How I created a reading list by tidying my books

I’m a recovering book-buying addict.

Four and a half years in a one-bedroom London flat has helped me keep some sort of perspective, at least in terms of physical space, but a growing fascination with tabletop roleplaying games and wife who works at Oxfam have conspired against my good intentions to keep a lean and mean collection, not even mentioning the boxes of books back home in Australia.

So, after reading the life changing magic of tidying I was not surprised to see I have acquired a fairly substantial number of books, more than I would care to pack and move which is what I need to do in the next 3-6 months.

What did surprise me was how many of these books I have barely read or even really opened.

I have not been caring for my books and nourishing them with my attention.

I followed the KonMarie method and was suitably ruthless; my collection is now split fairly evenly into three groups;

  1. Books I intend to keep forever
  2. Books I will give to people or donate to charity in the next 12 weeks
  3. Books I have given myself a deadline to read

It is the last category that I find most fascinating. Here are books that at some stage I wanted to read, and yet I have not. Instead I’ve been poking around on my iPad, buying things on Kindle, reading countless blog articles and of course standing on the sidelines of the social media merry-go-round.

But now I have a solid pile of books, twenty-one in total, that I will make best efforts to read over the next twelve weeks.

I’ve put them in prime position by the couch, to lure me into browsing them…and deciding their fate. I don’t expect I will choose to keep any of them long term, but i’m going to use this situation to kick-start something i’ve been meaning to do for a long time…

I’m going to take notes about the books I read and publish them on my website.

Crazy idea I know, but as well as being a book-buying addict, I am addicted to not publisihng things that I write. I know deeply that to be a real Artist, one must balance consumption and production of media. I do both but leave precious little evidence of my finished work.

This blog is one way I aim to start practicing pressing publish.

And now, to the books….