Quality vs. Quantity in Books
We moved over the summer, and if you follow us at all, you'll know that I had BIG beautiful built-in shelves floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall. They held ALL THE BOOKS and I had them packed full. Moving meant doing some serious downsizing. It was a struggle at first, but now that I have a smaller set of shelves (until we build new ones), and we're finally settled into our new home, I've thought a lot about what's on them.
My bookshelves are one of the first things people see when walking into our house, and I love to see people walk up to them and scan through the titles. This scrutiny has made me hyper-aware of what they're seeing and how my books represent me. The more I scour my shelves, the more mindful I become about what I keep there.
This fresh awareness has made me very, very careful about what I buy. The best part, is that when I do find a book that's exactly what I want, I feel NO guilt about purchasing it AND paying a bit more to support our local stores, which is so important to me. Buying books less frequently (and using the library more!) means my book budget has a lot more wiggle room for those few extra dollars it takes to choose indie bookstores over big box stores.
I absolutely love seeing my favorite books on my shelves; rows and rows of books I truly love, classics I can't wait to read, and vintage books that make me so happy. There's simply something to be said about having things that bring joy, and 95% of the books on my shelves do just that. Michaela was actually a huge factor in this concept, even before we moved. She owns rather specific editions of classic novels she loves, has read, and hopes to read some day. She never just grabs any book, she hunts down EXACTLY what she wants, and she has a carefully curated and beloved collection because of it.
So, as we approach the holiday season, I'm thinking even more about my children's bookshelves and what I plan to buy for them this Christmas, because they are the ones I buy books for the most. I'm also thinking of dear friends and the family members I have that would enjoy a good book (always my number one gift choice for anyone). I want my kids to learn to think carefully about the books they purchase, and I want to keep prioritizing being able to afford to support our local bookstores.
Not only do I find the best book recommendations (even some written by local authors, which is so fun), but also bookish gifts that sometimes you just don't find anywhere else. All of this is to say, if you can support other families this season, why not?! I love getting to meet the people at bookstores, pet the store cats, and browse actual books instead of browsing online. So friends, #shoplocal this season every chance you get. Support their dream of owning that shop. Support their families. Feel good about what you buy and what you gift with the best of intentions.
Happy shopping and happy holidays!