The Decluttering and Minimalism Project Is Now Turning Toward My Personal Library
I am committed to this minimalism and de-cluttering project. Since beginning this change, it has been wonderfully freeing. If something hasn’t been used in the past twelve months, it is donated or discarded. Everything has a place and the systems at home were changed so that the basic act of living, going through the day, takes care of keeping everything maintained without any extra work.
Now that this phase of the pantry is done, I am turning my attention to the library. In my 30 years on earth, I’ve managed to amass more books than anyone I know, mostly consisting of biographies, history, economics, philosophy, cookbooks, and statistical references (e.g., massive bound copies of bank references that detail the asset, liabilities, profits, and capital structure of every bank in the United States, as well as contact information, holding structure, etc.)
Right now, those books are spread across a spare room in another part of my house that we haven’t renovated, yet, and shoved into rows and rows of bookcases that wrap around this large space. It’s become the catch-all room as the rest of the house is worked through and finished, space by space. Here’s what one corner of that room looks like (the bookcases keep going, plus there are piles up to my waist all over the floor behind me).
I’d decided to jump off the proverbial cliff after I became acclimated to eBooks over the past year, which began with my paperless project. That meant picking up a new Kindle Fire and Kindle Paperwhite. I had them put in leather bound faux book covers so they can sit between the original editions of Security Analysis on my home study bookcase. Now, my task is to spend the next few weeks creating an inventory of my entire library, transferring as many titles as I can into the Kindle. I thought it would also give me a chance to finish the book recommendations so many of you have been asking me to write, so in addition to streamlining yet another part of my life, it should benefit all of you.
I’m setting a deadline of one month to at least get the books categorized. All new purchases have already switched over to digital format, a practice I started last year or the year before and wrote about on the blog. At the very least, the physical books will be cataloged and organized perfectly, at which point I will probably have them sold through a third-party distributor to recapture several thousand dollars and offset part of the cost of the project.
The books that have my scribbles and highlights in them will probably be put in storage at one of the businesses, where properly packed, they will take up much less room. I want to be able to go back and reference the marginal notes a few decades from now. These were the books I had when I was 10, 11, 12 years old and trying to figure out finance. Some of the comments on the pages make me laugh today … I was so young and inexperienced. I can actually see the journey unfold on the pages based on when I acquired the book.