Bookish Life

How to Konmari Your Bookshelves

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*Do you ever feel like you have too many books? I know, I know. How can a book lover have too many books? Well, we can, and here’s what to do about it.

How to Konmari Your Bookshelves. Do you ever feel like you have too many books? I know, I know. How can a book lover have too many books? Well, we can. Here's the simple method I use to Konmari my books. It doesn't take much effort, but it will spark joy every time you see books you love on your shelves.

What do we do with all of these books?

With Konmari picking up steam again, it feels like we’ve all got the decluttering bug. It also doesn’t help that it’s a new year and we all want some change, right? I did the whole Konmari thing about two years ago, and I’m still reaping the benefits from it.

If you are wondering, yes, I did Konmari my books. And it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I had so many books. More than I could, or would, read anytime soon. So I got rid of most of my books. I only kept the ones I really treasured or that I honestly thought I would read in the next year.

Konmari and Books

I took my book collection, which took up an entire wall, and narrowed it down to one 5 shelf bookshelf. They didn’t all fit properly, but that was all the space I allowed myself.

Things have changed a bit since then. I now have 4 Billy bookcases from Ikea. They are just the small, 3-shelf ones and I love them! I am back to buying and collecting books. I still un-haul books, just not as extreme as when I Konmari’d them.

Since going through the Konmari system with my books, I have learned what qualities a book needs to have before I will decide on keeping it or un-hauling it.

What books do we keep?

My books need to be interesting to me. Sometimes we get books that we just won’t read. We pick up a book from a book sale that sounds mildly intriguing, but we never get around to reading it.

I’m here to tell you that you can get rid of those books that have been laying around for 2 or more years and you still haven’t read them.

Books + Emotional Attachment

Another thing I need is an attachment to a book. Is it a story that I treasure? Some examples from my shelves are Harry Potter, The Inheritance Cycle, The Passage series, The Uglies series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, etc. I have a big emotional connection with these books. So I keep them. Will I reread them? Yes!

You might be wondering what to do if you read a book and you liked it enough to think you would reread it, but it’s been a while, and you still haven’t reread it. My advice is to determine how big your emotional attachment is to the book. If you still have pretty big attachment to it, then you should keep it. It’s not hurting anything sitting on your shelf if, every time you look at it, you get all the feels. Follow? Good.

I really don’t have a huge list of tests that a book has to pass to stay on my shelves. And I’ll be honest and say that the books I un-haul the most are nonfiction books that I had every good intention of reading and then just never got to. If the motivation is gone to read it, please do yourself a favor and get rid of it.

To recap, here’s my test a book has to pass to stay on my shelves.

  • Do I have an emotional attachment to the book?
  • How long has it been on my shelves unread?
  • Am I motivated to read this book?
  • Did it seem interesting when I picked it up, but now it’s just meh?

I’m sure if you think about it you can add more criteria to this list. It’s not complicated, but it is personal. You should never feel pressured about which books you keep or get rid of. I just want you to be happy with your shelves. Once you do go through your books, you’ll be surprised at how much you want to actually read the books on your shelves.

Donate to Your Local Library

When I do a book un-haul I love to donate my books to my local library. Even if they don’t need a copy of the book on their shelves, they will sell them in their used book sales. For a lot of libraries, these book sales are important financially.

So do your local library a favor and donate books that are in good condition and fairly current. No one wants your old medical textbook from 2002, you should probably just recycle that.

Happy reading,


P.S. Here are the links to the Billy bookcases I have from Ikea. The wide ones and the skinny ones. I have two skinny ones in the middle of two wide ones. In my opinion, these bookcases are well worth the money. So much better than cheap Wal-mart or Target ones.

P.P.S. If you want to know what I’m reading this month you can find my list here!

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