How Do You Stop Buying So Many Books?

Follow This Easy 17-Step Plan

Josh Spilker
Jul 9, 2017 · 2 min read

Compulsively buying books and don’t know what to do? Follow this plan.

  1. Cancel your credit card.
  2. Forget your Paypal.
  3. Delete your Amazon account.
  4. Take out cash and put the cash in an envelope.
  5. On the envelope, write these words: “THIS MONEY IS FOR FOOD, NOT BOOKS, DO NOT BUY BOOKS!”
  6. Block off an hour or so on your calendar. In the event details, write these words: “READ BOOKS, DON’T WATCH TV.”
  7. Grab one of the books off your shelf.
  8. Start reading it.
  9. If you like it, keep reading it (go to #13)
  10. If you don’t like it, stop reading it. This isn’t school. There isn’t any obligation to finish and write a book report. It doesn’t matter.
  11. Put the books you didn’t like in a pile or in a box.
  12. Put the pile in your closet. Leave them there until you can take them to a used bookstore. Don’t put them on eBay because then you’ll covertly convince yourself that you may like this book. But no. You will be ruthless. You will just take them to the used bookstore and leave them there. It’s okay.
  13. Take the books you liked and finish them. Don’t start another one until you finish one. Don’t read multiple books at once. This will slow you down.
  14. This will take awhile. Like years, probably. But stay committed. Don’t get more from the library or something like that. Just. Keep. Reading.
  15. Once you finish all of the books you like, keep 1/2 of them. Not all of them. You have a library or the Internet and stuff so you will be able to find these books again.
  16. But you want people to enjoy these books too. So give the other 1/2 away. Give them to friends or Internet people or whatever.
  17. Now you’ll have more room on your bookshelf and you can start buying books again.

I’m Josh Spilker, a writer and author. I blog about the writing process at Create, Make, Write and write creative essays at Vaguely Feel. My new novel is called Taco Jehovah.

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Josh Spilker

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