The Aliyah Files #28 How to downsize your book collection

DO YOU LOVE BOOKS? I do, plus I’m a self-proclaimed bookworm.  As much as I love books I don’t own every book I’ve read nor have I kept every book I’ve bought. Gasp! Is it sacreligious to give away books? No, it isn’t. If you’re making aliyah, this is one category of items you’ll probably want to downsize.

Presents are nice (5)

If you want to / need to CULL YOUR COLLECTION here’s how. I call it the Onion Analogy. It’s a process of paring down one step (layer) at a time.


  • Think of an onion with multiple layers. The first layer to peel (discard) are the books you don’t like. You couldn’t get into the story, it was boring, you liked it once upon a time but no longer. This is the easiest layer.
  • The second layer are books you read once or twice but don’t have interest in re-reading them. If you’re needing to downsize because of a move this part of the process can have multiple layers to peel. This can be done over a period of time.  You don’t need to do this in one afternoon.  I recommend not doing this too close to a moving date if you’re moving because you may be overwhelmed and might end up taking more books than you would otherwise.
  • My guideline for the last cut of books is to ask yourself: IF I WERE TO GIVE THIS BOOK AWAY, WOULD I CHECK IT OUT OF THE LIBRARY? If yes, it’s a keeper. If no, pass it on.

So what do you do with the books you don’t want?  Many libraries accept books.  You can donate them to a thrift store, second-hand bookstore, or school.  If your community has a freecycle group you can also post there.

Painting Blog Banner

Don’t worry about  not finding reading material in English in Israel.  There are libraries, book swaps, books to borrow from your friends.

In Bet Shemesh the Benjamin Library has a twice yearly book sale (which is in two weeks) and there is a great book swap in Maale Adumim with thousands of titles.

You can get books from Book Depository, order online, use a Kindle, or download books from the library.

So before I give you any more ideas for replenishing your book stash, keep to the task at hand of DOWNSIZING what you’ve got so only your favorites make the overseas journey to your new home.

Thanks for reading.

Karen, The Klutter Koach      January 6, 2020

If you want to receive the newest issues of The Aliyah Files, subscribe to my blog at the bottom of the Klutter Koach homepage

New to the Aliyah Files?  Here are some of the most popular posts you may have missed.

#24 Storage Space

#17 Ditch the Warehouse Club Mentality

#14 Essential Hebrew Part II

#13 Essential Hebrew Part I

#8   The Illustrated Guide to School Supplies

#7  To Bring, or Not to Bring- That is the Question


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s