Book Minimalism for the Bookworm

In a continuation of Friday’s theme, let’s talk about curating our book collections. (Where my fellow bookworms at?). I love books – I especially love physical books, so I know how easy it is for those bookshelves to start overflowing with beloved “I’ve read this a million times” books, “I should keep this for reference” books, and the ever famous “Some day when I have a million free years I will tackle this To-Read pile of thirty books” books.

So how can we start taming our collection and reading voraciously without being buried under a mountain of books? (Which to me doesn’t sound like a bad way to go, but I digress…)

1.) Get an e-Reader: I am Team Hardcover, but e-Books definitely have their place – they obviously take up much less space, allow you to carry around an entire library, and (especially important for those of us who have 5-6 books going at the same time) automatically bookmark your place for you. If you prefer e-books, then rock on with your bad self, ditch the physical books, and enjoy. The one caveat I will give is that it’s easy for your eReader to become cluttered too. Make sure to delete books that you won’t be rereading and organize your files if possible. Otherwise it can still be impossible to get your arms around your collection.

2.) Donate books to your local school or library: Almost all libraries accept donations to either add to their collection or use during book sales to raise money. If you have childrens or YA books the local schools or children’s hospitals may be interested. I always find it easier to let go of things if they’re going to a good home. (I had an original Atari 2600 that I knew I never used but was sentimentally attached to (#GenXProblems) and was only able to declutter it when a good friend of mine said she’d take it off my hands.)

Speaking of libraries….

3.) Get a library card: Take full advantage of your local library, especially if you’re the “only read once” type of reader. Even a small-town library can really expand your selection. As a bonus, librarians are often happy to help you find new reading material that you wouldn’t have even considered before.

4.) Toss the reference books: I’m pretty sure you don’t need a dictionary in the day and age of the Internet. (OED> than Merriam-Webster, fight me.). Separate out all of your reference books with the intention of tossing them unless proven that the information can’t be found online.

5.) Shop Intentionally: We all have those books that changed our lives and we will read over and over again (Some of mine are the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, A Moveable Feast, and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up). For those few, shop locally and find the most beautiful illustrated hardcover version you can – then you will have a small quality collection of your favorite books. With fewer books on the shelf (and more eye-catching versions), this will have the bonus of being more noticeable, sparking fun discussions with guests.

These are tips that have greatly helped me get my books under control. I’d love to hear from you – what are some of your all-time, “changed my life” books (or just ones that you love to read over and over)?

Honoring your best you,

Veronica

Friday Five #1: Books

Welcome to the first installment of the Friday Five.

Today, five books you need to read. (I’ve included the Amazon links but highly encourage you to purchase at your locally-owned bookstore.)

1.) Soulful Simplicity. My copy is nearly worn out. I love Courtney’s “voice,” her story, and how she simplified not just her belongings but all facets of her life.

2.) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I read this essay over and over on Mark Manson’s site before it was fleshed out and published as a book. This is required reading for everyone. At the very least, read the essay for free at: https://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck.

3.) The Little Book of Hygge. The days are getting colder and shorter for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Perfect time to brush up on the Danish art of hygge, sometimes translated as “coziness” (but means so much more).

And a couple fiction books:

4.) A Moveable Feast – Hemingway at his finest. It’ll make you want to move to Paris and he dishes on all the well-known writers of the time.

5.) A Song of Fire and Ice – Sure, you’ve seen “Game of Thrones” (Which is the name of the first book in R.R. Martin’s series), but the writing is great and after all – Winter is coming.

So curl up by the fire and enjoy! I love a good thought-provoking (sometime note-taking-necessitating) non-fiction when I have a bit more energy and an escape-worthy fantasy/fiction book when the brain is done for the day. If you read any of these, drop your comments below!

Honoring Your Best You,

Veronica

Dress for the Life you Want

We’ve often heard of “Dress for the job you want.” Well I say, dress for the life you want. Especially with so many of us still in quarantine, it can be easy to get stuck in the “sweatpants and no bra” rut that is Corona Life. While joggers and baggy hoodies certainly have their place (you can pry my gray velour sweatsuit out of my cold, dead hands), living in them 24/7 will eventually start to affect mood, productivity and keep you from feeling Your Best You.

So, here’s a three-step process for getting in the groove with your wardrobe.

1.) Describe what your absolute ideal life would be. Write it down. Get as descriptive as possible. Now, what would you wear as that person?

2.) Shop your closet. What items in your closet match what you envisioned Your Best You wearing? Separate them out, and put them on the nicest hangers you have, all matching. (I love the thin copper ones, personally.) I like to put everything in one place – clothes, shoes, outerwear, etc. so I can see my entire wardrobe all at once.

3.) Clear out the clutter. Now, take the rest of the clothes, shoes, etc. and box them up. No need to part with them yet. Just get them out of your closet, and preferably put the box somewhere you won’t be tempted to “break into it” like the attic or garage. Be sure to put the date on the box.

4.) Take inventory. Your closet is probably a lot smaller now – perhaps too small if you didn’t have many clothes in the “Your Best You” category. No rushing to the store – that defeats the purpose here. Slowly curate a list of the key items you need to complete your new wardrobe. Perhaps create a Pinterest board.

5.) Curate your wardrobe. After at least 30 days you can start slowly shopping for the PERFECT version of each item on your list. No compromising or “making do.”

Hope this helps. It’s a fun little (or perhaps big depending on your closet) project that can really help give you clarity and get you out of the Quarantine Blahs.

Honoring Your Best You,

Veronica