The William Morris Project: 2014 | Too Many Books

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The William Morris Project

I’m pretty pleased with this one, folks! Not that it’s revolutionary or anything. I admitted to myself that every project I do will adapt as we change as a family. When I put all the books in one room, Nico wasn’t much of a reader and Mikey was reading small series books. Now Nico has interests of his own and Mikey likes big books. I can’t blame him.


Between Mikey’s many series and Nico’s developing interest in reading, books started to collect in every room of the house. The fact I continue to buy books is absolutely irrelevant to the issue at hand. (HAHAHAHAHAHAA!)

Side note: I started reading most of my books on my ipad because the Mister was ready to make me sleep outside with my books and a flashlight. I love to read at night, so much so that I can’t fall asleep unless I’ve read two hours before going to bed. This is a problem when two hours means after midnight. He bought me the ipad and begged me to read with the lights off. That was fine for a while, but over time it bothered my eyes and I started to miss the experience of owning books. I like the look of books everywhere. I like going to the bookstore and searching for the perfect book. Also, and this will sound odd, but I swear my taste for books has turned tawdry now that I know I don’t have to worry anyone at school will see my copy of Gay Wizards, Consulting Detectives and the Women Who Love Them: The Best of 2014.

Children's Books

I realized believing I could store all our books in one room was like that one time the Greeks told the Trojans, “It’s just a horse!”

So I bought two cheap bookcases from Target for the boys room and had Mikey and the Mister put it together. Both went into the room and we started the book purging process. It wasn’t easy with Mikey, who is a sentimental pack rat. Nico, not so much. If he saw the movie and read the book, he was okay tossing it. I took close to 50 books to the school on Monday and, I’m happy to say, a lot of them were checked out by the younger grades.

I’ll show the boys’ new bookcases another day, but for now here is what I have done so far with my new found four shelves of space.

Cookbooks, 2


Cookbooks! I finally have a place for all my cookbooks! I used to keep them in the pantry in the kitchen, which was fine, but my motivation to use them was less than zero. To access them I had to get a step ladder and forget it. I forgot which books I owned and I ended up storing my most used books in a kitchen cabinet. Now I have them all on two shelves with nine ready to go to Goodwill. Yes, I purged my cookbooks while I was at it to make room for two cookbooks I bought last month. That means I’m seven cookbooks lighter, so at least I’m going in the right direction.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Susan g says

    Books!!! Purging, buying, reading, rearranging. Love it all. My husband says my favorite Friday night activity is rearranging the bookshelves in the living room. And we also have books in pretty much every room. Lol about tawdry. I read the Sookie Stackhouse books because of you ( that’s what most of those paperback swap credits were. I hoped you could turn tawdry into valuable for the library!) and yesterday read her new one that starts a new series. Like eating cotton candy. Ok to do every once in a while but too often and your brain rots.

  2. Alicia says

    my greatest downfall when it comes to de-cluttering! I’m with Mikey, I just find it so hard to let go. A while back, Anthropologie had really cute classic books and I wanted to buy Little Women. I realized I still wouldn’t get rid of the copy I currently have because I just have so many memories with it! *weirdo*

    Cookbooks are also hard. I feel like every one has at least one recipe that I use, but I can’t just scan that and get rid of the book; what if I discover more amazing recipes in there that I just haven’t tried!

  3. Phaedra says

    I have been very good about purging books that I know I won’t read. That being said, there are bookcases in every room (and I may have honestly considered putting shelves in the bathroom… the Mister put the kabosh on that).
    * I come from a family that literally has bookshelves that are like magic. You pull a book out and, lo and behold, there is another book behind it. Pull that book out and yet another! (That’s not an exaggeration. Now you know how I inherited my reading & book disease). My grandmother spoke seven (almost 8) languages fluently and had books to match. She passed away 20 years ago. No one else in the family speaks all the languages and yet the books remained piled on the shelves. Nothing purged. Nothing donated.

    I may have to put this post to practical use. AHEM! Donate books to the schools! Great idea (made me think of all the out of print & foreign language items lingering around and with the schools in this area that anywhere from 15-25 languages are being spoken in the halls….)
    Plus, then we can all add..more books! :)

  4. Rebecca says

    I’m with Mikey on this one… I was proud of myself for getting rid of 17 books last year… One of those was on the art of Chinese Divinity that I’ve had for 6 years and never read but it was still really really hard to get rid of… We have shelves for my daughter in her room and the living room. A big shelf for me in my bedroom… We have five or six boxes of books shes hasn’t grown into yet and we have an entire half a closet of books that have no shelves. Yep. I have a problem.

  5. LauraC says

    Too many books is also what happens when your Seminary professor dad retires after 37 years and has to move thousands of books home from his office . . . and your parents try to offload so. many. titles. onto you which you are obligated to take for sentimental reasons. Cannot handle discarding childhood books, I’m so with Mikey! And for the record, Dad’s not given me more than a handful of theology books (mostly our old childhood reads they’re purging to make room for his) and I will probably never read the ones he’s given. But my grandfather’s signature on the inside cover (whom I never knew)? Definitely cannot give that up! Sigh.

    • Phaedra says

      Laura, I have some with my great-grandfather’s signature inside. I’ve already read them (set of Mark Twain from 1902) and could probably sell them, but… I won’t. Like you, I definitely can’t give that up!

  6. Sarah says

    Every time I make progress in this area, someone fills up the space again! It’s not always me, either. I have been feeling like throwing up my hands in defeat, when it comes to purging stuff.

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