21 January 2015

Getting rid of books is tough, even if they are virtual

I thought that paring down my wish list would be easy, but I was wrong. This week I logged onto my account with the NC Digital Library to pick a book, in keeping with my goal to read books already on my wish list. I went to the end of the list to pick from the ones that had been there the longest. Although I've been looking at the covers for months, I couldn't remember why I added some of the books to the list. Even reading the descriptions didn't help. Yet I hesitated to delete those titles. Why?  It's not like I'm tossing out physical books, so why is it so tough? 

One reason I have trouble deleting titles from my list is that I think I will want the books later and not remember the titles. This is paired with an irrational fear that I will run out of books to read. On reflection, I realize that this is silly. There are already more books in existence than I can read in a lifetime, so for every title I delete there will be others to take its place. If a book is something I am just dying to read, I will most likely remember the title without having it on a list.

I also have this guilty feeling that I'm cheating if I reach the goal of clearing my list by deleting titles instead of actually reading the books. First off, this is my "game" and my rules, so I can do anything I want. Second, I have missed so many goals and experiences in my life because I insist on handling tasks in a certain order. As it relates to my reading life, this means that I often force myself to finish books that I am no longer enjoying, instead of chucking them and moving on. It takes me twice as long to read a book that I'm not enjoying, and that cuts into my reading time. Just this week, I made myself read at least 50 pages of a book that I wasn't enjoying, even though I could tell from the introduction that the book wasn't what I thought it was. Being a stickler for self-imposed rules that aren't working is a habit I am trying to shed.

Now that I've written this post and examined my thoughts, I think I should take a look at my lists straightaway and start culling unwanted titles while I have this renewed zeal!

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