Keeping things simple is my theme this year. As I described in one of the first posts of the year, this means I’m holding back from reading challenges. In line with this spirit of simplification I’ve now decided that the time has come to de-clutter my reading life. I’m not as ambitious however as the woman I read about yesterday who had adopted a numerical approach where she gets rid of one item on day 1 of the month, 2 on day 2, 3 on day 3 etc right up to day 30. Small but steady changes is more in line with my thinking.
Step 1: clear out the bookshelves. My goal is to find space on bookshelves/in cupboards for all the books currently in piles on the floor. I uncovered a pile of business related books that I can’t see me ever getting to read. So off to the charity shop went Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, The Empty Raincoat, by Charles Handy and Jim Collins’ From Good to Great. I’ve read sections of all of them but not from cover to cover. Along with them in the discard pile were numerous text books from my Open University courses on children’s literature, Shakespeare and the Romantic era. I kept a few books on social media topics and also sustainability but made a promise to myself that if I haven’t read them within a year, they’ll also be finding new homes.
Step 2: Prune my email in box A radical pruning was called for here having reached more than 4,000 items in my in box. A mass delete of messages from before 2013 got it down to a more reasonable number. Then I started unsubscribing from all the companies who insist on sending me emails and newsletters telling me about their latest products and special offers. Wish I could stop all the Amazon ‘deals of the day’ messages and the ‘if you liked this, you would probably be like this’ kind.
Step 3: Part company from social media channels. I barely have time to keep up with this blog let alone Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, LibraryThing and Stumble Upon, and Rifle and You Tube and all the other channels that have proliferated in the last few years. I’m evaluating all of these to decide which I really find of use. Rifle I have parted company with already (I joined purely out of curiosity when it was launched but haven’t found them offering anything significantly better than Goodreads). Stumble Upon will probably be next. I’m in a quandary with Twitter – I find things there that I don’t see anywhere else but really don’t have the time to post that often. I’m in an even bigger quandary over Goodreads and LibraryThing. Goodreads is the easiest to use but LibraryThing seems to have more interesting discussions. Does anyone have recommendations on which of these is the better option if I were to chose only one?