Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
It wasn’t too long ago that an article I was reading from Zen Habits walloped me up side the head. Leo put it quite simply:
We hold onto books we’ve already read, as trophies of our reading accomplishments. We hold onto books we might read in the future (but probably won’t), with the optimism that our future selves are going to be more amazing readers than we’ve ever been in the past.
from “Decluttering as Zen Meditation”
I have books.
In fact, when faced with a problem or wanting to learn about something, my first reaction is to buy a book.
I have made some progress. I was able to get rid of two full size bookcases worth of books in the past five years. But my reading corner is still packed with books.
So I’m going to publicly announce how I’m going to simplify the reading backlog.
- I will go through all the bookshelves.
- If I haven’t read the book, I will assess whether I will realistically read it in the next year. If not, it will go.
- If I have read the book, I will ask myself why I am keeping it. If I have read it more than once and I love the book, I will keep it, otherwise it has to go.
- If a book is a “reference” book I will ask myself if I truly use it. If not, it will go.
Cease And Desist
For one year from today, or until the backlog is gone,
- I will not buy books at the bookstore.
- I will not buy used books.
- I will not accept books from anyone.
- I will not download Kindle books, even if they are free.
- I will stop downloading ebooks that appear interesting.
- I will not check out books at the library.
My hope is that these methods will allow me to get my reading backlog down to zero, and to make myself be honest about my purchases and what I hope to gain from them.
I will commit to giving updates on this project as the year progresses.
Photo by zimpenfish