Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Reading-Pile Bankruptcy

A couple months ago I fixed my email habits to keep my inbox unread count at zero. I still file lots of stuff away unread (ACM junk, DNS discussions, even a lot of E2E-interest threads), but now it's not there attracting attention. It was almost--- but not quite ---email bankruptcy.

Now I'm trying a similar project with my reading pile. I cleared away all the Analogs and Asimov's I'd never gotten around to opening, the various fiction that seemed like a good idea to pull off the shelves, and the journals and magazines I haven't been keeping up with.

So now I have a more manageable collection:

1) Magazines (mainly New Scientist): These make sense to keep around because I pack them up to take on trips as reading material, and we give them away once I'm done. (I do manage to catch up with Marissa occasionally, too.) Communications of the ACM and Queue are harder to keep up with and should maybe be in the next category. Current queue depth: 15
2) Journals: This pile has a tendency to spiral out of control despite cutting back on subscriptions. Current queue depth: 5 (Don't ask about the 4+ foot pile of older journals that need to be sorted and stored somewhere else, or recycled.)
3) Nonfiction books: This is the biggest pile, but the hardest to pick up because they're usually a major commitment of time. Still, they're on the reading pile because I really do want to read them. And, in most cases somebody else isn't going to be pulling them off the shelf. Current queue depth: >10
4) Fiction books: Most of the cleanup occurred here. There's no sense keeping them on my shelf when I'm not going to get around to them immediately. Lots of second/third novels in a series that I pulled after finishing the previous book, but didn't feel like starting right away. I'm going to try keeping this to new books. Current queue depth: 3, and it should be 2.

I think one of the reasons it takes me a while to get through the pile is that I usually finish books late in the evening, when I don't feel motivated to start a new project--- yet not ready to go to bed. So I end up with a lot of rereads.
Tags: books
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