boxes. Unlike before, my mom had to provide balikbayan boxes just for each category. I'm excited to pack my clothes once I already have a box. I can't wait to separate some I no longer need and want. Hehe!

    Letting go of something you really love is difficult. It involves a lot of feelings but if you're sure enough to pursue of your WHY, then, it would be easy throughout the process, Ate Karen. It takes time, though. ;)

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  7. I still have books from previous fairs na hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa nababasa. :( they were books na I thought seemed nice, or has a good plot. but my actions are always based on my emotions, so If I dont feel depressed or anything, im not gonna read a sad novel. Something like that. So for some books, I never got the right mood to read them and really absorb the story. Some books hanggang ngayon gusto ko pa bigyan ng chance kahit years ko na hindi binabasa.

    Now what I do is bring a specific book with me wherever I go, so when Im bored mapipilitan ako basahin cos I have nothing else to do (I dont have 3G on my phone, so when im out, I have zero wifi access), and maybe that would help kickstart my mood again para mainspire akong ituloy tuloy lang ang basa.

    I almost never finish a book kasi either di ko gusto ung flow ng story enough for me to continue of it its self-help, once gets ko na ung essence and I feel paulit ulit lang ng sinasabi, I just stop reading. Now that I thought of it.. A lot of books I finished this year are self help. LOL. madali sila basahin kasi freeflowing unlike novels, mabilis ako malito esp pag maraming characters (Ex: Crazy Rich Asians).

    I've done a lot of decluttering before. Until now. Paulit ulit. Some I was able to sell. Some X Deal na lang kasi I suck at selling - and yes I'm acknowledging that. Haha. Sometimes I look for an appropriate reader para mas intentional ang bigay, hindi lang para makapag declutter.

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  8. Woah! Three digit amount of books?! That's something!

    I used to love reading books when I was in highschool, like real fictional novels. I was obsessed rather. It stopped due to college and they couldn't fit my budget. Now that I'm working, I'd love to spare some time to read. I need some me time of reading soon.

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you're starting to live a minimal life. You chose the right lifestyle. I'm so happy for you!

    Love, Fads | The Ă„stron
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