A couple of those books are on the list of 63 I started with. But some of them are not. I broke the no-new-books moratorium, and it is awesome. This brings me to a happy, unexpected benefit of this goal.
When I decided to finish all the books I own but haven’t read, it was in part because I had a sense of book-related vines creeping into recessive corners of my brain I could never quite see – books I wanted to read but kept forgetting, or might already own, or might know someone who owned, and on and on. I needed an organizing system before I could get anywhere with this.
I settled on three boards on Pinterest – Books I own but haven’t read, Books I read and loved, and Book wish list. Here’s the surprise – just having a system I like has given me as much joy as finishing books and giving them away. When I gave myself a way to keep track of books – books my friends recommend, books that show up in magazines I like, books that pique my curiosity in
bookstores (where I still go all the time) – I started seeing a lot more of those books, and they stopped taking up stressful space in my brain, and it was fun to wish for books again. The Book
wish list board has blossomed to 207 titles; no longer overwhelmed by the idea of one more source of inspiration, I even signed up for goodreads. Bonus, Books I read and loved gives me a
feeling of accomplishment akin to high-fiving myself every time I move something off Books I own but haven’t read (since I love most of them when I read them – to my great relief, I’m pretty good at identifying books I’ll like) and makes me way more articulate when loved ones ask me for book ideas.
And much the way sending more hand-written notes has inspired kind friends to give me stationery, talking a lot about what I’m reading has inspired everyone I like to give me recommendations, and sometimes actual books. I’m also still finding books I own that haven’t read, as my bookshelves become less of a shamble. And I’ll be honest, I still buy books fairly
regularly, again because it’s not overwhelming anymore – I have a system, so I no longer get to the checkout counter and wonder if I’ll ever get around to reading what I have in my hands. As a result, Books I own but haven’t read is a little longer than when I started – 66 titles total. (I’m still going to call this goal accomplished when I finish the first 63.)
Maggie recently suggested breaking goals down – like a lot of things she says, this is very smart. For me, breaking a goal down means answering, “How will I do this?”, and that includes making a system like this one. I now aspire to make every system include Pinterest and more time in