The first line of attack is: don’t buy a book until you’re ready to read it. Any new thing you buy has an energy of newness about it that wears off after you buy it. That happens whether you use it or not.
Things you love transform their energy and remain appealing, like the velveteen rabbit. You appreciate the help they give you, how they make you feel, or their visual appeal, and you have a positive relationship with them.
Things you don’t love start losing their energy and become lifeless. They only take up space. The only reason you keep them is inertia, or regret for the money spent on them, or the illusion that you’ll read them someday.
Things you buy and don’t use or even unwrap don’t stay new, contrary to what you might think. The energy still leaches out of them.
I recently talked to a client about the books on his shelf, most of which he hasn’t read, and he no longer remembers when or why he acquired them. On top of that, his desire to read them is now gone. Now he’s face with hundreds of books he feels he should read, someday.
He was thinking of sending then all out to be scanned so he could still have them without their taking up space in the physical world. Even a budget scanning service would cost hundreds of dollars given how many books he had. And they would still remain unread.
My idea for him was to photograph the books sitting on the shelves so he’d have a record of the titles he could quickly access. (much faster than typing out all titles, another idea he had).
He could peruse the photos when he had time to read a book and pick one that attracted him, then buy it on Kindle or get it from the library.
Be honest when looking at your bookshelf. How many books are in there that you’ve been intending to read? Ones that you initially were excited about, but now you just feel like you ought to read them? Let them go.