Letting Go: Reading Every Book on my Bookshelf

I’ve always loved to read.

Since I was a kid, reading has been something I could always turn to for entertainment and solace. As an only child, books became a way for me to join many different families and learn about life through many different experiences.

Because of this love of reading, I have a full library that has filled my bookshelf, spilled over onto my floor, taken up my bedside table, and it has even made its way into the bathroom (book poops are the best poops). I’ve read almost every book that I own, but definitely not every single one.

But I have a confession.

I am an addict. A book buying addict with an obsession for purchasing new and used books even though I am currently reading 3 at one time and have 15 more on my shelf that I bought and have not read yet.

Nothing gets me as high as finding a new and exciting book with pages that have that used-book smell and dog-eared pages (I tried to make that sound the least pretentious as I possibly could).

I’m a book hoarder if you will.

As many book lovers know, having a bookshelf filled with books both loved and unread does not mean that you stop buying books.

I know that I have so many that I haven’t read yet, but whenever I pass a bookstore, especially a used bookstore, I know I’m going in and buying something.

As much as I love buying books, this habit is getting kind of annoying. I not only buy books all the time, but I also refuse to give away or donate any of the books I have that I have already read or will never read again.

So back to my overflowing library I mentioned: I have to do something about it. My room is small, and I’m getting overwhelmed by a number of books I have. I want more space. Not just space to live and put my other stuff, but more space to fill with newer books.

But I am a very nostalgic person. I keep memory boxes filled with movie tickets and birthday cards and photos from middle school. So how am I supposed to get rid of my beloved stories?

Some of these books I’ve owned since I was a kid. Some of these books I bought and never read. I don’t want to just give away my precious memories or waste my money that I spent on these books!

So I’ve devised a plan.

The Plan

I am currently working as a freelance writer, which means I work from home and determine my own schedule. This also means that if I focus and do my work when I’m supposed to, I have a lot of free time.

During this free time, I am going to read books from my bookshelf. In fact, I have decided that I am going to read every single book on my bookshelf.

And until I have read all the books on my shelf, I am not going to buy another book.

I’ve devised this plan for a couple of reasons.

I’m tryna be a ~minimalist~ but I’m also always a slut for nostalgia.

How does this relate to my books? Well, I need to get rid of some shit. I’m a borderline hoarder because of my painful almost brooding nostalgia, which means I have accumulated a ton of crap. I need space for all that crap.

By reading all of my books again (or for the first time) I will get to enjoy my sweet, sweet memories, and, hopefully, finally be able to let go of these books. I won’t lose the memories by losing the books, but having one last go with these old friends will be a great way to say goodbye.

This might sound super dramatic and stupid to people who don’t like to read, or perhaps to everyone. But I really do mean that these books feel like my old friends.

The characters and the stories truly got me through the hardest parts of my life.

I’ve laughed and I’ve cried because of these books. I’ve learned so much from these books and these authors.

I have a tattoo based on my favorite book.

The stories and the characters truly shaped who I am today. I can’t just get rid of these things without one last hurrah.

Then I had a great idea! Why not review or write a short post about each book that I read? I could do a section on when I first read the book (if I did at all), why I bought it, if I liked it when I first read it, what the book meant to me then, what it means to me now, my rating of it, all that good stuff!

Even if no one reads this series, I feel like this will be a great way to keep my memories of my books even if I do donate them or give them away after I’m done reading them again. This book series will be like a journal recording my thoughts and feelings on the stories that brought me to this point.

Of course, there are a fair few that I will definitely be keeping for various reasons, which I will mention in the individual book posts.

Keep your eye out for this new series, non-existent readers!

The first book I’ve chosen to re-read is rather controversial, but it still holds a place in my heart.

Hint: “The lion fell in love with the lamb.” I just threw up a little bit at the severity of the cliché, but it’s still good. I hate myself lol

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A Short Tribute to Mr. Adams

Yesterday, Richard Adams died. Many might not know who he is, and his death might be overshadowed by Carrie Fisher’s extremely sad passing.

 

But my sadness lies primarily with Mr. Adams. He changed my life without me ever meeting him. His words in the famous “Watership Down” helped me through depression and even through high school (that’s when you know something is seriously helpful). I read this book at least twice per year, and every time I read it, I learn more about the world around me and about myself.

 

“Watership Down” is an adventure story about rabbits. Whenever I try to explain what it is about, it’s hard to truly encapsulate the many messages put forth by Mr. Adams. The story may revolve around rabbits, but it has taught me more about bravery, friendship, home, death, and the true meaning of life than any story about humans I have encountered. Each time I read it, I am overwhelmed by a sense of serenity, as though it is helping me exist in this dangerous, scary world. Continue reading