Guest Author - Carol M. Olmstead
When does your book collection become a library, and when does it become so overwhelming it verges on hording? In Feng Shui we believe that “nothing new comes into your life until you make room for it,” and this is especially true for your book collection, where keeping too many books on your bookshelves can symbolically block new energy from reaching you. To help with your book de-cluttering, I'm sharing this Feng Shui-friendly plan suggested by my colleague, author C. M. Mayo, who knows quite a bit about accumulating books. Start your clutter-clearing plan by emptying all your book shelves. Then, pick up each book and ask yourself these ten questions.
1. Am I reading it now? If yes, place it on a “Reading Now” shelf. If no, go on to the next question.
2. Am I planning to read it in the next week, month, etc. If yes, place it on a “Reading Soon” shelf. If no, move on to question 3.
3. Is it part of a collection? If yes, arrange all of these books in your collection together on the same shelf. If no, move on to question 4.
4. Does it have serious sentimental value? Make sure that you are really feeling sentimental about the book rather than keeping it because you "should," and that the book is actually in good enough condition to keep. If yes, you get to keep the book and place it on a shelf. If no, on to question 5.
5. Is it necessary for reference? Consider whether you actually still use the book for reference, or if you now check for this kind of information on-line. Books that fall into this category can include a thesaurus, dictionaries, almanacs, encyclopedia sets. If your answer is still yes, place on a “Reference” shelf. If no, on to question 6.
6. Would someone else be happy to have it? If you don’t need the book anymore and know someone who would like to have it, place it in a box or shopping bag to take with you the next time you go out the door. If no, on to question 7.
7. Can I sell it? Some of your older books might have value. If yes, place in a box or bag marked "To Sell”, and answer question 8. If no, skip directly to question 9.
8. Am I really going to get around to selling it? Think about all the time it will take to research the value of the book, list it on an on-line site, or take it to a local used book store; if your answer is still yes, sell the book. If no, on to question 9.
9. Can it be donated? Remember that some books are in such bad shape that no one wants them. If your answer is yes, place in a “Donation” box or bag. Keep this in your car trunk so whenever you are driving near your favorite donation site you can drop it off. If no, on to question 10.
10. Can it be recycled into anything artistic? If yes, move the book to your craft area or room.
If the answer has been "no" to all ten questions, take a deep breath, thank the book for sharing its wisdom, then put it in the recycling bin.
After you complete the book de-cluttering process, try practicing the Feng Shui For Real Life Read and Release Principle. That is, after you read a book, instead of sticking it on a shelf, release to make room in your home and while simultaneously enrich the universe by sharing the pleasure of reading with others. Give it to a friend, donate it to charity, sell it, or forget it at the coffee bar or similar place where someone else can pick it up and enjoy it.
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