Books, books and more books. Isn't that what shelves are made for? Nope. Shelves are a way to display things in an thoughtful decorative way. I think the word bookshelf is a misnomer in the design realm. I prefer to call them display shelves.
I am not an expert in the psychology of why people feel such an attachment to their books, but I can relate that a collection of books is like a time capsule of your life: childhood, school reading assignments, textbooks, travel, how to do this, how to do that, travel, cookbooks, great moments in sports, historical events, beach reads, book club.
When you are getting ready to move you need to declutter and sort through all those books. No time like the present. Let's get started! Get yourself some good sturdy boxes. Not too big. Books are heavy. Printer paper boxes from work or school are good. Put on comfortable clothes. Put on some good sorting music and get started. Make four categories: keep, donate, sell or recycle?
Note: If you are staying put in your home but feel the urge to organize, update and redesign your space the same process needs to take place.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself as you try to sort through this time capsule of your life.
1. Have I ever read this book and will I read it again?
2. Is the information in this book out of date or out of style?
3. Can I read this book on my Kindle or get it from the library if I really want to read it again?
4. Can I get this information on the internet?
5. Why do I want to keep this book?
I assure you it will take more than one pass through to really pare down your books to those that are worthy of the keep category. Once you feel you have kept only those books which are most meaningful, the next step is to categorize them and either pack and label them in your small sturdy boxes or stack them in piles on the floor so they can go back on your display shelves.
Books going back on your shelves brings us to a whole new topic. Don't be predictable and just put books back on your shelves. Besides, now your shelves look so empty. Remember shelves are for displaying things in an thoughtful decorative way. Hold that thought for another day. Too much to talk about in one post.