Does he have to see the books on the shelf every day? Maybe you can put some books in small boxes every week and put them in the garage or attic. Put ten books in a box every week and at the end of the year you have moved 520 books to the garage.
I read THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP by Marie Kondo and what Kent says is true. My husband is a book hoarder, but we have an agreement that if it is not on the book shelf, then it or something has to go. He is good about indexing his books, so no repeats. It just boggled his mind when I cleaned out the closets and donated 134 clothing items and 3 large boxes of kitchen and holiday stuff. Now I can find anything in my kitchen and the feeling of freedom is incredible!
My husband's chronic hoarding obsession contributed in a major way to the breakup of our marriage, so I do recommend that you try to help your husband to confront the issue. You are right when you say you cannot make decisions for him. Indeed, it is likely that making arbitrary decisions would only make things worse. Perhaps your bishop could help with persuading him to agree to therapy so that he doesn't feel he's being got at by his family. He really doesn't understand the effect his hoarding is having on you as it seems quite normal and even necessary to him.
Being a family member of a hoarder is a special kind of hell. In my case my 91 year old mom has short term memory loss and so the intervention/treatment ship has sailed. She lives in a morass of papers and boxes and sorts her papers all day every day. She needs to be in assisted living but won't go. No one understands why we can't just move her. She would have a nervous breakdown, literally. It seems so hopeless.
Thanks, Kent, for the book suggestion. I'm not to the hoarding point, but I have my own piles. This book sounds helpful. I'm going to check the library for it.
Would he consider adding one-more-book to his collection, and reading it? I recently read THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP. Even though i am a man, it caught my attention because I had never seen a book with over 10,000 reviews on Amazon! It addresses the Behavior of WHY we keep things and how to let go of them. In a nutshell "If it doesn't bring you JOY discard it". Some things bring you joy when you buy them, others as you use them. It is very behavioral and philosophically based and parallels aspects of the gospel. It applies to anything in our life that does not bring us joy, material or behavioral.
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