I’ve decided to shift how I complete and account for my unread shelf project.
I skipped my March update partly because I was on vacation and partly because I didn’t finish a single book from my unread shelf. I was working on a couple and I weeded a couple, but I didn’t finish any. I don’t consider this a failure, just a slow reading month that wasn’t worth a blog post.
Before leaving for my vacation, I took a long hard look at my unread shelf and I realized that I was down to a fairly manageable number of unread books. I haven’t hit my target, nor am I at a point where I feel comfortable with removing my book buying ban. But, the number is low enough for me to feel less overwhelmed.
The other thing that I’ve noticed is that I’ve started to regret weeding some books. Up until now, I picked my least favourite books to remove each month and I didn’t mind donating them. But, I have a mild sense of regret attached to some of the books I donated in March. It’s a bit of a mix of “I want to read that book” and “I should read that book.” The latter is something I’m trying to get over. There are lots of books that I “should” read, especially books by and about minorities. The problem with “shoulds” is that I let them overwhelm me with guilt and I start to feel like a bad person. Yes, I absolutely should be reading more by and about minorities, but I can only read so many books in a month and books aren’t the only way to support groups and causes. I had intended to just read what I have this year and not worry about what I “should” read and I think that’s the best option for me right now. Once I have my unread shelf to a reasonable (for me) size, I can start looking at reading more books that will help me to be a better citizen and neighbour.
As for the rest of the books that I regret getting rid of: oh well, c’est la vie. I have a lot of other things on my plate right now and I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to reading them for a while, anyway. Plus, they’re mostly available at the library.
So, where am I now? My unread shelf is still bigger than I want it to be, my unread shelf is much smaller than I expected it to be by now (heck, it’s at about the number I expected to have at the end of the year), I still want to read everything I have left, I’m still bad about borrowing too many library books, and I might possibly have maybe sort of kind of bought a few books and magazines while on vacation. Also, for January and February, I only gave updates on my progress with the unread shelf project, but I miss talking about all the books I read or quit.
Going forward, I’m going to go back to talking about everything I’ve read or quit reading. I’ll include my unread shelf project progress, but I’ll also talk about library books I read.
I think this will work better for me because I enjoy reflecting on what I read in a month and I enjoy being able to promote good books without writing a separate review.