Look at each book. Ask yourself, “Honestly, will I ever read them again? Or am I just getting a little twinge of comfort just from looking at them?” If you have read them more than once, you’ll probably read them again. But if not, then you probably won’t.
Can you remember any specific thing you remember from each specific book that you found particularly helpful? If so, is it good enough that you’d want to read it again? Or will simple awareness of it suffice? Can you get the same information on the internet? (The main value of books these days is that it collects a vast amount of helpful information together linearly so that you can read it quickly and easily without having to take the time to search for the next piece on the internet. If you only need pieces of information at a time, then you don’t need the book; you just need the internet.)
If the book has any sentimental value attached to it, ask yourself what memories and feelings those are and write about them in your journal. Then ask yourself whether you actually reread the book. If not, you can get rid of it.
Pretend you were in the bookstore and pretend that you don’t own the book. Would you pay to buy the book again right now? If not, then get rid of it. Or you can ask yourself, “If someone stole this book from me, would I rebuy it?”
When you want to read for relaxation, what books do you not grab?
(If you have reference books, they must be INTERESTING too, otherwise you won’t choose them for your brain fix.) Sort out books you don’t consider interesting or fun.
Which books do you consider merely mediocre? Life is too short to read only mediocre books or books you don’t like much.
Do you have any book series that are there just to make your shelves look good or communicate your High Level of Culture to visitors? (I’m talking about big leather-bound books of classical writers or whatnot.) These should be the quickest to dump. (In the future, only get leather-bound editions of books you already love.)
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