Monday, January 24, 2011

The Book Monster in My Closet

I have a Book Monster in my closet.

Sometime in 2003 I started compulsively accumulating books. By May 2007 I had a collection of 1800 books. Roughly 20 of those books I had read with the intention of keeping for my permanent collection. The rest of them were the offspring of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I would never, at any point in time in my life have time to read all those books. Something needed to be done.

In late 2007 started weeding through the books and sorted them into three categories.
  1. Books I want to read: Determined by my ability to remember what the book was about without reading the blurb.
  2. Books I might want to read: Determined by "That sounds like a good book" factor after reading the blurb.
  3. Books that I do not want to read: Determined by "WTF was I thinking" factor after reading the blurb.
Books in category 1 went onto the bookshelf. Books in category 2 went into boxes in the front closet. Books in category 3 went into several large totes in my bedroom closet.

Over the last four years I have shuffled these books around quite a bit. Moving books on to the bookshelf, moving books off, moving books from the front closet into the bedroom closet. By the beginning of 2009, between donating and swapping books, I had mastered the monster with only my TBR shelf and the books in the bedroom closet.

In 2010, I cleaned off my TBR shelf to the books I was seriously committed to reading. These are the books that if my apartment caught on fire, after making sure my children were safely out, I would go back for. I even emptied a few boxes out of the bedroom closet.

For 2011, I have committed myself to conquering the monster. I will keep my TBR shelf below 25. I will get the monster in the closet down to one box. In the last month alone I have swapped 52 books, which means I only have one box and an overflowing tote to deal with for the next 11 months.

It's ridiculous the amount of joy that I feel when I open my closet and can see the floor.

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