Monday, May 7, 2012

Simplifying Our Lives/Home: Book Stacks

 "When I was your age television was called 'books'."

I come from a family of avid readers (bodice rippers for my mom, sci-fi and fantasy for my dad) and I always loved that about my family. Husband prefers to kick back in front of a movie than to crack a book, but he enjoys a good audiobook in the car. Bear absolutely loves to read, and almost anytime she sees me reading, she'll grab a book and climb up next to me. She also loves to read to Bug, and will do so any chance she gets. Those are some of my favorite moments.

So not surprisingly, we've acquired quite a library. Both Bear and I are really into series, so we end up with entire collections of one author's work taking up a foot or more of shelf space. I also like to go on trips with my girlfriends once or twice a year (though that's on hold while Bug is little) and I read on my flights. There are times that I spend eight or nine hours between destinations because of layovers and delays, so I've always packed three or four books.

Our Kindles. Obviously.
All that changed when I got my Kindle last year. It was a gift from my mom for my graduation from college, and I love it. I can load it up with all the books I want and stick it in my purse for flights, waiting rooms, nursing time, or whenever.

Bear saw how much I love my Kindle, so she saved up her money and bought her own. Rather than linking a credit card to her Amazon account, we just load up gift cards. 

We've since gone through all of our physical books and really purged the hell out of them. We've kept anything that was signed by the author or that we know for sure we'll re-read, but we've cut way down on the number of physical books.

How has this simplified our home?
  • Fewer books collect less dust, saving time cleaning and reducing allergens.
  • We have more storage space for things we need.
  • Our move will be that much simpler with less (heavy stuff!) to pack.
  • We used the money we got from Half Price Books to buy fun craft supplies at Michael's.
  • We'll make money from the rest of the books if we ever get to have this damned yardsale.
  • We can take all the entertainment we need with us anywhere without packing more (there are even free games you can load).
  • We can borrow books for free from the library without ever leaving our house (no late fees or gas money).
I'll never lose my affection for a crisp new book, and eReaders are not for everyone. This is not an endorsement of Kindle or Amazon, either. It's just one way we've cut back on some of the clutter and stress in our lives. 

Do you have an eReader? What do you like or dislike about them?


  1. I recently went through all my books as well and am selling them. They just took up so much space and I realized that as much as I loved them when I read them, I wasn't going to reread many of them. I kept the ones that were special gifts, and got rid of the rest. I got a Nook a few months ago and love it! I wasn't so sure about the eReader at first, because I love the feel of a "real" book, but the convenience and portability have won me over! I can't see myself buying many "hard copy" books anymore, unless they are paperbacks I pick up used for a good deal.

  2. Agreed. I would probably buy a hardback at a reading or something if I liked the author and wanted an autograph, but other than that and the occasional good deal...I'm sort of hooked on my Kindle.

  3. I have reached a point (rather quickly) since owning my Kindle in which I will not consider buying a book unless it is available for Kindle. I feel quite strongly about that when it comes to MP3s vs CDs, but to a lesser extent regarding books. I still prefer to read graphic novels in book form, because you have to expand nearly EVERY panel when reading one on a Kindle. It's quite a nuisance.

    I think I've said this to you before, but if I could have transferred each book that I already own onto a Kindle, I would have done it a long time ago, for clutter's sake.

  4. I got my Kindle for our 15th anniversary, and I love it. My only problem is the wait for the e-copy through the library tends to be stupidly long. I belong to a classics book club, though, and having all the classics available for free is excellent.

  5. The library thing has been a bit of a PITA. I love that it's free, but you're right—it takes FOREVER, and you have to make sure you get to it within 48 hours or you lose your place.