Okay, I admit it. I became addicted to buying books around the time I started to write. Before that, I maybe bought one or two, read them, and took a break from reading until I felt like picking up a book again. I think leisure reading didn't appeal to me as much then because I was a perpetual student for so long. Who has time to read a best seller when you have so much reading to do for college?
Anyway, after joining RWA and the local chapter, NJRW, my book buying picked up. All writers know you have to read to know the market. Then there were local book signings. You wanted to support your fellow writer. Then it was sales at book stores, discounts at BJs, flea markets, and a yearly book fair at the shore. Sooner or later, my TBR pile erupted like Mt. Vesuvious. Not only did my collection fill the hutch over my desk, but all the space on my built-in book shelves, and numerous boxes lining the walls of my office. By now, I had changed from reading and trying my hand at romance writing to reading and writing mystery and suspense. And not only did I have a wall of TBRs. I had a wall of signed books that I collected over the years. And friends who write whose books I also own. Not to mention a collection of my own works.
I became interested in Feng Shui and, of course, the elimination of clutter appealed to me right away. Maybe all these books were stifling my creativity. I started to consider whether I really wanted to read all the books in the TBR pile. Had my reading taste changed? Could someone else enjoy these books? I started sorting through the boxes and decided they could go. Then I started going through the shelves and eliminated more. I thought about eBay. I thought about donating them to the library. So far, I've just sorted them and given them out by the dozens to family and friends who I thought might enjoy them. I figure it might introduce them to some new authors. The piles are slowly going down, but once they are gone, I am not going to let them get out of control again. I even have non-fiction books that need to be re-homed. And I think the Feng Shui aspect works. I made several sales and not only does my office look more appealing, it feels better overall. More inspiring.
I have even rediscovered my old town library. More on that next time.