We decided last year that we wouldn’t be counting all our stuff and trying to get down to 100 items or anything crazy like that, but we are slowly going through and cataloging everything in order to be thoughtful about what we keep. We’re just sharing it here for others to get a practical idea of what different flavors of minimalism can look like for different people, and families especially.
As a reminder, minimalism isn’t a contest about having the fewest things – it’s about only having that which adds value to your life in some way, and that’s not something that anyone else can decide for you.
We would still like to get this collection pared down some more, but aren’t ready to spend the money on digital versions yet.
[9/16 UPDATE: These pictures show 76 books and 7 Bibles, but the books have actually been pared down to 50 – see the individual update notes below.]
Minimalist Book Collection: Our Just-for-Fun Books
Complete Calvin & Hobbes collection – my brothers and I loved reading these as kids, though we got ours from the library. One of them gifted this collection to us and now our kids are getting to enjoy them. [9/16 UPDATE: I’m SO glad we kept these – earlier this year our kids (9 and 6) started reading them daily. It’s how our 6 year old started to love reading, and got so much faster.]
Lord of the Rings collection – David’s read these probably 15 times and counting.
Minimalist Book Collection: Educational
- My Chinese/English dictionary – Would definitely not keep this because apps/Google, but it has sentimental value from my teenage years in China.
- The Story of Civilization collection by Will Durant – These aren’t that easy to find and we want the kids to read them for some of their history in high school. [9/16 UPDATE: We actually discovered that we can add these to our digital library, so we ended up giving the physical books to a bibliophile friend of ours a while ago.]
- The Art of Sign Language – We learned the alphabet as way to communicate secretly with each other when we first got married 🙂 and Maeve took a sign language class last school year, so we want to continue learning more as a family.
- 501 Spanish Verbs – Sometimes it’s just better to have stuff in hand, and I plan to really study Spanish hardcore and get fluent. Sooner than later.
- Chinese Phrase Book & Dictionary – more feels from my time in China.
- The Water Color Artists Bible + The Sketching and Drawing Bible – mostly for Maeve and I to work from together
Minimalist Book Collection: David’s
- Secrets of the Samurai – he just loves this book. [9/16 UPDATE: Earlier this year he decided he didn’t really need it 🙂 ]
- Union Prayer Book – one of his grandpa’s old books
- End of the Spear – an autographed gift [9/16 UPDATE: The book was actually really damaged, so earlier this year he decided to just take a picture of the autograph and get rid of the book.]
- One-Minute Devotions for Dads – from his parents
- 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad – from his parents
This is apparently a collection of Spanish classics that he wants the kids to be able (as in capable) to read at some point.
Minimalist Book Collection: Random
- Created to be His Help Meet – controversial, but helpful pieces to me.
- The Leadership Paradox – David says it’s good, I haven’t read it yet.
- How to Win Friends & Influence People – a classic that will never get outdated.
Minimalist Book Collection: God & Stuff
- The Jesus I Never Knew – just a great, more well-rounded look at Jesus
- Victory Over the Darkness – totally life-changing book at a dark time in my life that ended up becoming my life theme
- Bondage Breaker – also good [9/16 UPDATE: decided we didn’t need it in our library]
- Spiritual Authority – classic [9/16 UPDATE: We’ve had a HUGE spiritual paradigm shift and no longer want this in our library.]
- The Beloved Works of C.S. Lewis – classic [9/16 UPDATE: We were just ready to pare down more. I suspect we’ll be getting rid of many more of these as well and moving to digital copies.]
- The Screwtape Letters – because perspective
- Spanish/English Bible
- Chinese/English Bible
- Hebrew/English Bible
- David’s Spanish Bible growing up
- David’s English Bible growing up
- Christina’s Bible growing up
- a Bible we used a lot in early marriage