I have an immense stack of unread books. Piles of hard copies litter my office, bedroom, library, and coffee table. Pages of kindle downloads and audible books frown at me reprovingly. There are probably more volumes than I can ever hope to get through, accumulating over years and years as I gratefully accepted gifts, and grabbed discounts and freebies. I still bought more – I think it is a compulsion akin to sickness, and one I know I share with many others. Is there any point in trying to explain it, excuse it, justify it? You probably don’t care, and I certainly don’t. This year, though, I have made a pact with myself – this instead of making a “New Year’s Resolution.” The difference is that this is not something I can fail at. It has nothing to do with willpower and everything to do with rules.
The rules do not require me to stop buying books. That would be a stupid rule, very much like the New Year’s Resolution I just said I didn’t make. I’m not keen to set myself up to fail. I just hit a massive birthday milestone at the end of the month, one that is unfathomable to me, but nevertheless gives me, I believe, the requisite experience to really know who I am by now. Anyway, such a rule would already be broken (birthday visit to The Tattered Cover in Denver, I’m looking at you!).
No. My rules are much more practical and observable:
- Give away the hard copy books as you read them.
- Use books you already have for challenges.
- Use the library for the books you require for Book Group.
So, there you have it. Anyone could follow those rules, even me, and they are working out quite well so far, a full month and a half into the year.