Books gathering dust. Books that haven’t moved in 10 years. Books you can’t remember owning. Every house has them. But whenever I bring up this musty “elephant ” in the room, I usually hear (spoken with a very woeful look), “But I looovvve books.” Yes, but possessing them isn’t the only way to love them. Remember libraries?
Yesterday I spent three hours culling a much adored book collection and it feels great to have stirred up the dust. Now it’s a space that feels more a part of the room instead of an ignored, stagnant corner. And, I have lots of treasures to donate to the library for their fundraising sales. Playing it forward works in so many ways.
Here’s how I did it. Removed all books from one self at a time and stacked them on the floor. Sat down amongst them and lovingly dusted each one, asking myself two questions: “Would I ever read this again? Do I love it?” Results were shocking… and displayed to the left. Room, room, and more room.
Top shelf: Free space for my little wood carved sunburst box.
#2  Health & fitness resources.
#3  Consumers Reports 2013 and iPad station. (our latest learning curve)
#4  Books to read next!!! A Mandarin Orange/Cinnamon candle.
#5  Words closest to my heart. Faves.  
#6  Basket for morning walks in Washington. (gloves, scarves, ear buds)
#7  Eclectic mix: personal growth to plumbing. 
#8  Gardening, tree and plant care.
Categories are different for everyone, but the main idea is the same: purging. Pruning dead wood stimulates growth.
Granted, it’s now a little too perfect for my taste. and after years of attempted honing, my book space has been whittled down a lot. And to be perfectly honest, cookbooks are in the kitchen and job related books in an office space. But no matter, whether it’s one ledge above the bed, a small bookcase, or an entire room full, intent is the same. Remember: Do I love it? Will I ever read it again? 
Several years ago I realized that we never paid attention to all those collected, and neglected, books anymore. I also wanted to bring some order to household chaos. The hidden perk of purging is finding books I’d forgotten all about and want to read again. New reading material. Yay! The whole process brought a certain vibrancy to some of the things that I love. If you just can’t part with a single thing, happy dusting.