Accumulating vs. Minimizing

I have recently realized that I have hoarder tendencies. I seem to confuse the owning of things with acquiring knowledge – as long as I have the book then I will attain the information it possesses through osmosis and won’t need to actually read it. As a result I tend to hold on to book much longer than necessary. This has recently become a problem because I am running out of space. I have stacks of books piled all around the house. I have also managed to accumulate a collection of Barbie and fashion dolls in which I no longer have the interest I once did. I look at these things and wonder how the hell this happened?

The books I understand – I love reading and always have. As a child I didn’t always have the funds to purchase books (thank all the gods for libraries) so once I got a job and had some extra income it was natural that’s where a portion of my salary would go. I now have shelves overflowing with books ranging from cookbooks to herbal and alternative healing to paganism and Tarot. I have occasionally found myself releasing a book because I no longer have a strong interest in the topic only to reacquire it a few years later and I fall down yet another rabbit hole.

My accumulation tendencies are offset by bouts of minimalism. I become determined to clear out the clutter and ruthlessly weed out books I know I’ll never read/use. I set to work and donate piles of books to a local library’s used book store or list them on Paperback Swap. I become focused and driven, determined to reduce the amount of “stuff” I have. When the bloodletting is done I look around with pride at what I’ve managed to cut away. Then two weeks later I find myself looking for one of the books sacrificed in the purge and end up re-acquiring it. And the cycle continues. I’m hopeless.

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