I like to read self-help books in between fiction books. Or maybe I read fiction books in between self-help books? Either way, I read all books with a full helping of gardening books. Right now, I find myself in the self-help phase of my reading with Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make Room for Happiness by Gretchen Rubin loaded on my Kindle.
Even without this book to guide me, I’ve been cleaning up and decluttering since the beginning of the year, starting with books. I have shelves in three rooms holding hundreds of books, some of which I haven’t touched in a long time and will likely never look at again. (Yes, I’m looking at all those books that were supposed to make me a better manager back in the day.)
It is time for them to go.
I am aware that some self-help, clutter-busters recommend we each keep 30 books—I’m talking about Marie Kondo of course—but we know that’s not going to happen here where old gardening books tend to gather and feel rather safe.
Well, some of them aren’t so safe anymore. They’ve been corraled and moved to a back bedroom where they are stacked 10 high on an old dresser and a long folding table. They await their fate. A charity shop? A used bookstore? Find a friend who wants them? Or perhaps I’ll figure out which of these books have real value and sell them myself?
But which ones have real value? According to Rubin, the longer we keep something, the more value we perceive it to have. And when we think something has more value, guess what? It’s hard to get rid of it, especially if we are just going to give it away.
I’m not worried about that with these books. There is a lot of information online I can find about book values so before anything gets tossed in the trash or carted off to be donated, I’ll know if it is worth something.
But I did find something fairly old way up on a high shelf in a closet. It was something my mom decided should be kept. And then she gave it to me to keep. And now it is 59 years old so it must be of great value, right?
I guess it depends. How much do you think a plaster cast worn by a two-year-old little girl the summer she cracked her collar bone is worth?
I don’t think it is worth much either. So I’m going to take a picture of it for posterity, with something beside it to show how tiny I was as a toddler, and then toss it in the trash.
Unless, of course, someone wants to buy it from me? Any offers?