Home Recommended Reading Workshops About RSS

192 Books

This is a picture of the bookshelves that cover one wall of my office – which was the old washing porch of this house.

library shelves

library shelves

From these shelves 192 books have been taken away.    So I put my CD’s and holders on one shelf.

192 books went to a local churches used book sale to help them cover the costs of assisting 3 homeless families live in housing they provide; help them get back to work and more stability in their living.

I had something to give to help others and to be of use.  That felt good.

The books on these shelves are not lonely!   No Way!   I have 6 more bookshelves and my photograph leaves out the 2 more levels of shelves behind my reading chairs!

And least I forget, oldest child has a set of bookshelves fairly full in her room.  Middle child has an over full bookshelf in her room and 17 boxes of books in storage in our attic (Librarian girl).   Youngest child has a small shelf of books, and several shelves of tennis trophies.     3 of us own KINDLEs  and love them.

I must say too, that I am an avid reader at the Library too.

I always feel great when I have something to give away and it is useful.

I am not just decluttering.  I am letting go – I am releasing all of me that was invested in those books.

I still have a nearly complete set of YES! Magazines to give away; they need to be shared and to have more readers.

I like the open spaces on the shelves and in my life.  I am still open to new ideas and things to read.

These books and the collection of them is no longer a part of my definition.  Once I started it was easy to let go, place them in the boxes and take them to the sale.   It was surprisingly freeing.

Is there something that is defining you that you need to let go of?  What makes it hard?  Do you find it freeing?

Related Posts:
I Love This Magazine
Hats Off to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Revising Committee
To Be Of Use

26 Responses to “192 Books”

  1. Davina Says:

    Hi Patricia.
    It feels great to let go of “stuff”. And it’s funny how we collect books. I have a collection; not as many as you’ve shown us. But they sit there year after year, untouched (cept for the dust). Make me wonder… why? As time passes I revisit them and am able to remove a few more. Guess that’s some progress.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Life Coach for the Knobs =-.

  2. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. I love books and I hope to inherit a set of old encyclopedias from my uncle and some other reference books – crazy perhaps .. but I love looking things up. I too am clearing out – there’ll be more to do in the future for my mother. It’s a clutter, as are pictures, but I love them .. no children .. perhaps that’s the substitute!

    Love seeing your picture – are they little houses on the middle shelf? Good for you for raising funds and for letting go ..
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..St Valentine’s Day, Tokens of Affection and Love Spoons =-.

  3. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Hi Patricia – I know I have mentioned this before, but when Pete and I combined our households almost four years ago, it was my “stuff” that mostly got the boot. Or at least it seemed like it! I was amazed at how vested I was in my stuff! And I was disappointed in myself that it was so important to me. What a process! (I still miss some things that are gone from time to time).

    It is very illuminating how we become attached, isn’t it? I vowed my stuff wouldn’t be burdensome to my survivors, as it was quite traumatic to go through my parents’ home after my mother passed. She was a “keeper” who had been honest about her intention to leave all the dealing with it to us after she was gone.

    There is a great lightness that comes when we are free of the things we no longer use or need, though. It is very freeing. Early in the year is a great time to unclutter – it goes along with making plans and rejuvenation. Good insights, and how lovely you could donate your books to a worthy recipient!
    .-= Betsy Wuebker´s last blog ..Roaming Through Michigan =-.

  4. Dot Says:

    It seems the older I get, the more I want to get rid of. Though, like Betsy, I miss some of them and have even repurchased a few books so I can read them again.

    I’m looking forward to the freeing feeling. Right now what I have is cartons full of stuff to be rid of, and no one to drive them to their destinations. Perhaps when spring comes…

  5. Mark Says:

    Letting go of your books was a wonderful thing to do that has enhanced others lives as well as your life. When we remember that the things in our life do not define who we are it is much easier to let go.

  6. Patricia Says:

    My Mother moved many times after I turned 16 and each time I saw her whittle down her things until she was down to just what made her happy. I like the feeling of freedom as I release and that is does someone some good – even better.

    I think I wanted a library because it represented my smart and intellectual side, I do have a few books that I get up and read in the middle of the night…but I can put them on KINDLE and not have to dust!

    My partner is a keeper guy – if he bought it then don’t give it away, but he truly got into putting together a box of his books to get rid of….but it does feel like it is mostly my things that go…I do not know if my guy will be able to sell this house ever – there is so much of him invested in this structure.

    I do wish I could figure out how to release the huge box of my Mother’s community Plate Silver – a full formal tea service and then all the serving dishes. I think there would be a market in UK when the economy turns around…it was a gift to my daughter to help her with college – well it is just a huge box all packed up taking up space.

    I am not lifting things right now myself, but for that many books the church sent over some strong youth group members to take the books away. Yep, I am not good about things.

    I have been into voluntary simplicity for most of my life, having children and adding all those “Things” to my life seems to be holding me back from my greatest joy….and I don’t wish to use up so many trees and pollute the world either. More in line with who I am and am becoming.

  7. Talon Says:

    It’s wonderful to sift through things. There are two local charities in my community that call to see if there is anything to donate every couple of months and it really helps to remind me to discard things that are no longer needed. I have a great love of books and still have many, but I’ve managed over the last few years to keep only the ones that I really enjoy and re-read.

    This is the time of year when it makes me really take note of what’s around me in the house, as the hours indoor are so much more.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the process, Patricia. It really is liberating.
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..Destined… =-.

  8. Patricia Says:

    Yes it is very liberating.

  9. Mama Zen Says:

    For me, the most freeing thing is letting go of perceived obligations.

  10. Patricia Says:

    Mama Zen,
    I agree with you – I made 3 promises to my Father before he died, when all three were completed it was so freeing. I will say some obligations can be found to be not real or only perceived as you say.

  11. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. oh well perhaps we can share a transatlantic library sometime?! I hope one day to have sufficient space and tables for books etc. Your Kindle .. I look forward to at some stage to getting one of those .. a future thing. Go well this week – Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Collop Monday , Shrove Tuesday, Amazing Grace and Ash Crosses =-.

  12. Meggin Says:

    Where shall I take my books?? Please let me know!
    I wanna be FREE!! :)

  13. Scott Says:

    Giving away books, throwing them away, even donating them would be difficult for me. I love books. I love the pages. Yes, even the smell of a book can sometimes turn a bad day to good, for me anyway. Gosh, that sounds way more corny than I meant for it too. Anyway, I applaud you for donating so many. I think it’s a great idea.

    You said you have a Kindle and you are obviously a lover of books as well. Does or can a scenario run through your mind where you can see your Kindle (or ebooks in general) replacing your books, the ones with bindings and paper?

    .-= Scott´s last blog ..Here’s Some Interesting News =-.

  14. Patricia Says:

    I am getting more and more impressed with my Kindle and how it does not take up space and use up so many trees. It is worth the trade off…and now it is Global

    Unitarian Church on the Westside….also used bookstore then give the money away or buy new books, and I took lots to the Timberland Library as they have a used book sale once a year too.. Lots of possibilities in our humble abode…and yes! yes! it does feel freeing..

  15. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. one day .. Mum first for now .. and as you say it’s globabl etc .. so glad you’re such a fan – it’s good to know ..
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Collop Monday , Shrove Tuesday, Amazing Grace and Ash Crosses =-.

  16. Patricia Says:

    Welcome and thank you for making a comment.

    Yes! yes! I do love books and reading and stories….and I have a group that I just love the feel of and the smell of….but I think I will very soon be doing everything on the KINDLE….or PC….It does not use so many trees – and I like breathing clean air better than my books….I like the trees drinking 500 gallons of water a day and keeping the hillsides in place….I want to leave something for the next 7 generations.
    I have reached an age where I don’t want to be known for my things – that is not the legacy I want to leave behind and now having to help several seniors let go of defining things and a “pack rat” senior in my future….the task is easier.
    I like too that with the KINDLE the authors – writers get paid for their work.

    I have less eye strain so I can keep reading longer through my life…my mum may have been right about reading with a flashlight under the blankets?

  17. Patricia Says:

    Each in it’s own time – I got my KINDLE after my mum died and that’s too when I was able to truly start letting go of things.

  18. Hilary Says:

    Thanks Patricia … as you say .. all in its own time ..
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Collop Monday , Shrove Tuesday, Amazing Grace and Ash Crosses =-.

  19. Sara Says:

    Patricia — Good for you about going through your books and magazines. You reminded me that I a couple of bags of books to take to my library.

    It is good to let go of things. I’ve not been doing this as much as I want especially regarding my house…it has gotten cluttered. You know it’s bad when can’t find a drawer to stuff something in and that’s the case in my house. I don’t dare open a couple of closets as I value my life:~)

    I’ve talking to JC and we’ve both agreed that since we will not be traveling this summer, the house will be decluttered…if not I may become a good candidate for the TV program “Hoarders!”
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..Picture Story: A Cardinal Talks =-.

  20. Patricia Says:

    To everything there is a season

    I am finding it so freeing to be decluttering, it rather builds upon its own momentum. I just shredded a file drawer full of 30 year sto 15 years old income tax returns….Took me about 3 hours and wow I was rather high when done. I am working on tackling one drawer a week in our office. I think the hardest will be letting go of purses! I hunt and hunt until I find one I like, or always keep my eye open, then it took me so long to find it and not pay full price for it, I am hard pressed to let go. I decided to use one each day in my economic relief meditation and stare at it and visualize it full of money!

  21. Patricia Says:

    I am sorry I missed this earlier: the row of houses are a fund raiser a daughter made and they are CD holders. I thought they made a nice row of my CD’s, which will be obsolete also in the future if I get one of those MP3 players – my partner already has given away most of his CD’s for his ipod experience, but he still has his turntable and record collection!!!

  22. J.D. Meier Says:

    I like how letting go frees up space for new things.

    As simple as it sounds, when I clear space on my bookshelf, it’s always refreshing and it’s like I open the door for new opportunities.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Sites I Follow for Insight and Inspiration =-.

  23. Patricia Says:

    Yes I think new opportunities are opened up…refreshing is a good term too! Thanks

  24. Jannie Funster Says:

    It must be so calming and energizing in your office with all those, and more book shelves around you. They look lovely! Always nice to add some “air” to shelves. Is your computer in your office too?

    Oh, and whenever you write “Librarian Girl” I then sing that to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Liberian Girl” Do you know the song? It’s a lovely one. “Liberian Girl, you know that you came and you changed my world…”


  25. Patricia Says:

    It is wonderful to have the oxygen around the bookshelves and not so much dust !
    I am going to look up that song now…it sounds familiar

  26. Beautiful Austin Texas, Through A Donut Hole | Jannie Funster Says:

    […] I’ve been inspired by a very giving blogger to follow in her footsteps of generosity. (I highly recommend availing yourself of her RSS feed […]