Honestly, this was the most difficult challenge for me! I have an obsession with books. At this time, I own 82 books (this does not include eBooks). I cannot believe this count isn’t higher?!
Come to find out, an obsession with books isn’t such a bad thing.
Science has shown that reading has a ton of health benefits including: reduction in stress, maintaining brain sharpness, easing depression, better sleep, and increase in intelligence.
I have personally experienced many of the benefits mentioned above from reading. I will also add that books have become a good alternative to mindlessly eating in front of the TV.
This is what reading does for me:
-Offers a view into someone else’s personality and experience through their eyes.
-I can explore a different time period. Over the past year I have read a lot of historical fiction and devoured a bunch of books about the Kennedy family.
-Inspires me to make change for the better. This is pretty selfish, but I have more of a desire to understand why I do the things I do, versus understanding others motives and personality.
- Allows me to take vacations to places I may never see in person. It’s like being able to visit a foreign country while lying in bed.
I have no less than three books going at one time. I always have a book available on my electronic device. I have a serious fear of not having a book available to read.
I read about a book a week.
I no longer have Facebook on my phone. Because of this I don’t sit on the couch and scroll through Facebook. In fact, I rarely have my phone with me anymore. When I do have down time, instead of looking at my phone, I read my book.
I also read for about a half hour every morning, and sometimes more if I decide not to exercise. My kids are up pretty early which means we have a few hours before leaving for school. At the end of the day, I try my best to fall asleep reading instead of to the TV which leads to a better quality of sleep.
Alright, moving onto the decluttering of my books. Even though I read around 80% of the books I owned, I didn’t want to part with any of them! But for the sake of this challenge, I figured I could make some changes.
What I ended up doing is going through all of my books. I picked out a few fictional ones that I’ve read once and have no interest in reading again.
It’s harder for me to part with non-fictional books, specifically a self-help, memoir, or “how to” book. I always think I will read them again, or I may need to reference them. Plus, certain books may resonate differently at different periods of my life.
I can’t remember the exact amount of books I gave away, but I don’t think it was more than 10. However, I have made a (semi) conscious effort to be more selective with the books I purchase versus the books I borrow from the library.
But sometimes I just get caught up in a good clearance sale at Barnes and Noble and I go a little crazy…I tell my husband there are a lot worse things I could be buying…
If this challenge taught me anything, it was that I really do have a deep connection to my books. I love sitting in my office because I am surrounded by them (similar to how I feel when I am in the library).
My goal for 2018 is to read through all the books I own before I borrow or buy more. I’ve already failed at this! The library always seems to have a book that I just have to read now.
Just for fun, I thought I would share with you my top five favorite books (so far):
She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb – I cannot remember when I read this book, but I think it may have been while I was an undergraduate. I just fell in love with the story, even though it’s a bit dark. Wally Lamb has a way of sucking you into the story with his deep level of detail within the characters.
Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin – This book was given to me as a gift by a good friend. It’s about habit formation and why we behave the way we do. It was a very motivating read for me and furthermore, I became a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin and read all her books. I am also a huge fan of her podcast, Happier.
If I’m So Smart Why Can’t I Lose Weight, by Brooke Castillo – Before I became a certified coach through Brooke’s school, I was a fan of this book. Brooke has a great gift of putting complex concepts into simple sentences that have an impact. This book came to me at a time when I knew that there was more to weight loss than dieting. I found her psychological take on weight loss so refreshing and I find myself going back to the concepts in this book time and time again.
I Regret Nothing: A Memoir, by Jen Lancaster – If you want a laugh out loud read, then you have to check out one of the many memoirs that Jen has written. She often says out loud what so many of us think, but don’t have the guts to say. In this book, Jen decides to create a bucket list and write about her attempt at crossing everything off of it. Jen is one of those authors that I am constantly stalking to see if she has released a new book, but I could also read her old books over and over again.
If it’s been forever since you picked up a book, start today with one of the reads above. Replace scrolling through your phone with a book and you will be amazed at how much reading you can do.
Are there certain books you find it hard to part with? What are you some of your favorite reads? How do you manage the amount of books you own?
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