It's Time To Spring Clean Your Bookshelves — Here's How
by Julia Seales
Originally Published: 
bookshelf decorated with green plants
Kristina Strasunske/Moment/Getty Images

You may think of spring cleaning as something that only applies to your wardrobe and the hard-to-reach dusty corners of your apartment. But even if you’re working on creating a library as majestic as the one in Beauty and the Beast, your bookshelf can probably still use a spring freshen-up.

I don’t want to get rid of my books, you’re probably thinking. I love each and every one of them dearly! And I completely understand. I’ve never been a collector and I don’t like clutter, but books are my one exception. I’ll pile them up in corners, stack as many on possible on my bookshelf, and basically stash the rest anywhere I can find some free space. Of course, this is the reason why even the most passionate of book-lovers should occasionally clean their shelves. You can't keep buying books and not give a few away.

Not only will spring cleaning allow you free up space for buying more books, but you can also give away some gently used books so that others can enjoy them. Even if you think your shelf is perfect even when cluttered, spring cleaning can be a great refresher. Here are some ways you can spring clean your bookshelf, but still build your beautiful Beauty and the Beast-esque library.


Finally Read Your TBR Pile

Every reader has it: the dreaded TBR pile that never seems to stop expanding. The first step in the spring cleaning process? Actually read your TBR, and don't buy anything new until you do.


Get Rid Of Duplicate Books

You don't need five copies of Pride and Prejudice. Make space on your shelf by donating duplicates, or even setting them aside to give as gifts to someone who will appreciate a copy of your favorite novel.


Let Yourself DNF

I recently went through my shelves and realized that I had a lot of books that I had somehow acquired, but I really had no intention of finishing. Be honest during the cleaning process: if you really don't want to finish a book, donate it. There are so many wonderful books out there, that you don't need to cling to books that you have no real intention of finishing.


Replace Tattered Books

Sometimes the tattered books that you read over and over as a kid are the best kind: it shows how much you love them. But sometimes you loan someone a book and they don't take care of it — GASP. In these cases, spring cleaning might mean replacing your tattered books so that your shelf looks pristine.


Reorganize Your Shelves

If you don't need to get rid of books, but you still want to freshen your shelves, you can always reorganize. Try a new arrangement, such as a rainbow shelf or alphabetizing, and this could breathe new life into your library.


Gift The Books You Love To People You Love

I love giving and receiving used books, because it shows how much a person cares. If you give someone one of your favorite books — the actual copy you read — with a personalized inscription, this can say so much more than just buying another copy.


Dust Your Shelves

Let's be real: it's hard to part with books. Sometimes you don't need to. Sometimes you just need to dust your shelves.

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