Last week, I described how I tidied my bookshelves according to the “KonMari” method, and how I’m dealing with the problem of unread books, which are piling up at a rate that is uncomfortable for me. Rather than doing as tidying guru Marie Kondo suggests and discarding them all, I decided to put them on their own shelf (okay, four shelves) and have a serious go at reading only from these for three months. After that, I’ll assess whether I want to keep them longer or discard them. I do think that unread books can “spark joy” rather than guilt and stress, but not if they’re just pushed in a corner and forgotten.
In the next few weeks and months you’ll see me posting a lot of new release/reprint reviews as I strive to get through my backlog of review copies (and guilt). I really want to clear these out and get a fresh start.
Now, during this time can I really stop myself from adding to the pile? Can I resist the lure of bookshops and online stores, and even the library? Not to mention the kind publishers who are so willing to send me their latest titles. Can I say no to these wonderful offers?
I don’t want to put a permanent ban on book acquisition, but I’m wanting to become more conscious about the books I put on my shelves, and a temporary abstention seems as though it might be helpful.
Have you ever tried to stop acquiring books, for a short or long period of time? What effect did it have?