As you can imagine, my family love books. We have a lot of books, like really a lot of books. And then, in case we didn't have enough, I bring home more from the library book sale. While I love the piles and piles of books, we were beginning to approach library status level of books.
So this next sentence may surprise you....we gave away books. We kept all our favorites. We kept big "to be read" piles. We kept books that were special. Trust me, that was still a lot of books, but we gave away a lot of books too. The one thing that made it possible for us to do this....we didn't think of it as "getting rid of books" but rather as giving books to those who will love them.
We realized we owned a few series that my children read but never truly loved, and we knew there were kids out there who would love them. We passed them on to children who really wanted to read them. While it may seem hard for a bookworm to part with books, hearing a mom say, "my daughter is going to be so happy to get these books"...well, that makes parting with them easy because they are going to a home where they will be loved.
The surprising thing: Once we started parting with books, it became easier. We continued adding to the piles of books that were ready for their next home, their next reader. We knew we would rather know someone else was reading them than see them sitting on our shelves not being opened again. Books are meant to be read, and sometimes we need to pass them on so they can continue being read.
This may seem like a surprising topic for "on the children's shelf," but I like to think of it as making room on the children's shelf for new beloved books. Our crowded shelves now have room for new favorite books, and we can't wait to find those new favorites that we read and reread and save and love.