Once, as an exercise to shock myself into getting rid of things—I counted my shoes. After my shoe count, I phoned a friend and we made a pact to each get our count down to less than 30 pair.
(This is confessed with regret; both in that I was shocked that I was the owner of 43! pairs of shoes and boots in the first place; and then that I needed the solidarity of someone else in the 'getting-rid-of' in order to carry out the task.)
Of course shoes are the gateway-drug to fashion acquisition/addiction, with good reason. Feeling fat?
Bad skin breakout? Lost your job? Hey, your shoes are supercute—so all is not lost. This fades with age, though. Even though the legs are 'the last to go', one's preoccupation with what's on the bottom of your legs gravitates more towards "Will I be comfortable on my 90-minute dog walk?" than "do these look good with this dress?" As a full-time gardener, nursing home visitor, dog walker, housekeeper-cook, my shoe fetish is finally winding down and, unless I move to Barcelona in the near future; I see no shoes like this in my future.
Bags, too are an interesting and perplexing thing. I own 11; a low number, I think, for a comfortably middle class north american 58-year old. But time after time, as I head out the door, I grab a fabric tote bag—usually a home-sewn one, spurning the lovely dignified leather purses and satchels in my closet. The main reason, I think, is weight. Schlepping wallet, change purse, iphone, eyeglasses adds up, and if I start out with a bag that is featherweight I feel I have more of a fighting chance to get through the day with no hunchback of Notre-Dame symptoms.
Long story short—the getting-rid-of will continue; the shoes, boots, and bags will dwindle in my closet.
But the books? No way. And books about bags? Keepers. If I don't want to devote space to the physical thing in my closet, it's a happy alternative to happily hoard my japanese craft books, at least a dozen of which are devoted to bags and the sewing thereof.