Start, Stop & Change: gift of reading

About a year ago, I had hundreds of physical books lining my many bookshelves. In fact, I had so many books I’d put some in totes to store in my office closet. Still the bookshelves overflowed.

I love books. There’s just nothing quite like the promise of an unread book.

But the thing was: I’d already read nearly all those books. Of the hundreds and hundreds, only a handful remained unread.

So why was I keeping them?

If it wasn’t the promise of an unread book, what was it? I started to realize my stacks and heaps and piles were more about possessing, about owning, about evidence of having read a lot of books.

That realization made what had at first seemed intelligent—owning lots of books—seem like something else. Something not so noble and…kind of stingy.

I had so many books on my shelves I’d already read. And so few I was likely to read again.

Yet, I knew someone else out there could pick up any one of my books and feel all that promise because it was unread to them.

So I gave away nearly all my books. Letting friends pick among them, donating many, selling a few.

What about you? Do you have books on your shelves you’re unlikely to ever read again? 

Here’s your mini mission

Clear your shelves of books you won’t read again and give the gift of reading—and the promise of the unread book—to someone else.