If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of books. And if you’re even more like me, they are not organised in any discernible way. I have books on my bedside table, books on my shelves, and books in the corner that are so disorganised they might as well be on fire.

It’s time to spring clean your bookshelf! Here is how you can sort through your books to get rid of the ones you won’t read again (and will never reread), and have a beautiful shelf to look at every day.


A great way to organise and choose what should go is to divide your books into four piles:

  1. I love this book and it is important to me for some reason that isn’t necessarily rational.
  2. I love this book but it does not have a home here—it belongs somewhere else (like on a friend’s shelf).
  3. This book is fine? I don’t really care about it one way or the other, but someone else might? (A good example is the entirety of my law school casebook collection.)
  4. This book is bad, I hate this book and I am mad that I ever spent money
spring clean bookshelf

Now that your bookshelf is empty, fill it back up with your favourite books from this past year. Put them in front of the ones that felt like work to get through—you know, the old ones that are tattered and torn from being read so many times. This way you’ll be more likely to pick up one of your favourites next time you’re looking for something new.

If your old books are still in good condition, donate them to a local charity so someone else can enjoy them. Or put them in your local free library and watch as they disappear throughout the day.