Monday, January 31, 2011

Reducing, Reducing, Reducing

So exactly what am I reducing? Well ... this isn't a weight loss blog so I won't be talking about my waistline. Yes, I am still whittling away at my colossal mountain of books. I successfully reduced the number of books I own last year and want to continue reducing further this year.

I knew that I would need some kind of record to both "keep me honest" and to motivate me, so I created a simple "books in/books out" spreadsheet that let me see my progress (or lack thereof). This spreadsheet turned into a little bit of a game with myself to see just how many books I could part with in a years time.

The results? I was able to end the year with a net of books out. I reduced the total number of books owned by 89 even though I added to my book collection in some months. Not bad ... but I would like to do better this year.

I have only read books from my TBR pile so far this year and have not added to the collection. However, my husband has purchased 6 books just this month that will need to be counted in the "books in" column. He has already told me that he will be passing them along to our daughter as he finishes them, so hopefully they will go into the "books out" column soon.

TERRI vs. BOOK MOUNTAIN ... the game is on!

I know that I'm not alone in the struggle to find balance and peace with my book collection. Are you one of those who is trying to reduce the number of books you own or whittle down that TBR pile? Feel free to share your strategy in the comments!


  1. Ouch, I haven't got there yet. The joy of acquisition way exceeds any small satisfaction of a 1" gap on a bookshelf. But I have always been thrifty, so I almost never buy books except for school. I keep acquiring from gifts, review copies, trade shows, etc. (ooh, ALA this summer...) I did trim down my husbands book collection this fall, though. His one bookshelf was way too full. (My 6 are all doing well, thanks).

  2. Wow! You are far braver than I am :P

  3. I'm trying but I haven't gotten very far. I'm having more luck with the books I haven't read than the ones I have read--is that weird? What I'm trying to do is find audio versions of the books I've had on my shelf for years and obviously am in no hurry to read them. Unfortunately this also means I'm not in a huge hurry to listen to them either. Ha! It's a sickness.

    But it sounds like you're doing well!!

  4. love this - inspiring. I am doing MUCH better at not purchasing but I do a lot of browsing - that's ok, right? And then, for $5.98 there were two books at B&N the other day that I know I will keep due to the authors. Other than that, tho' i'm on the "reducing" plan, too, tho' not as organized.
    Ever onward - you are inspiring!

  5. Did I read "books out"? I am not aware of the concept and in fact is inconceivable!