Checklist: “a type of informational job aid used to reduce failure by compensating for potential limits of human memory and attention. It helps to ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a task. A basic example is the ‘to do list.'”

bookshelves-checkmarksThis, dear readers, is an actual definition of the word.  And since I found the definition on Wikipedia, the first things that I tossed—in my grand book decluttering—were the dictionaries wedged in between my precious fiction books.

There are bloggers out there that insist you whittle your books down to your favorite twenty books. Blasphemy. I am still way too attached to my fiction and self-help collection and no amount of books on the Art of Zen-cleansing or egg timers will help me pare down my pile to a minimalist shelf or two.

Baby steps. Maybe that will be Phase II.  Right now, I’m thinking realistically. So, I thought of a simple checklist. One that would allow book hoarders—I mean, book lovers—like ourselves, to start with the monumental task of reducing the amount of book clutter on our shelves. In this spirit, I have compiled a checklist of “informational job aid” tips to help us all do the job:

  • Toss out any old dictionaries. I found the definition for “checklist” in Wikipedia. See ma, no hands!
  • Get rid of multiple copies.
  • Donate or sell your paperbacks.
  • Get rid of Cliff Notes.
  • Give away any book that you have tried (and failed) to read twice.
  • Goodbye to anything labeled REFERENCE. Why? Because now you can GOOGLE it!
  • If it’s falling apart, then toss it.
  • Do you really need that old statistics textbook? Enough said.
  • The Collected Works of Shakespeare, really?
  • Get rid of any hardcopy that you may have in digital form.
  • Dated coffee table and How To books. Like Extraordinary Chickens, Microwave Cooking for One, or Make Your Own Sex Toys.
  • Cycle out children’s books that your children no longer read.
  • Home Improvement books can be retired. You have YouTube now.
  • If you haven’t picked up that foreign language yet, you can probably get rid of the books.
  • If you have picked up a foreign language, you can probably get rid of the books.
  • Dust remaining books.
  • Stand back and smile.



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