crowded shelves full of books

What do The Scarlet Letter, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and my Introduction to Microeconomics textbook all have in common? They (and all my other books) are all taking up way too much space in my apartment! If your literary library is swallowing your home’s square footage, how do you decide what books to keep and which to give away? If only there was a way to keep all my books and still reclaim all that space…

Before I get rid of anything, I ask myself a simple question—When is the last time I even used this?

With the season of Spring approaching as fast as ever, so too comes the inherent (almost primordial) urge to sanitize, pair down, and organize. Ah yes, Spring Cleaning. I wish I could say that this cleaning spell worked its magic on me as it does on (seemingly) everyone else, but the stacks of papers, dusty computer monitor, and the clan of coffee mugs surrounding my keyboard would tell you otherwise. Let’s take baby steps.

The Problem:

Clearly, the things I use on a daily basis such as my computer, tablet, smart phone, and the like are here to stay. But what about things like my collection of comic books, my vinyl albums, video games, or even my personal library of books acquired throughout high school and college?

Before I get rid of anything, I ask myself a simple question: “When is the last time I even used this?” In the case of my vinyl collection, comic books, and video games, I use these things almost daily (I’m a bit of an escapist!) and therefore find value in the experiences that these objects provide. Thus, there’s no reason to toss them or give them away.  

Many of my books on the other hand -- when am I honestly going to pick up my copy of The Scarlet Letter, or the Introduction to Microeconomics textbook ever again? Typically, when I finish a book, I spend the following couple of days obsessing over the lore and backstories shortly before sentencing the book to life on my bookshelf.

So what do I do?

The Solution:

Chances are, you have an iPad, or similar tablet lying around on which you consume media--where you watch movies, tv shows (on evox!), catch up on your social media feeds, games, and reading. Aha! Every tablet, no matter what brand, has the ability to read ebooks!

As it turns out, most of the books I own are also available in ebook format (most available on the cheap and some even for free). Therefore, I have no real need to keep these books because their physical forms literally just take up space. Boom!

What used to take up half of my living room and weighed hundreds of pounds, now weighs a couple of ounces and fits in my backpack! I also discovered that a lot of the comics that I read are also available in ebook format, (call me crazy but I love the way comics look on hi-definition screens!) so maybe it’s time I thought about paring down my comic book collection while I’m at it.

Maybe next spring...

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About The Author

Armando Torres's picture

Armando Torres is an aspiring filmmaker, photographer, and blogger. As part of the evox team, he is dedicated to sharing the stories of individuals, organizations, and communities who are changing the world. When he’s not working, Armando spends his free time creating found footage videos, taking photos, going to concerts, collecting vinyl records, and lounging around with his cat, Pablo Escobar.

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