I’ve generally come to terms with the notion that just because it’s free (or on sale or otherwise too cheap to pass up) doesn’t mean I have to have it. Having too much gives me stress and I’m willing to have the uncomfortable conversation with myself about holding off on those things. But…I have a competing corollary rule in my life which says that I can never have too many books.
From the earliest days of my childhood, my father had a rule that he would always buy me books. On vacation, we’d ask for silly souvenirs or toys that would break or be lost in minutes. Those we would have to buy with our own spending money. When we walked into a bookstore, however, I knew that I could get a book to help keep me occupied on our trips (usually I’d already torn through the selections I brought along with us).
In addition to fostering my intense love affair with reading, I have come to believe that I should always have books and, in these frugal times, free books are even better! I’ve amassed a serious TBR (to-be-read) pile which, despite portions being packed into several boxes over time, overflows our current bookshelf capacity. The chief culprit is PaperbackSwap which satisfies the book-hoarding and the frugal sides of me. Now, I’ve decided to use the public library since I don’t need to keep 97% of the books that I read. So, as you might expect, I have a giant stack of library books next to my bed, each needing to be read before I can even start to get to the ones that don’t have a return-by date.
Today, I am going to take a seriously minimalist approach that also satisfies my deep love of lists. I already have forgiven myself not getting to the library books by adding less pressing ones to my SpringPad list of books. The idea occurred to me, as I was out walking by my beloved library, that I could also do this with the not-so-high-on-the-list TBR books on the shelves. I am going to clear-cut my TBR pile and maintain a virtual record of those books I thought interesting enough to take up physical space.
What is this SpringPad? (I promise no affiliation with or inducement by the company! Just an adoring fan.) SpringPad helps you keep track of, well, everything. There are built-in lists and “notebooks” that are now being called apps which can help organize information of all kinds. I’m still debating whether it makes the most sense for web clippings generally (I like EverNote), but it is fantastic for recipes and for books. When adding a book, SpringPad searches the interwebs including Amazon and saves that link for you in a list of books. That way, I have access to all the basic information that I need when it comes time to bump that baby onto my library hold list. It’s genius. (I’ll probably chat about the recipe functionality in a future post since its easy approach really helps me simplify my food-blog reading process).