One simple rule

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One simple rule

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Oct 8, 2012, 1:27pm

I admit it. The virtual pile of unread books has grown too tall. I have to do something about it. ;)

*** I will no longer buy books that I don't intend to read "immediately". ***

This means not buying books I know I will put on the shelf to read later. Also "immediately" is relative as I will still finish what I'm reading and I can even have a very small "to be read immediately "pile. And new volumes in series I know I want to read don't really count for that rule.

In theory my tbr pile should slowly shrink to a more manageable size :D

I'll try applying the rule for dvds and video games too (that should save me some money)

Suggestions and comments welcome :)

Edited: Oct 8, 2012, 2:08pm

I sincerely hope you have more luck with this than I. My TBR mountain has become a range and is visible from space.

Oct 8, 2012, 2:39pm

Yeah, good luck with that. My collection of TBRs has it own gravitational field and just might qualify as a plutoid.

Oct 8, 2012, 3:05pm

Oh, are saying this in a 'room' full of enablers. Come on man, just one more. One more won't hurt.

You'll find a book you've been waiting for at a thrift store. Or it will go on sale. Or you will get a recommendation you cannot refuse. Or you will pre-order The Twelve because you've already been waiting a year for it.

Resistance is futile.

Oct 8, 2012, 3:41pm

Hahaha, yes, there is always room for one more!

But if I may humbly say so, that is the brilliance of the Rule: I can buy more. I just have to read them right away!

Edited: Oct 8, 2012, 4:26pm

I tried a variation of this. This year I made a New Year's Resolution to shrink my pile by not allowing myself to borrow books from anyone. If I want to read something, it must be off my shelf. I did leave myself the loophole to buy things to put on my shelf, and I'll have you know I made it 24 days before my first purchase.

I apparently have no option but to READ FASTER. I have read 129 books so far this year! (but I have acquired 172 in that time...)

Edited: Oct 8, 2012, 8:48pm

@ 1 Having tried to impose a very similar rule on myself, I'm going to have to tell you it's not likely to work, because you have allowed so many exceptions that it's not really a rule any more. If you want to buy the next book in a series, read all the books leading up to it before you buy it. If you haven't read volume one don't buy volume two. If you have an unread copy of Macbeth don't buy Hamlet. As long as you have a TBR pile, it should be the "TBR immediately" pile. No small separate "TBR immediately" pile.

I have to tell you, trying to follow this program has defeated me more than once. Maybe you will inspire me to try it again. Maybe . . . (lol stands for lots of luck as well as laughing out loud.)

Oct 9, 2012, 1:34am

I am trying the READ FASTER approach. Doing 3-4 books a week right now. Scarcely saw daylight this weekend.

Oct 9, 2012, 12:19pm

>8 GirlMisanthrope: It warrants the caps; it doesn't have the right feel without them. :)

>1 Codexus: "In theory my tbr pile should slowly shrink to a more manageable size :D" Oh, the lies we tell ourselves :)

Book Lie #1: By only acquiring books you intend to read, at the moment you want to read them, you will reduce the number of books waiting to be read.

I'll add the one I fall prey to most:

Book Lie #2: Purging unwanted books from your shelves will result in fewer books on the shelves.

Oct 9, 2012, 6:39pm

I'm going to go against the grain and say that this can work. It won't solve all your book problems (somehow free books have a way of sneaking in, for example), but it can make them a lot better. Every bit of progress helps.

Here are my yearly statistics as of Sept. 30:

Books read: 48

Books purchased: 31
For fun: 14
For school (in a broad sense): 17

Total books acquired: 43
Purchased: 31
Vine: 8
ER: 1
Gift: 2
Other: 1

Books discarded: 27

Maybe I'm still not making strict progress since I do still read library books, but at least I feel like things are under control now and my 800-book TBR pile is no longer growing at a totally unsustainable rate.

Basic rules:

1) Look at the library first, unless it's a favourite author who you actively want to support.

2) If the hold list is too long and you really do want to read the book immediately, it's okay to buy it. Trying to go cold turkey with no book-buying exceptions is more likely to result in a sudden binge than making moderate exceptions when appropriate.

3) The easiest way to get a book off the shelf is to discard it.

Oct 16, 2012, 8:26am

If it's a library book sale, and I can fill a bag for $5, all my "rules" fly out the window on the spot.

I did the only thing I could. I stayed home. I nearly died.

May 22, 2017, 10:03pm

I own a great t-shirt that reads, "Too many books? Nah, more like not enough book shelves!"

That pretty much says it all.
When I'm in a book store and they ask if I want a bag or a cart, I always say no. Thank goodness there is a limit to how many books my arms can hold. That's my limiting factor.
If I can't carry any more... I can't buy anymore.

May 22, 2017, 10:56pm

>12 JRlibrary: I use that method, too (no bag or cart), but at our local indie bookstore the friendly staff is prone to say "Do you want me to put those up at the counter for you while you keep browsing?" I have never been strong enough to say no!

May 23, 2017, 12:36pm

I just joined this group as it seemed to be a good fit for me. My drug of choice is books and I cannot seem to get that particular monkey off my back. I have a Nook ereader and my downfall is finding free and discounted ebooks online that I figure if I don't get right then, I won't get them at all and will miss out on a good read. As a result, I now have nearly 3,000 books in my TBR library. I even purchase gift cards for myself so I won't use a credit card and thus allow my wife to find out how much I have spent on books.

May 23, 2017, 1:09pm

It's all relative, depending on your reading speed. If you tell me that you can read 3000 books in a year, I'll say there's nothing particularly wrong with your habits. Welcome to the group. :)

May 23, 2017, 7:56pm

>14 daveb66: I don't even try to mark books as TBR. I mark start and finish dates. I really get disgusted when I sort by finish dates. The dining room has turned into my office and where I read. I can hardly get into the library as there are multiple boxes of books under my reading table that I have bought but haven't opened .

My wife suggested I go out to the book and paper show in Denver in July but I'm afraid I'll buy too many I already have. She just came home from Miami with at least 75 orchids. I guess she is feeling sorry for me. The TSA even opened her suitcase to see what the heck was in there!

By the way, you may blame Loranne for telling me about this group. Maybe someone will give me an idea how to cure this 'disease?!'.

On second thought, don't tell me. Collecting them is so much fun!!

May 23, 2017, 8:21pm

> I'm pretty sure it's incurable!