Two weeks ago Sharon cleaned the den where the desktop computer and television and many of my books are located. The books included my TBR piles which had grown to fill over half of one side of the desk and the area beside the printer on the other side of the desk. The computer sits at an angle between the two sides of the desk. As part of her cleaning she took all the books off the desk and piled them in plastic grocery store baskets in the living room.
After seeing how good the desk looked clear of the piles of books I started thinking it was time to re-organize. I still do not know how many books I have TBR. I am afraid to find out.
Last week I decided I would pack the books from the TBR piles into boxes and store them where they were easily accessible and make a commitment to keep the desk clean.
This week I have packed the books into 5 cardboard boxes (3 boxes of fiction and 2 boxes of non-fiction). They are now organized alphabetically so I can actually find a book quickly. Some of the boxes will go downstairs into a storage area and the others to my law office. I will actually be able to browse among my TBR books rather than gaze at haphazard tottering piles that usually just made me feel guilty.
At some point I may list the books. Up to now I have never assembled the titles and authors of books I have acquired.
I will keep the one or two books I am reading at any given time with me. I will put a few books I intend to read next on a shelf near the desk.
Books I buy or are given or are sent to me by publishers will go into the boxes. I hope, but doubt, I will have the discipline to shrink the TBR boxes.
On the other bookshelves around me in the den I am vowing to myself that if I want to keep a book after reading it a book already on the shelves will be removed. We shall see how well that promise to myself works.
Books not being kept will be exchanged for credit at my favourite used bookstore in Saskatoon, Westgate Books, or given to the local public library where I have been a member of the board of directors for over 30 years. I already have a credit at Westgate of about $100.00 but I consider a growing credit at a bookstore good rather than bad.
For most of my life I have been prone to clutter. I finally cleaned up my law office when we renovated three years ago. I have backslid a few times but have managed to get organized again and keep my desk clean.
It is nice to see just one book, The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver, beside me. It also reminds me that for many years, until I was in my 30's, because of economics and availability my TBR pile was 1-2 books.
Wish me luck!