6 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Book Collection

Afterall, a refreshed bookshelf is the best bookshelf.
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6 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Book Collection

Spring tends to bring out the professional organizer in all of us, doesn’t it? And now that we’re all spending more time indoors, you’ve probably been staring at your book collection, wondering how you can slim it down and spruce it up with some spring cleaning. 

Reorganizing your book collection seems pretty straight forward, right? If you’ve read it already, let it go. But today, we’re taking the task to the next level, because that’s what spring cleaning is all about.

1. Choosing What to Keep vs Discard

Take a mindful approach to cleaning out your collection; don’t get rid of a book just for the sake of getting rid of something, really think about what it means to you. One-time reads that you know you won’t pick up again, books you wouldn’t recommend to a friend, duplicates, or even cookbooks that don’t actually inspire you to cook can easily go in the discard pile. But long-time favourites, stories that bring comfort, books that you go back to for the advice they hold, or books you know you’ll want to share with others — those are the ones worth keeping. 

2. Go Digital

While being surrounded by physical copies of your favourite books can bring comfort, they can also bring clutter. Keep your top favourites, but for anything you’re on the fence about, replace it with a digital copy. Remember, there are a ton of reading apps that can give you instant (or almost instant) access to the books you like when you want them most.

3. What To Do With The Unwanted Books

I know, “unwanted books” is such a sad combination of words. Let’s consider them “pre-loved” instead, shall we? You can donate them to an organization of your choice, a local thrift store, or a little free library. Or you can gift them! Wipe them down, wrap them up, and drop them off as surprises to neighbours, friends, or family members.

4. Get Down With Upcycling

Upcycling books can be a controversial subject; some cringe at the thought of cutting up, painting, or doing anything to a piece of literature other than reading it. But if you want to make the most of what you already have, you can reuse book spines and make them into bookmarks, frame pages that have your favourite passages, and much more

5. Put Your TBRs Front and Centre

When you’re an avid book buyer, it’s easy for books to slip through the cracks, or more accurately, shoved to the back of a bookshelf. While new purchases and library picks are probably on your nightstand or coffee table already, I recommend pulling out anything you already own that you haven’t read yet, or that you want to revisit, and placing them in a highly-visible spot so you always know what to read next.

6. Take Your Bookshelves from Storage to Spotlight

You’ll find a ton of inspiration online for organizing and styling your bookshelves, from #shelfie pictures on Instagram to our very own list of organization recommendations. There are also a lot of great tips from home decor experts, like Toronto-based Alexandra Gater, who has a video dedicated to organizing and styling bookshelves.

Now, for the best part: With so much extra shelf space from your spring cleaning, you have room for more books! Need some recommendations? We have all our latest picks ready for purchase over on our Brookstore. Start browsing here!

Shannon Hodgen is a lifelong writer, DIY enthusiast, and homebody. She satisfies her need to put pen to paper–or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard–as an agency copywriter, blog contributor, and freelance editor in Toronto.

Favourite Book: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Favourite Brunch Spot: Dirty Food Eatery in The Junction


House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (416 pages)


Folk of the Air series by Holly Black (1104 pages)