Recently, Kim talked about her summer book buying ban and it motivated me to think about my own book situation. For a long time, I’ve been concerned about the number of books I’m bringing into the house compared to the number of books that are leaving the house. I also know, though, that I can’t quite commit to a book buying or book acquiring ban. What to do?
Once I read a book, I typically let it go. Whether it’s through a book swap with fellow bloggers, coworkers, or my book club. We also have a free book bin at work and I have been known to throw a few titles in there. Nicer books that I can’t think of a good reader for are sold on Half.com. I only keep titles that I think I will reread again, that I want to lend to people, or that I want to display.
As I said, I know I’m not strong enough for an out and out book buying ban. If I put too many restrictions on my reading, I get bored. (See: why the TBR Double Dare failed in 2012.) But I have to be able to quell the incoming books somehow.
I’ve decided that for every book in, a book must go out. For every book in I’ll receive a negative point. For every book out, I’ll receive a positive point. I must always be at 0 or a surplus. This includes library books AND book club books. Out means a book is gone, never to return. Given away, sold, or donated.
I’m going to start at 0, because let’s face it. If I didn’t, this would be a losing battle. I want this to be successful. I want to actually read the books I have. What’s the point of buying books if I’m not going to read them? Yes, I like seeing a stocked shelf as much as the next reader, but my book situation is scary.
When I moved from my mom’s house, I didn’t bring 1/4 of my books. They’re all sitting in my childhood bedroom, stocked away in boxes. I don’t even know what’s in them. I decided that I would read the books I moved with me and then slowly move more to my apartment as I needed them.
Except… well. That’s not what happened. I just bought and acquired more books here. Until the collection at my apartment doubled. Possibly, embarrassingly, tripled.
So, let it be a mantra. Books in, books out. Books in? Gotta read a book and get it out.
I think I can do that.