I’m not buying any books in 2021. I will be reading books I already own and finish them rather than let them collect dust on my shelf. Now, why did I come to this decision is the story that follows.
I read 6 books in 2020.
One more than the famous adventurers in Enid Blyton’s works and one less than the number of Horcruxes created by Voldemort.
Plot twist – it’s way better than what I read in 2019. I’m honestly proud of myself.
So, is this why I made this “drastic decision”? Because I read “fewer” books.
Yes and no.
You see, I was cleaning my bookshelf a few days ago. I noticed that there were a lot of titles that I haven’t yet read. And this took me down a rabbit hole of memories that led me to buy those books in the first place.
The Pride and Prejudice hardcopy I won in a giveaway, Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar I bought after wanting to read more Indian authors, the second-hand Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, Love in the Time of Cholera (a gift from a dear friend), my oldest and probably first series after Harry Potter – The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein, and so many others were all sitting around, hoping they would be the next.
And here I was buying more books.
Some of these books are over 5 years old. I collected them at a time when I was at my peak reading stage. I realised that the one thing that got me through my roughest and toughest days was reading. I remembered the days I powered through book upon book without a care for the real world.
What happened then? Why did these books go unread for so many years?
I understood that I let the real world take over. I let the drama in my personal and professional life consume me rather than set it aside and make space for my creative self. I made these dramas an integral part of my life when they should have been tossed in the trash where such things belong.
My friends who don’t worship books as I do read more books than me last year. Every time they finished a book we would discuss it and they would tell me how awesome or less than awesome the book was. It was refreshing to hear them talk about books because I sure was not doing it. Plus, it lifted my spirits because they thought I was the one who would be most excited to listen to them.
During these conversations, I had a severe case of Imposter Syndrome. I felt that I was not doing enough to call myself a bookworm and that my love for books was just a farce, even though I have read a good number of books. Also, looking at bookstagrammers reading 200+ books a year made my love for books seem inadequate.
But then I realized that the only person I want to read for is myself. Whether it is 2 books, 20 books, or 200 books, that decision is mine to make and mine alone. I should not be perturbed by someone else’s achievements. And I should not be buying books on a whim or because I saw someone on social media reading them.
The same applies to you as well. Everyone has a different pace, different space, and different reading preferences. Don’t let social media or anyone tell you that you are reading less or reading trash. That’s up to you to decide what and how many books you want to read.
So, this year will be a book-buying drought and a book-reading oasis (if that makes any sense!)
This has been a long rant, which I’m sure you must be bored with.
TLDR; I did a lot of introspection and decided that I am not buying any more books in 2021 and will read the ones I already have.
What are your new year’s resolutions?