Helpful Tips for Managing Your Book Collection

Just How Big is Your Book Collection?

We’ve received quite a few emails recently asking us how many books to purchase and how you can tell if your book collection is too big. I know we’ve told you to use the library whenever possible as a way to save money on purchasing new books, so you’re probably left to wonder just how many books is too many. Below we’ve got some tips to help you manage your book collection regardless of the size.

99 Shelves of Books on the Wall, 99 Shelves of Books, Take One Down…

There is an upper limit to the number of books you should own, but there is no clear-cut number that applies to everyone. Your living arrangements will need to guide just how many books you purchase.

If you live in a 450 sq. ft. studio apartment in New York City, you’re obviously going to have a lot less space for books than someone who lives in a large house with twenty rooms. But does that mean you can never buy a new book?

In With the New and Out With the Old

If you live in a small space, for every new book you purchase, you’re probably going to have to part with an older book. There is only so much space, and you really do need to limit new purchases when you live in a small space and maintain a small book collection, probably less than 40 books.

Evaluating New Book Purchases

Now, does that mean that if you have a large, suburban house you can buy all the books you want? It’s financially feasible to limit your book purchases no matter how much space you have. If you’re an avid reader and have a large house, you might want to designate one room as your study or library. Ultimately, though, most of us will need to limit our book purchases both to save money and space.

If you have a favorite author, then buy books written by that individual. However, if you’re trying out a new author, borrow the book from the library before investing any money in that person’s titles.

If you know you’re going to read or reference a particular book very frequently, then go ahead and buy it. Go through your book collection periodically and find books you can donate or sell. This will help to maintain a reasonable book collection (and your space and sanity).