Bookworm Confessions: Too Many Books, Too Little Space

Walking through our living room is like traversing a mini maze except the hedges are actually books. I've got books under the coffee table, hidden in boxes by the corners, stuffed inside the edges of the cushy sofa, piled hip-high in a recessed corner, and of course two-deep inside a 9 shelf bookcase and artfully stacked (like jenga pieces) in the linen cabinet. 

"Re-Organizing, again!"
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You know that scene in the movies when you open a closet and the clothes just fall on you because it was smooshed inside? That was me, except it was books - hardbacks. Yes, I know,  I'm lucky I still have all my toes attached.

It was then I realized that I had 

A quick search on de-cluttering resulted in this amazing book written by Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo, called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. The KonMarie method consists of gathering together all of one's belongings, one category at a time, and then after individual examination of the item, keep only those things that "spark joy" in you. Intrigued, I immediately got to work. 

Starting with the paper (receipts, warranties, letters), and then clothing, working my way through accessories and footwear before tackling the books. At first, it can be daunting and grueling, but if you do it by category, it doesn't seem so bad -- by the fourth hour I was actually enjoying myself. In keeping only the items that spark joy (or make me happy), I was able to trim down my belongings significantly.

I thought I was doing great, in all honesty. Until I got to the books, upon touching each book I asked myself - would keeping this novel make me happy? Will I read this book again? Does this Hunger Games Foil Edition set spark joy in me? Soon, I had a tiny mound of books to let go and was sparking joy like crazy from touching books that I worried about igniting a bonfire. 

Needless to say, the 'Books' category of the KonMarie lifestyle change was an *epic* failure.

This was when I knew I had Tsundoku:

  • the condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one's home without reading them, -- Wikipedia
  • a Japanese term for buying books but not reading them, -- Wikipedia
  • what Angelica has -- The Hubby
I have always loved to read, to talk endlessly about books and having books around make me happy. And while I am extremely thankful to have a husband who understands this and supports it, he loves to tease me by walking around the apartment, picking up random books asking if I've read it. He niggles me about going from zero to 600 in less than a year but would be the first in line at a bookstore to get me the newest release in my favorite series (hello, new Sarah J. Maas book). Still, it made me realize that I had a huge pile of unread books needing attention, stat.

In an attempt to make a dent in the pile, I started a collection in my bullet journal called, The Neverending TBR List and jotted down about 130 titles to get started. These are all the books I have bought in the recent months but just haven't gotten around to reading because, well, you know -- adulting and life and other new releases and all that. *sigh*

By the end of 2016, I had finished a total of 67 books but when I ticked off the titles from the TBR list, I had read only seven (7). That's 60 books that were not a part of the original TBR titles at all. Gosh, I needed a better solution.

For 2017, I started another list and decided to make it a bit more doable. Each month I will pick a book from the TBR Jar, I won't stop reading other books and new releases, but this should help me make a dent in reading some of the books I already own. 


JANUARY:        When Passion Rules by Johanna Lindsey
FEBRUARY:      A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
MARCH:           Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
APRIL:              The Handmaiden by Margaret Atwood
MAY:                 ---
JUNE:               Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
JULY:                Wired by Julie Garwood

The 2017 Jar would contain titles that would *ideally* fit these parameters: An owned book, either hardbound or paperback; A standalone book I have been wanting to read for a while or the next book in the series I am currently reading. To lessen the chances of a burgeoning list, I will try not include books from a series I have not started yet. 

Here are the rest of the titles added to my TBR Jar for this year:  
  1. Wired by Julie Garwood
  2. The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  3. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  4. The Luckiest Girl Alive
  5. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  6. After You by Jojo Moyes
  7. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  8. Soundless by Richelle Mead
  9. Map of Fates by Maggie Hall
  10. Illuminae by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff
  11. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
  12. Armada by Ernest Cline
  13. Better Than Ever Before by Gretchen Rubin
  14. All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
  15. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  16. The Serpent King by Jeff Zener
  17. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  18. Daughter of Ruin by K.D. Castner
  19. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  20. The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
  21. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Do you have books that you want to add to this list? Recommendations are very welcome! 

Hopefully organizing a better TBR list and the occasional book ban will help settle my Tsundoku tendencies. In the meantime, I will just have to keep busy by reading, and re-organizing our beautiful bookshelves.

Do you have Tsundoku tendencies too? How do you manage it? I'd love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share your bookish babblings in the comment section! 


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