Little over a year ago I launched my Clearing the Decks Project.
I pulled from the shelves one hundred books that I was confident I wouldn’t want to keep after reading to create my own home library. I would borrow books from the stacks and then return them to a charity shop, thus clearing the decks.
The project worked – 40 books have gone and just 60 remain – better figures than I hoped.
But I only read 9 of those books. 31 I decided I didn’t want to read.
Once they were off the shelf I realised that I didn’t need to read them. Because other books would always be there calling me more loudly. Because my reason to read them have been lost since I bought them home.
Those 31 books should not take offence. They are all I’m sure good books, but they aren’t the books for me any more.
Almost every day I discover a new book I want to read, or I think of an old book I want to read again. And so I have learned that I have to be selective, to read only the books that I am confident I love, the books that will offer me what I need.
So now I only buy books that I can’t order from the library and books that I am quite certain I will want to keep.
And I am going to keep clearing the decks.
I’m sure that I have other books that I can read, write about, and then pass on. And others that I can simply let go.
So watch out for 40 more joining the project!