Buy a sample on Kindle.
Samples are usually free, and even the first chapter will give you a good idea of whether or not the book is for you. Read the sample first. If you read through the whole thing and enjoy it, buy the book on Kindle.
Fun Fact: You don't need a kindle to read electronically! If you're happy with reading on your phone or laptop, you can access kindle books through the app or cloud reader.
Books on the To-Read List
If you don't already own it, keep it in a digital wish list.
DON'T BUY IT unless you're starting it today. If it's been in your wish list for over a year, it's time to move on.
If you own it, how long has it been waiting to be read?
If it's been waiting longer than 6 months, discard it. If you change your mind later on, buy a sample on kindle and you won't lose money.
Books You Read Once
Will you read it again?
If the answer is anything but "hell yes", donate it.
If you change your mind, once again, you can get it on Kindle.
Books You Re-Read
It's possible to consider books you return to as no-brainers to hold onto.
For a minimalist hard mode, try taking it one step further:
Regardless of what you decide, show that book some gratitude as you hold it. These are the most precious books.
Books For Appearance
Something in Goodbye Things stood out to me. Fumio Sasaki talked about how many books he kept to maintain a persona — that persona being someone who is very learned, always seeking new knowledge. You may look at yourself and think "That's not me!" That's what I thought too, at first glance. The more I looked back on the way I accumulated books in high school, the more I realized how much I kept them for my own self-importance, more than as a tool to use to grow more.
Books are incredibly difficult to discard because they are beautiful packets of information. My next challenge is figuring out to reduce further, since I know I want to, and what to do with possible negative space in my bookshelf. Good luck, everyone!