We have a long weekend coming up in the UK and my plan is to catch up with family, do a couple of long walks and deal with my tsundoku.
No, it’s not something you should see the doctor about.
It’s a Japanese word meaning the stockpiling of books you will never read.
I love books and reading but I buy, borrow or am given far more books than I can ever read and once they’re finished I hang on to them forever.
My bookshelves are groaning and my Kindle’s memory is maxed out – it’s becoming a real distraction.
I still have textbooks on linguistics from my undergraduate degree. They’re not useful or interesting and they’re horribly out of date but I still keep them..
I’ve recently been reading ‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown and it’s really helped me work out what’s important to me and what I should be focussing on. So it’s time to practise being an essentialist again.
Here are the criteria I will use when deciding what to do with my books:
1. If a book isn’t, or isn’t likely to be, useful, interesting or relevant then it will go to the charity shop.
2. Likewise, if I can’t decide when I’ll read it, I’ll get rid. ‘Someday, maybe’ or ‘just in case’ no longer works.
I’m looking forward to getting my bookshelves and Kindle back under control!
Book shelves at home with vases
In Essentialism, McKeown advocates not dithering when you’re deciding what to cut back on or where to focus.
He uses the analogy of clearing out a wardrobe or cupboard. When you’re deciding what to keep and what to chuck get specific. Ask yourself when you’ll wear the item of clothing again. If you can’t think of an exact time or place, let it go.
This is a technique you can apply in many areas of your life.
If you’re deciding on some CPD or a course of study when will the course you’re considering be useful? How will it help you achieve your goals? If you can’t give a specific answer then it’s probably not right for you now.
If you’re considering taking on a project ask yourself exactly when you’ll fit it in, what you’ll have to let go of to free up the time an energy, how much you’ll enjoy it and how it will help you achieve your goals. Again, if the answers are wishy washy say no.
If you’re invited to a social event ask yourself if there’s anything you would rather do instead, how much you’ll enjoy it and what specific benefit you will get from attending. The decision suddenly becomes easy.
In short, just asking yourself a few questions can save you time, money, inconvenience and energy! What’s not to like/