When I started working, one of my favorite things to spend money on was books. Years and years ago, I worked in mall and would spend my breaks browsing the small bookstore. With limited income, I’d buy a book and then read it.
Later, I joined several mail-order book clubs and ordered books through catalogs. Since shipping costs were often the same whether I ordered one book or four, I would ‘get my money’s worth’ and order a few books. Usually, more than I would read in the month before I ordered more books.
All of that was before online shopping and now it’s even easier to learn about books on topics of interest through blogs and online articles. Then, when I look up the book online, I am told about several other titles that would interest me.
Clicking “add to cart” takes a fraction of a second. Reading a book takes hours.
For 15-minutes, go through your bookshelves and pull out books you haven’t read. You can box them and donate them to a collection bin, a thrift store, or your local library. Don’t worry about getting them all. Don’t get tangled up in flipping through pages or trying to do more than pull some books from your shelves. Stop at five or ten books if that feels like what you can handle right now.
If you are determined to read these books, rearrange your shelves so all the “to be read” books are together. Put yourself on a book-buying ban. If you see a book you want to read, hold it on your Amazon wish list or put it on your “to read” list at Good Reads.
Now, plan to read the books you own and haven’t read. Skip an hour of television in favor of an hour of reading. If this doesn’t work, reconsider donating those books.
Start using your library or only buy one book at a time and don’t buy another book until you’ve read the one you are reading.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.