A few days ago I tweeted that I was going to set myself the goal of not buying any books in the first six months of 2016. I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea, but nevertheless I went ahead and announced my plan. And now I kind of want to stretch it for the whole year, 52 weeks, 365 days of not buying books.
WHY?! You may scream loudly. YOU ARE NOT SUPPORTING AUTHORS IF YOU’RE NOT BUYING BOOKS. You may argue. YOU’RE MAD. Yes, I am.
But also, I’m kind of sensible.
I have a LOT of books in my room – a LOT. I have four bookcases and four large plastic storage boxes full to the brim of books and, shamefully, I’d say I’ve only read about 20% of the books I own…if that. I want to change this – I want to read the books I own, to catch up on books like The Hunger Games that I’ve never read; to finish reading series I started, to discover all the books I was eager to buy but never read and I want to do that next year.
Instead of buying heaps of books and letting them grow stagnant on my bookshelf whilst they wait their turn to hopefully one day be picked up, I think I should read what I already have – discover all the worlds that are currently undiscovered and meet characters I’ve never even heard of. I’m ashamed to say I sometimes look at my shelves and think ‘I own that book?! I never realised I had that.” (I’m an awful book mummy.)
Just looking at one shelf in front of me right now – there are 42 books on the shelf and out of those I’ve only read 7. And looking at the shelf above that – 36 on the shelf and ha, strangely, again just 7 read. I have SO many books to discover right in front of me and yet instead I get blindsided by the excitement of new books and want to read those instead.
I feel guilt that I can’t support my favourite authors by buying their books but, there is no rule in this ‘challenge’ that says I can’t borrow books from the library. If there are new releases I just can’t bear to not read then I am allowed to borrow them from the library as no money has exchanged hands! Plus, I think it is REALLY important to show support to local libraries and use their services as much as possible and I know how lucky I am to even have a library so I want to continue to use them as often as I can. I can still review books which, hopefully, authors will see as me being supportive.
The only time when book buying is allowed is if it is as a gift to a friend or family member for a birthday or Christmas. I have very few bookish friends so I will probably not have to use this exception to the rule very often at all!
It’s a little daunting setting this goal now as I have NO idea how 2016 will pan out. I don’t know if I’ll get a job or manage to finish writing my own book and have that published…who knows what will happen?! But I hope that whatever my circumstances are that I can stick to this challenge.
So far this year I’ve managed to read 128 books so if I can replicate that again next year then hopefully I can read at least one book shelf completely!!
Do you fancy joining in with me? Perhaps just for half the year? Or can you be brave and last the whole year by just reading books you already own or borrowing from a library?!