So far I have written (at length) about downsizing fiction, but what about non-fiction? I have postponed writing about it for two reasons; one, because when I started downsizing I started with fiction and second, because I found discarding non-fiction even harder than discarding fiction.
My non-fiction volumes tend to be more expensive and I’m more reluctant to discard a pricey history book than a cheap paperback. And the simple criterion I established for keeping or discarding books did not work for non-fiction. Most non-fiction books are not like novels that you read cover to cover, love/hate, keep or discard. Many of my non-fiction volumes are history books, books I read infrequently and use mostly for reference. Or craft books with projects that I would like to try…someday…as time and money allow. I have a few non-fiction titles like Into Thin Air and The Perfect Storm that I read frequently and cover to cover but the rest are mostly used for reference, like the 3-inch thick, massive volume on the history of art. It’s a great resource even if it takes enough shelf space for 3 smaller volumes. And reading it cover to cover would probably cure my insomnia, perhaps I should shelve it in the medicine cabinet.
the first step to downsizing non-fiction, folks, is to take a deep breath and gird your loins!