Why I Need to Stop Buying Books (Again)

I blame Ryan Colucci.

I’ve had a terrible weekend. In anticipation of a potential move, we’ve dedicated ourselves to a clear-out. And, as the only thing I really own is my book collection, that’s where I focused my efforts. But that wasn’t the terrible part.

Whilst rooting through my books I found Harbor Moon by Ryan Colucci et al. It was on the bottom shelf, out of sight and out of mind, and I’d forgotten about it. I didn’t want to put it back. It was about time I read it.

“I know,” says I. “I’ll put all my unread books on one shelf. That way there’ll all be in one place. They won’t get forgotten that way.” Except it wasn’t one shelf. Or two. I’m embarrassed to say it was five. Five shelves of unread books.

I’ve always known there are two types of book-buyers: readers and collectors. I always thought I was the former, but seeing almost an entire bookcase full of books I hadn’t read made me doubt myself. The sight of them was something of an accusation. All these books were made to be read and here I was keeping them prisoner, able only to show their spines. To be honest, the sight of them depressed me a little.

So it is that I’m resurrecting No More Books for 2014.

The idea is as simple as it was in 2012: to stop acquiring any new books until you’ve read some of the books you already own. There are only three golden rules to No More Books:

No buying.

No borrowing.

No rereading.

And only two exceptions:

Gifts – It’s rude to turn down a gift so this is okay. But no asking for books or getting a friend to buy one for you and calling it a gift. That’s cheating.

Research – If a book is absolutely needed for research purposes then a temporary pass may be granted by your personal NMB2014 committee. This committee is usually a somewhat patient and exasperated individual; family, friends, spouse, etc.

The only difference from 2012 is that, this time, you get to decide when it ends. You can take control of my life using the widget below. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work; you can head over to my Facebook page to cast your vote there!

If you’re suffering a similar plight, I’d love to hear from you. Are you a reader or a collector? Do you have too many unread books? And would you suggest joining me in Book-Buying Rehab? I wouldn’t say no to some company. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

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