Simplify your reading

halloweenkindleeffectsBuzz, buzz, buzz simplify, minimize, reduce. Buzzz!You know, this is what everyone is talking about these days. It seems that we live lives that are generally overwhelmed by information and stuff, and we need to escape that if we want to lead a fulfilling existence.

So when it comes to books, how do you do it? I am not talking about how you shelve or get rid of physical books. I have solved that dilemma for myself: I don’t buy paper books anymore: only digital. It suits me and I’m very happy with it.

But these digital devices, sorry to break this terrifying news to you, can store hundreds of books that you don’t have to dust or pack into a wall of boxes when you move. These books accumulate very quietly and subversively, until one day when you have so many that you just can’t breathe anymore. They are all over and they keep growing. They are in your dreams and in your every thought. They take so much space that you can’t breathe anymore. I know it happens to me. But then I clear my Gmail inbox every year or so, because the idea of thousands of e-mails hanging around there is just intolerable. Digital clutter is as bad to me as physical clutter. Don’t you feel the same?

To keep my book list simple I apply a few filters. I read fiction only written by women and in a few genres like literary, contemporary women’s fiction, mystery. I enjoy sci-fi too, but haven’t read anything of that in a million years. When it comes to non-fiction, I usually try to decide at some point (beginning of the year) what area of interest I want to investigate deeply and try to stick to that. Of course, I will make exceptions here and there, when trusted friends recommend one book or the other, knowing that will be a satisfying read. In general my non-fiction reading will fall into a few categories: psychology, philosophy, spirituality, and women’s studies.

I constantly check the list on my e-book reader and delete everything that I have finished or I’m not planning to finish. Still, you will probably find at least twenty books on my reader at any given time.

How do you keep your book list from turning into an out-of-control monster that one day will surely eat you alive? (Sorry, but it is Halloween!)