If my life were a video game, I would be over encumbered by now. My character would be moving slowly enough that monsters could take a worthwhile strike, or in the case of Oblivion, I would just be rooted to the spot, unable to move until I let go of some junk. That is where I am right now: over encumbered; I can’t move.
When I moved house, I realised I had too many books. Half the boxes I packed were full of paperbacks, many of which I had never read, and some I didn’t even intend to read. I started working more, and realised that I could be just as happy living a lighter existence: just one book in my bag, my current read. This is why I abolished the TBR last year, and why I have decided that now is the time to declutter my life, and take only a handful of books with me, moving forwards.
I used to think, “you can never have too many books”, but I’ve realised with experience that actually you can. And I’ve worked in libraries long enough now to know that bookworms come in all shapes and sizes, and that some of them don’t own small mountainous ranges of paperbacks. Sometimes bookworms pick up the odd library book and carry it around in their bag, and that’s bookish enough for them.
So, I began to think about how I could best tackle my collection. To continue my health and wellbeing theme for this year, I’m going to walk my way to lighter bookshelves. In February, I will don my step counter, and for every mile I walk (approximately 2000 steps), I will say goodbye to a book. Depending on the condition, this might mean a donation to the library or charity shop, or just straight into the recycling bin.
Want to lighten your book collection too? Then feel free to join me, and let me know which books you bid farewell to this February. I’ll be sure to update regularly on Twitter about which books I will be banishing each week! I’m looking forward to being able to look at my bookshelves and have my graphic novels and favourite reads looking back at me, instead of the yellowing pages of that Thomas Hardy that I’ll never get round to!
Wish me luck!