Think about all the books you own.
Which books broadened your mind?
Which ones taught you a practical skill?
Which were gifts from well-meaning acquaintances who clearly didn’t know you at all?
Which books were “aspirational” purchases? (Honestly, will I ever read Wilhelm Busch?)
Which do you hope visitors don’t notice when they peruse your bookshelves?
Which books are earning their place in your life, and which are not?
Those of us who love reading often treat all books like sacred artifacts. You know what, though? Most books are only sorta okayish by anyone’s standards. Having shelves of books you don’t genuinely love is as disappointing as a closet full of jeans that don’t fit, or a pantry stocked with stale crackers.
When you truly adore a book, put that book to work; highlight passages, write notes in the margins, dog-ear pages if you must, and commit to that book. Learn all you can from it. Milk it dry. Schlepp it around when you move, knowing that it will make each house more like home.
And all those books you don’t love? Stop hogging them. Send them back out into the world to find readers. Give them a chance to help someone else.
How can you put your books to work this summer? Tell us in the comments below.