Gather your novels, comics, encyclopedias, and audiobooks, it’s time for the July Use It Up Challenge. Books are something that’s found in many homes. Yet as many readers know, it is easy to buy them faster than you can read them. Thus results in enormous TBRs that feel entirely overwhelming. Regardless of whether you have just a few or hundreds of books, this month we are going to focus on using them up.
July Use It Up Challenge
What is the Use It Up Challenge?
This is a monthly decluttering challenge that focuses on using the items instead of simply getting rid of them. This helps to reduce waste and also gets your money worth out of those items. Each month, a new category is chosen and we will focus on that category all month long. However, you don’t have to stop once that month ends. Keep decluttering and using up those items all year long. It will have a huge impact on your home and life at the end of the year.
If you are joining in, be sure to share your progress on social media using #IHUseItUp. I’d love to see how everyone is getting along with the challenge.
Where to start?
This should be fairly easy. What you need to do is locate all of the unread books in your home. If you have a small number of books, this will be very easy. However, if you have a large collection of books this may take quite a bit of time. Putting them in one central location will keep you aware of their presence and likely increase the desire to read them.
If you want to take it to another level, you can put all of your unread books on the floor. Only once a book has been read is it allowed on the shelf. This gives extra incentive to read your backlog because you will hate seeing all those piles of books. Doing this truly puts into perspective how much of your TBR is unread.
Next, pick out the books you want to read this month. The number of books included will depend on how much time you have and how quickly you read. I suggest picking out more than you think you can read simply so that you have a variety of books to choose from. Also, if you find you aren’t enjoying a book, you can DNF if – which means did-not-finish, and then quickly move onto the next book.
Finally, you will want to decide when and where you will be reading. Pick a location that is as distraction-free as possible so you can focus on your reading. Reading at the same time each day will help create a routine. I prefer to read after dinner, but you may want to go with the first thing in the morning or just before bed. If you have a long commute to work, this is a good time to read. Audiobooks are great if you have to drive.
I’ve read a book, now what?
You may be wondering exactly how reading a book will use it up. Well, first off it’s one less unread book on your shelf. Secondly, once you have read the book you must decide what to do with it.
There are three options: keep it, sell it, or donate it. Keeping it means that you absolutely loved the book and hope to read it again, or perhaps will read the rest of the series. Selling or donating the book means that you will be able to pass it on to someone else while no longer having to make room for said book. Hence, using it up. This is the best option as you not only finally gave that book the attention it deserves but you have also removed it from your home. Remember, this is a decluttering challenge in the end.
What I’m using up
Like most months, I have picked out a large number of books to read. Generally speaking, I pick upwards of 30 books a month to choose from. I don’t always get through all of them, but I find that if I have lots in a specific pile, then I will always find something that appeals to me. The books below are what I have picked out for the month of July. All but two are books I have never read and I am looking forward to reading them. My hope is to read 15 books this month.
Will you be joining the July Use It Up Challenge? If so, what books will you be reading first?