I have too many books.
It’s a reality that I’ve tried my best to avoid. It’s not that there are too many books, there’s just too little shelf space, I said. Can you even have too many books. However I think even I have to admit that I’ve reached saturation point. Looking around me, there are books everywhere. Each bookcase is double-stuffed with books piled on top. Every flat surface has been converted into book storage. My bedside cabinet has been completely submerged. I’m beginning to worry for the structural integrity of the floorboards. I have three editions of Dubliners and i’ve read at most three pages of the thing, for god’s sake. Something must be done.
Exhibit B (that bookcase on the right is where the genre fiction of my teens has gone to die)
It’s against my hoarder nature to get rid of any of them, but at current rates, i’m just going to be buying books that I’ll never read in my lifetime. My only option then is to ban myself from buying more books (for a while).
Handily, I’m starting a Masters this week (eek!) so I’m going to be far too broke most of the time to go on sprees in bookshops. (It pains me deeply that I’m moving to London but I won’t be able to enjoy the bookshops. Maybe I’ll just go into Foyles occasionally and wander longingly through the fiction section, gently weeping.) The side-effect of a book ban is that I’ll be able to chip away at my to-read pile (more a mountain at this point) and I won’t find myself forced to choose between food and books.
So, here’s my proposition:
- No new books (with certain exceptions* – I’m a lawyer after all, I can’t help but insert a few sub-rules) for a year, from now until September 2015.
- I will work my way through my to-read pile, blogging as I go. I’ll aim for a post about every book, subject to the pressures of my workload and whether I actually have anything to say about the book.
Inspired by Andy Miller’s excellent The Year of Reading Dangerously, I’m going to try and read some of the books I’ve always wanted to read but haven’t got round to yet (I can feel Madame Bovary, Life and Fate, and Moby Dick staring down at me in judgement)
I’ll put up another post in a few days detailing the books that I’m taking with me to London.
More gratuitous bookshelf porn
- I’m allowed books for my birthday/Christmas
- I can buy the new Hilary Mantel story collection next month
- Free books are fair game