Cue the circus music, ’tis the time of year to examine your life, set it up like a target, and throw goals at it like tiny, ineffective hand grenades. I have but one goal for 2018, more specifically for January 2018 (what you think I can commit to something more long term? HA). Drum roll please.
IN JANUARY I SOLEMNLY SWEAR I WILL BUY NO BOOKS.
Also, I’m going to read 12 books I already own before making any purchases. (Actually, I’m not going to buy anything in January, excepting food and necessaries, but since this is a book blog, I’m going to focus on that angle.) In the grander scheme of things this is because 1) I totally blew my December budget for everything, 2) I own so many fucking books I haven’t read and buying even more is just fucking stupid, 3) I want to put a lot into savings this year, and 4) I am grievously annoyed with book internet’s worship of excessive consumption, and my complicity in it.
I get it though. You love books. I love books. We love being surrounded by books. We want to own and read all the books. We are obsessed. But in order to do that we end up spending more money then we should buying books we don’t have time to read. We’re all encouraged to consume constantly. I see myself indulging in excessive book buying, and while I find far more value in that purchase choice than, say, fashion shit, it still makes me feel like I’m a stupid little robot car that capitalism is driving.
My book buying habits have changed for the better in the past year. I buy fewer books in one go, and I read those books immediately. At least then, if I’m buying books, I’m buying books because I want to, need to, read them rightfuckingnow. I have still bought quite a few books in the past year, but I’ve also managed to shorten the tbr stack.
Listen, I can’t imagine life without a sizeable tbr stack. I love having a large range of reading options ready for me the moment I finish a book, particularly because I’m a mood-led reader. But maaaaybe that range could be more like 25 books and less like the 97 books it is right now.
I’m going to do this in teeny, tiny increments because otherwise I will quit and run away and binge buy new books and then roost among them in readerly, dragonly solitude forevermore. No. I’ll go cold turkey for one month—after all I still have four shiny new books from Christmas on my pile—and then I’ll take each month as it comes. Right now I imagine that each month will include purchasing 4-6 books, as well as following the “no new books until you have read 12 you currently own” rule. At that rate, I just might get my tbr pile down to that sweet spot.
Ok, laugh. Laughing is pretty good, and we should all do it as much as possible. May your mirth at the suggestion that I might actually follow through on this inspire me all the more.
If you would like to join me…#killyourtbr
I will be tweeting about my mission using #killyourtbr. If you want to join in, first, YEY. Second, to “sign up” just tweet about your plan to #killyourtbr using the hashtag. Each of my posts will show a photo of my current read (bonus for ominous tbr mountains that loom in the background and remind us all of our sins), track how many books I’ve read of the current dirty dozen, and attempt to remember why I bought that book in the first place. See you there?
Today I #amreading Macho Sluts by Pat Califia, purchased over a year ago because I wanted to study the mechanics of writing a hot sex scene. I’ll let you know how that goes…
For effect, the photo features my tbr shelf looming ominously in the background.
— Book Punks (@bookpunks) December 30, 2017