Taming My To-Read Stacks
About five months ago I had a come-to-Jesus moment about my compulsive book buying and realized that my to-read stacks were out of control. For those of you who might be wondering if your to-read stacks are also out of control, here's an easy way to tell: if your to-read stacks are taller than your four-year-old niece, it's DEFINITELY a problem. Especially when those aren't your only to-read stacks.
So I've been sorting and having some honesty moments in which I assessed whether I'm really going to read all of those books. The results of my sorting were ever-so-slightly mortifying:
- 46 different books that I bought twice. This led to me installing the MyLibrary app on my phone so I can keep track of the books I actually own. I highly recommend this app. You can keep track of the books you own, the ones you've read, and the ones you've lent to other people. It took me over a week to catalog all my books, and it was ever so slightly horrifying to realize that I owned 848 books, most of which I hadn't even read yet, but I'm so glad I did. Now I never have to stand in a bookstore again and wonder if I already own a book. Or buy the same one twice. Or wrongly guess that I already own a book only to get home and discover that I actually don't own it.
- I somehow, at some point in my life, bought a book about a girl who finds out her Dad is a pirate. Why? WHY? WHY? I just can't even make sense of it.
- I only enjoy reading an Amish romance novel about once every 2 years. And yet I somehow own about 40 of them. Hey no big deal, right. I'll only have to live to be 119-years-old to be able to read them all.
I ended up getting rid of about 150 books that were obvious nos. And then I created a maybe pile and tried to read the first few chapters of those books to figure out if I had any interest in continuing to read them. I ended up reading through and discarding so many mediocre books that I started to think I should never be allowed to go in a bookstore again. Or if I do, maybe I should have a bookstore sponsor who can say, "Are you insane? You don't even enjoy driving to the store to buy your own soap. You're NEVER going to make your own soap. Step away from the book on soap making."
I finally finished sorting through all my books, and I've whittled it down to a nice respectable 475 books, 65 of which I've actually read. Okay, so 410 is still a really high number of books for my to-read stacks, but I'm truly excited about all of the books that remain. There are no longer books cluttering up my life that I was trying to talk myself into reading.
The result of sorting through all of my books and weeding out the mediocre books was that after months of reading 3 star books and feeling like the reading rut would never end:
I finally read two books that I loved. And I was almost as emotional about it as Susan Lucci. Join me next week and I'll tell you all about the books the helped me break through my reading rut!