Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The Mount ToBeRead Project

I have too many books.  

This is something I realise periodically.  And I periodically go on Book Diets and vow that there will be no more until Mt TBR reaches manageable proportions.  Sometimes I [gasp] have a Book Cull.  This is not as drastic as it sounds - I'm a BookCrosser and have plenty of things to do with unwanted books.

None of these measures is long-lasting or effective.  Because I am an addict.

I've been decluttering and tidying and cleanng my home.  And have started putting all the boxes of Mt TBR in one place.  I've never done this before and I am, quite frankly, shocked.  Far from being a convenient way to store those books that won't fit on the shelves, the boxes are taking over the living room.  There are seven boxes in there now and I can no longer hide them behind the curtains.  And there are more to come.  And then there are the bookcases.  And the books that aren't contained but live on the study floor.  And, of course, this is only Mt TBR.  Never mind Permanent Collection or those for release or BookMooching or whatever.  Oh Lord.  I've just remembered another hidden stash.

I have too many books.

Now, I'm a BookCrosser and we've already established that this gives me an easy avenue by which to release unwanted books.  I have resolved to BookCross in a more active manner and get the random books which I don't want to read out of the house that way.  But what about Mt TBR?  I'm not about to release a book unread when I paid good money for it and still want to know the secrets hidden in its pages.  But reading and then releasing all these books will take years.  And if I keep adding to Mt TBR in the way I have been then it becomes of Forth Road Bridge project.  (For those who don't know, it takes so long to paint this bridge that the men start again as soon as they reach the end and will never be 'finished.')

So I would like to introduce you to:

The Mount ToBeRead Project.

The aim of the Project is to reduce the size of Mt TBR.  I'm not going to start counting the number of books on the Mountain.  I think it's pretty self-evident that the Mountain is huge and drastic action is needed.  Enough said.  To make the Project measurable, my goal is to fit Mt TBR into two shelves of the bookcase in the study (each measures about 1.5 meters).  I'm thinking two shelves so that I can have one for fiction and one for non-fiction.

In order to meet my goal, I'm going to enforce the following Rules for the duration of the Project:

  1. No book acquisition.  This includes Rings, BookMooch, NSSs and shopping.  It does not include books required for studying.  It does not include instances where I have (say) No. 3 of a series.  I may acquire books 1 and 2 but not book 4.  The prohibition includes audiobooks.
  2. No digital wishlists.  I may keep a Word.doc or something listing books I really want to read when the project is over (eg book 4 of a series where I've read 1-3) but no BM/BC/Amazon wishlists.
  3. No eye candy.  I may not read reviews of books not currently on Mt TBR.
  4. No magazines.
  5. No knitting.  
  6. No Sky+.
Reading is to be my primary focus.  I do not expect that I shall read a book a day for the next five years or anything like that but, given the choice of what to do, I shall read.  And I shall endeavour to avoid things that would distract me from my goal - like magazines (which don't count as reading).

I will be ruthless in the application of The Fifty Page Rule.  With this many books available, I can afford to be choosy.  DNFs will be released (either wild or through BookMooch).  Read books will be Ringed and then also released.

I will blog about my progress right here.

Let the Project commence!


Anonymous said...

why ring them? Why not ray them, then there's not the temptation of them coming back to your house for "just another quick read"! I'd recommend only ringing books that you know you will want back. But obviously that's only my opinion, and what I'd try to do if I were in the same situation (which I really kind of am!) and wanted to minimise the number of books in the house as swiftly as possible! {{hugs}} katie1980

Angie said...

I think I may need to join you in this project. I was looking at my TBR pile and it use to fit nicely in this one it's overflowing. I think I need to follow the rule about no eye candy. I've been reading a lot of reviews lately and that hasn't helped my TBR pile. I think I may make this my summer project..or until I can fit my TBR back on that one bookshelf.