As I told you on Monday, I’ve recently discovered that I have over 600 books waiting to be read. I can hear you gasping. Is that horror or delight? Personally, I’m torn between the two with a hearty dose of alarm as I realise it will likely take between six and twelve years for me to read them all. I do mean to read them all. The collection was culled about two years ago and my tastes haven’t changed much since then so what I have today is what I still want to read. It is clear, however, that I need to do something and the only solution seems to be a book diet.
I’ve tried book diets (and food diets!) before and I always failed miserably with the bookish kind. WeightWatchers, on the other hand, works well for me when I follow the rules. So I’ve been thinking, while counting my books, about the similarities between books and food. I love them both and, really, can’t live without them for any great period of time. That’s why WeightWatchers works – it doesn’t require me to give up food, I just need to ingest fewer calories than I burn each week and I lose weight. If you apply the same principle to books, I just need to acquire fewer books than I read each week and my 600 books will be gradually whittled away, just like to 3 stones I’ve shed from my body.
My previous attempts at book dieting have failed because I took an all-or-nothing approach: I won’t get any new books until I’ve read everything in the house! Like that’s something I can stick to! This time I’m just going to try and exercise (ie read) more and eat (ie acquire) less. This will give me a calorie (ie book) deficit and one by one my 600-high pile will melt away.
I’ve also found with WeightWatchers that it’s important for me to be rewarded when I do well so I’m going to track the number of books I read each week less the number of acquisitions and give myself 50p to spend per book I’ve ‘lost’. If I gain, I lose 50p. Rewardage money can be spent in any way I see fit.
You’re welcome to join me in my dieting efforts – I’ll be updating you each week as part of the ‘It’s Monday! What are you Reading?’ meme.