According to a 2011 survey, the average Briton has 80 books on their shelves they have never read. Of those 80 titles, 70 percent have never been opened, with 40 percent of survey respondents admitting their copies of classics like Pride and Prejudice and The Hobbit are just for looks and will probably gather dust until the day they disintegrate. That is, unless that book jacket for Jane Eyre is cleverly concealing a copy of Confessions of a Shopaholic.
But Brits aren’t the only readers with confessions to make. I, too, have many unread titles on my shelves, some of which have made multiple moves with me. So, this fall, I’ve resolved to read only the books I already own, review them on Goodreads, and offer them up for exchange on book swapping websites. That means I’m not making any trips to the bookstore for new titles. I’m even taking the library card out of my wallet.
My reward for this virtuous act of word recycling will be a clear conscience and, hopefully, an even clearer set of shelves to fill with fresh fodder in the new year.
If you’d like to join me in this endeavour, send me a friend request through Goodreads. I’ll accept because, frankly, I need all the encouragement I can get.