Why I Shall Stop Buying Books

We book lovers are a funny lot. Most people buy a book because they want to read it. They might even take it home and read it that evening. But book lovers, or a lot of them, don’t do that. We’re collectors. We take it home and put it on the shelf. We’ll read it later.

There’s something satisfying about buying a book. Browsing the shelves (real and virtual), looking at the covers, reading the blurbs and the first few pages. Picking the books you’ll take home is almost like picking a new pet.

But this has led to a large number of books on the shelves that have never been read. Dozens. Dozens of dozens. That’s just too many. Time for action!

I hereby instigate No More Books 2012! From March 1st until December 31st I solemnly swear not to buy a single book. For that time I shall read only the books I’ve bought but never read.

There are a few rules, of course, namely:

• gifts are okay; it would just be rude to refuse a gift;
• no rereading books I’ve read before;
• when a book purchase is vital to research for a novel and cannot be delayed, an exemption may be granted by the NMB2012 committee (namely my patient girlfriend);
• borrowing books is cheating; the purpose is to read the backlog of books I already own.


Want to know how I got on? Check out the updates below:

The Most Important Books of the Year

No More Books 2012 Update

Lessons From No More Books 2012

Review of the Books of No More Books 2012

Am I a genius or a madman? Or simply misguided? Am I setting myself up for a spot on the evening news as “Man has breakdown in Waterstones”?

3 thoughts on “Why I Shall Stop Buying Books

  1. Airicka Phoenix

    So, how is this working out for you? I know I’d never have the guts to do it. The mere thought of not picking up a book for any amount of time makes my hands shake and my stomach whimper. I won’t even mention the cold sweats and eye-twitching. Call me weak, but I’m like an alcoholic without a bottle. It ain’t happenin’! lol

    1. James

      I know what you mean, part of me thinks I’m going to crash and burn. But I’ve got so many books on my shelves I haven’t read. And I’m actually excited to read them! So, right now, it’s looking good. But ask me again in a couple of months!

  2. Pingback: Lessons From No More Books 2012 | James T Kelly

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