Sentimental clutter

Do you hang onto things for sentimental reasons? Or because of gift-receiver guilt?

Mr S is very sentimental. And part of that involves holding onto things FOREVER. Here’s some of his reasons to not let go of things for sentimental reasons.

You can’t throw that out:

  • you’ve had it for years
  • I’ve had it for years
  • it’s from – our wedding, my first job, my childhood, my first…,
  • it was a gift from my mother, a student, someone, …

Recent things, Mr S objected to my decluttering:

The cummerbund and matching bow tie he wore at our wedding. It’s such a classic 1990s Laura Ashley floral print. It has never been, and will never be, worn again. Except for fancy dress. Surely you can remember the day without the clothing? Which you can’t see anyway as they’ve been kept in a box under the house for 15 years! [Result: given to school drama department for costume wear.]

Eldest son’s baby tooth. I found it in my drawer. Asked son if he wanted it. He threw it in the bin just as Mr S walked in, knowing something was afoot. “But you’ve had it for so long. You can’t throw it away now.” I don’t need parts of his body to remember him! And hanging onto the tooth because I’ve never tossed it earlier doesn’t make it more valuable. “But I have my tooth stuck in my baby book.” [Upshot: son felt guilty at upsetting his dad so took the tooth out of the bin. But a week later, tossed it again.]

Two money tins. But they were gifts for the boys from Carl Murphy. And you can’t get them anymore. The boys don’t want them. Carl is dead and even if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t care (or remember) if the boys didn’t keep them for 20 years. And you can pick them up off FB Marketplace for $5. [Result: gifted on the FB Buy Nothing site.]

My advice to Mr S on how to deal with sentimental clutter?

  • Don’t over sentimentalise every thing. You can hold memories in your head for ever.
  • Limit the actual items you hold onto – such as to fit in a certain space. I’ve given him a couple of small boxes. God knows where he’s put them.
  • Take a photo.
  • Will our children want to sort through this when you die or we go into a smaller place? (He won’t think about the former and says the latter will never happen. Classic denial.)


When you don’t see the clutter around you, and we’re not talking about not being annoyed by it, just not “seeing” it, you’re clutter blind.

I put my hand up to temporary clutter blindness. If I have people coming around, I see it. Or maybe it’s partial clutter blindness I have? I have hot spots that collect stuff but normally they’re in my peripheral vision where they don’t register.

Mr S is one step on from clutter blindness.

He has clutter dementia. This includes clutter blindness but also has an inability to accept stuff is his or remember where he put it.

I’ve given up on clearing the garage which was a challenge I set myself last year, but have started under the house. My house is on stumps. Our land slopes away so at the front, it’s only about 30cm from the ground while at the back, you can stand up.

Mr S put things there. Things he wants to keep. Things I lose my shit over as they’re cluttering up the house. Things he doesn’t want to deal with. Things he thinks may come in handy in the future. Things he doesn’t know what to do with.

Part of the Under the House stuff

Mr S calls me unsentimental, cold-hearted even, as I don’t believe in keeping shit stuff. Which isn’t entirely true but the stuff he hangs onto, well it’s too much, and includes rubbish as well as valuable stuff. All piled together. My view is if it is valuable, then treat it well, put it somewhere safe or on display. Not in a box with rubbish under the house to go mouldy and dirty. (I will put a separate post about so-called sentimental stuff.)

We’ve lived in this house for about 15 years. Mr S has resisted all attempts to declutter. Soft requests. Tantrums. Rational appeals. All were ignored.

Until now.

For the month of October, we have been clearing out under the house.

What prompted this call to action? What lifted the veil of clutter blindness?

We’ve been talking about getting renovations done in a couple of years. I pointed out that builders wouldn’t work around piles of stuff. Nor would they move his rubbish.

Mr S declared there was no rubbish under the house. It was all his stuff and he knows what was there.

“The bottles in the crates?”

“What bottles?”

See! Clutter dementia.

Mr S used to brew beer. In our old house. So over 15 years ago!!! He had a dozen or so crates all full of large beer bottles. He’s unlikely to ever brew again. While he made great beer, our life has moved on. So why keep the bottles?

Well, he forgot all about them. He asked me how I knew they were there? As if I forget things, just because I can’t see them.

He brought the crates out and I’ve slowly been putting the bottles into the glass recycling bin.

Last of the bottles

As luck would have it, at the same time we were having this round of our latest battle about rubbish under the house, we had some workmen over to clear the overgrown shrubbery around the pool. The chief poolman said, with a nod and a wink to me, “We’ll get rid of the rubbish under the deck too.”

At this, Mr S’s head shot up, “What rubbish?”

All the old pool toys, floating devices, perished pool hoses, dead cleaning equipment.

Mr S has been using under the house as an alternate landfill, but now saw it with different eyes. Not my perspective. A stranger’s.

Again, luck was in my side. The coming weekend was council cleanup. Mr S dragged a tonne of stuff up to be taken away. Neighbours commented. We normally put out so little.

A further prompt came when I asked Mr S about a large box under the house. Mr S said it belonged to one of our sons and so he claimed he didn’t know what was in it. Turns out it was Mr S’s box and full of stuff Mr S brought home from his latest workplace – but at least one year ago. Next to it were boxes from his old workplace – one he left nearly 8 years ago. Pens. More pens. Printed material. Desk accessories. Little toys and fidget things. Stickers. Photos. Stuff. Stuff. And more stuff.

Of course, sometimes among the stuff is something of value. Something that can be used. Something that is of emotional value. Something that someone else may want. So the stuff has to be sorted through.

We’ve been spending an hour every weekend sorting and tossing. An hour is enough for a hoarder. Sometimes Mr S wants to go longer but I see the signs. He gets irritable and says “just toss it in the bin”. But I know he will regret it, and accuse me of making him toss important things. And, crucially, he will regress – stop any further efforts and add to the clutter.

Clutter blindness can return. You cease to see things when you walk pass them every day. And when stuff is out of sight, clutter dementia returns.

The only treatment: slow and regular decluttering and celebration of creating space!

Green Thursday: recycling, regifting

Long term readers would know I’m on a constant mission to declutter. Trying to declutter without adding everything to landfill is hard.

Op shops are closed at the moment even so, I often worry how much of the really good clothes I put in a clothing bin actually make it on shelves of the op shop.

What I prefer to do is offer friends or colleagues first dibs.

Before lockdown, I offered a friend a quick look at things I was going to donate. She took a couple of items. In return she gave me a Sheridan bedspread, in excellent condition. It has been acquisitioned by my oldest boy who needed a warmer bed cover as we moved into winter. (His doona stays on his bed in our house.) Win, win all round.

The same friend gave me several items that were glamorous aunt’s. Look! An Armani jacket.

I’ve joined a local Buy Nothing Facebook site. It’s a freecycle group, the slight difference is that you need to be local.

I like the concepts of passing things on and keeping it local.

I also like the idea of giving things a new life, giving them to someone who will use them rather that having the items taking up space in my home, unused. Or worse, going to landfill.

Several people have suggested I sell, or try to sell, the items I want to declutter on Marketplace.

I’ve resisted that. Not only can I not be bothered with all the fuss of taking photos and posting and dealing with people who will haggle and maybe not even turn up, but I like the karma that comes with this site.

I have gifted away things big (like a squatters chair which the recipient fixed up$ and small (garden hose attachments)

I have been gifted a nearly new queen bed and a vintage plant stand. The former I was about to buy, at a cost of hundreds, for the “new” guest room; the latter I have been looking for for ages. So happy.

Where have I been? What have I been up to?

Where have I been? Almost to Bathurst.

I left you at the start of August when I joined a friend’s family in the Tour de August. Our goal: to walk across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst. I walked more than 170km in August.

Of course I didn’t really cross the mountains. Stay at home orders meant I was walking in my own area. Luckily I live in an area with lots of bush. Everyday we logged our walk and the organiser mapped us on the road across the mountains.

Nearby rock face.

Turns out I’m a tad competitive. I walked and walked. And then walked some more. I found walks that didn’t involve many hills, so my energy would be expended in miles rather than gaining elevation.

Come the awards night, I won the Most Competitive Award. Apt but slightly embarrassing.

When The Tour de August finished, I lost the drive to walk everyday. Probably I’m just over doing the same walks, bush or no bush. Still, I have been stepping out. Somewhat. I do rise to having little challenges.

As well as walking, during lockdown, I’ve continued my never ending decluttering. Mr S calls it my new religion, as I practice it everyday. I call my challenge in this area Creating Space. A new spare room created where the boys’ junk was stacked, higgledy-piggedly. A study from the room where I had loads of paper from decades and Mr S piled up other stuff, including clothes and multiple pedestal fans and nanna shopping trolleys and stuff.

The study has proved very useful. For ten weeks of the term, my eldest moved home; as he was working from home and as we have more space, he would be less claustrophobic. That’s Teacher 1. Mr S was also working from home three days a week. That’s Teacher 2. The Dreamer was also doing his practicum from home, five days a week for six or seven weeks of the term. That’s Teacher 3. (The youngest moved home from his harbourside flat at the start of the term as he knew he’d not be able to earn money while doing his prac.)

I was working from home two days a week, with daily zoom meetings and phone calls. Mr S and oldest son are very loud (and as I’m known for being a loud speaker, that is saying something.) Working onsite was a relief.

Lockdown, originally meant to go for four weeks, went for the whole term. It was lovely having both boys here, but also a relief when the oldest moved back to his flat for the holidays. Not sure if he’ll return when term resumes but this week. Younger boy is not as messy or smelly as older boy.

In Creating Space, I have also been creating space in cupboards. You know that just because there’s space on a shelf, you don’t have to fill it?

By no means am I minimalist. And I still have clutter and hot spots. Still getting at least one thing out a day has kept me on track.

I’ve been following Diane in Denmark on Instagram and YouTube – she’s a FlyLady coach and Hygge & routine coach. And the Netflix show, The Home Edit, has given me ideas.

Seems I have converted Mr S to my religion. Amazed? Shocked? I am too. This week is our council cleanup and Mr S has released a huge quantity of stuff he’s stored under the house, “just in case” and for “maybe I’ll use it” and for “you never know” and “I like this” and “it’s my stuff” and “it’s still good”. Mostly it is “Im not ready to let it go yet”. But he’s letting it go!!!

I’ve also been gardening and reading. (And that thing that gets in the way of my life – work. But let’s not think of that.) Reading is part of my decluttering. I read to declutter. Clever hey? Read a book and then pass it on.

Weekly catchup: not my adult gap year

I was not meant to be working right now. This was meant to be my year off. Mr S’s too. Thirteen months of owning our own time.

We postponed it due to COVID. Can’t travel over seas. With state borders repeatedly closing, there were times we couldn’t even have travelled interstate, with no guarantee that state borders won’t close again.

Now, while I’m not sad we are not having this year off, I made it quite clear to Mr S, who wanted to postpone for two years, that I am definitely having 2022 off. I didn’t only want to go to the UK. I wanted to potter and garden and learn German and exercise and read and bake and explore and … and … and. So much more.

But mostly I wanted to not go to work.

Our forced savings for the year off have stopped being deducted from our income, which meant our pay as gone up to 100%. Having got used to living on 80% of our income, I didn’t want to waste the 20%, so I’ve upped our mortgage repayments.

With 20% of our income being taken out post tax and saved for us for four years, we have a nice lump sum waiting for us. We momentarily thought about cashing it in and paying off our mortgage.

But no! I WANT that year off.

I say to myself repeatedly, “Only three and a half terms left.” It’s a pretty liberating feeling. (Yes, I will be back after the year off but more than a year off – 13 whole months!!!)

I can see why FIRE is attractive.

It’s not that I haven’t got satisfaction snd identity and fun and fulfilment from work. But I’m ready to get more of that from other things.

What I’ve just read: Laura Tingle’s essay on NZ in the Quarterly Essay: The High Road: what Australia can learn from New Zealand. Sharp and incisive and comprehensive. Australians need to know more about NZ and this is a good start.

Also read Snakes and Ladders by Angela Williams, a memoir about a woman who was sent to prison for breach of weekend detention, a decade after her original drug-fuelled crime and after having turned her life around, getting uni degrees. I got to this book via a FB group which started in protest about the current sexual mistreatment of women working in Australian parliament but the FB group wiped the word women from the title as it was deemed exclusionary. At which point I left the group. The women are being raped, sexually assaulted, harassed because they are women. The protest is being co-opted by a group with a different agenda.

What I’ve been watching: I finished season 1 and started on season 2 of Our Yorkshire Farm. Mr S got into it too. What a fabulous family! But while I’d love to live there, farming is not for me.

Continuing with Season 1 of Vera – episode 2, which I have seen before, probably more than once but it was still so scary – the sounds, background music, faces popping up at windows. I had to mute bits. I can’t cope with really scary bits. I know it’s imaginary. I know they catch the killer but still. Why so scary? Why oh why do people always turn their back on the crazy murderer? And why are English coppers always on their own when there’s someone with a hammer about?

I also watched some rubbish – James Corden interview Prince Harry. (I will be watching Oprah’s interview next week.) Flicked between Gogglebox and Wife Swap. My two rubbish addictions!

Steps to my goals:

  • Sleep: crap week
  • Water: not enough.
  • Exercise: ditto.
  • Decluttering: said goodbye to the dress that I thought would last for a few more wears. But happy to release it while it is okay for someone else. With quite a few other items from my wardrobe, I will either take to a clothes swap meet or to the op shop.
  • Main thing too embarrassed to tell you about: did nothing.
  • FIRE: our first increased mortgage repayment went in, dropping our mortgage by over $7,000. If we keep this up, the mortgage will be gone in three years. My super is nearly double our mortgage, so worse case if work really shit me and I couldn’t continue is we could pay off our mortgage and fix up the house and live off Mr S’s super which is more than double mine.

Winnowing books

The ease with which I have abandoned books astounds me.

Three books … out. Didn’t get past thirty pages. One I didn’t even open.

Okay, I didn’t buy any of them. So I had no original desire to read them. They were actually all gifted by the same man. (There’s a novel in the man but privacy precludes me from telling the tale. Though one day ….)

Anyway, this man is German and feels a connection to me because of my German heritage. He’s a strange fish, with a strangeness that comes from being oh so German. Possibly autistic. And basically just strange. actually, maybe a sociopath.

Let’s call him Hans, cause he has multiple names anyway. (Did I mention there’s a story in there?)

Hans gave me Book 1 and Book 2 of Goethe’s Faust. I opened Book 1. Read the autobiographical notes. Skimmed the introduction. And faulted on page 2 of actual Goethe. Nope, not going to try.

Given the introduction said Book 2 was heavier, out with that too.

I thought I may as well try the adventure book Hans gave me. He said the author is a well-known writer of adventures in the Wild West, as in the American Wild West. I thought it might be interesting to get a German perspective, after all, there were quite a large number of German settlers.

With the first dozen pages, I knew this wouldn’t be for me. The central character is a perfect shot, the best rider, breaker of horses that no one else can do, the hardest worker, the strongest man, a great hunter, a clever engineer, best ever teacher, the only …. You get the picture. Thank god for those Germans! The Wild West would never have been settled, no railways built, no work done.

The translation reads like they’ve used Google translator. So poorly done. Dialogue lacking in natural rhythm and idiom. Tenses all over the place.

Luckily, I will never have to tell Hans I haven’t read the books. (The reason I won’t tell him lies at the heart of the tale about him which I will tell in about 10 years.)

For now, I am happy in clearing space on my shelves. These books are not going to sit on my shelf, challenging me, making me feel guilty at not reading them.

Out, out, out.

(But I must admit there is no space on my shelves. I have bought a dozen books from the second hand book store – had to help out local businesses in the COVID Shutdown, didn’t I? And then a friend gave me some books. The Reading Down the House isn’t going too well.)

A Very COVID Easter

Just when lots of people who had been isolating for weeks were over it, I started my isolation.

And I loved it. It has truely been a time of restoring my mind and body.

Before term ended, before the lockdown laws had come in, I popped into a major shopping centre to pick up some hair colour solution. (The restrictions would mean I wouldn’t be able to make my hair appointment so I had to risk doing my own colour. “What! You’re not a natural blonde?”)

Once at the shopping centre, I felt sorry for the businesses; even though the restrictions hadn’t come into effect yet, the centre was so empty. So I bought some stuff besides the hair colour stuff – clothing and Easter decorations.

I’d love to share the table setting and front door decorations with you, but I forgot to take any photos. And now they’re all packed away.

Easter autumn weather is among my favourite in Sydney. It’s finally cool. But still sunny. The light is soft. The sky a brilliant blue.

And now we could enjoy it with forced rest.

Long slow breakfasts on the front porch, in the morning sun. The new Easter plate held a hot cross bun. Hot cross buns – another reason to love Easter.

I am lucky to live in the suburbs but surrounded by national park and bushland. Nearly every day, Mr S and I have gone on a bushwalk, exploring tracks that we didn’t know about or rediscovering ones we hadn’t ventured on for years. I can feel myself getting fitter. Although the walks are only around 10,000 to 15,000 steps, they’re up hill and down steep paths, scampering over fallen trees and boulders, constantly paying attention to loose rocks and sticks and uneven surfaces. All while enjoying bird song, fresh air and golden light.

There have been moments on the shorter walks were it has felt like Pitt Street. Who are all these people? We don’t normally see so many on the bush tracks. (A neighbour who walks her dogs daily around our suburb, says she didn’t know there were so many dogs here – she’s never seen them out before.)

In other places it has been oh so quiet, hard to believe we are so close to suburbia.

Flannel flowers – they are soft, like flannelette, to touch. They don’t like domestication, always a joy to see them in the bush.

Scampering down the path

Contemplating jumping over the roaring creek. OK, it was more like a big step, but I psyched myself out. You had to walk down the rocks to the creek which was narrow at this point so made a lot of noise. I was sure I’d fall into the deep washpools and break a leg.

Here’s how loud it was:

On other walks, other creeks are quiet and prompt more calming contemplation.

One day, Mr S was heading off to work (his work is a 20 minute walk from home), and I accompanied him as a friend lived near his workplace and I wanted to drop off a birthday gift to said friend. On the way, we made a spur of the moment decision to turn right and take a longer bush track rather than take the direct route by road. I felt like Little Red Riding Hood – but without the cloak or the basket.

Our area has steep hills. The main thoroughfares stick to the ridge, so the area looks flat. Deep gullies are full of lush plants – not all natives.

Along with daily walks I’ve been pottering in the garden. I’ve put in sweet peas again. This year I won’t be going overseas, so I should hopefully enjoy the cut blossoms.

I’ve joined the world in tidying and organising my house. Our local council had the kerbside cleanup the Tuesday after Easter. I emptied out the junk from under the house. Mr S hates throwing things away. Or maybe he just hates making a decision? So he puts things under the house. Where they get dusty and dirty and damp – our house is on piers and underneath is open to the elements. My neighbours have never seen us dispose of so many things. A 27 year old heater – bought when Older Boy was born. Director chairs from before that. A fussball table bought by Opa years ago for the boys. Old rusty exercise equipment. Not nice to think of the landfill we created but so soothing to know there is clear space under the house. (And I got Mr S to agree to get rid of the beer home brewing bottles he has stored under the house for over 12 years without brewing. He used to be a home brewer. As soon as this social isolation is over I will freecycle the bottles – they are the old, pre-twist top type, perfect for home brew sealing.)

What else have I been doing?

I am trying to reclaim the junk room. I did this back in 2013, when it was called The Room You Cannot Enter, but shit has taken over in it again. First step was to bring together all the Christmas wrapping and cards. Packed away now with the Christmas decorations. Next step putting books on the bookshelf and making a hard decision about my French lesson papers.

I have been doing some German language study, via Deutsche Welle.

I haven’t read much – only finishing one book. My COVID mind just isn’t up to sustained concentration. But this book, Bruny by Heather Rose, is a book for this time. In parts too scary as politicians make decisions for their own power or financial gain. Stuff the environment, the people, quiet, peace, spirituality, culture. It’s all about “the economy”.

I know I say this every break, but I really don’t want to go back to work. I just don’t have time. Too much pottering to do. All this without yoga or personal training sessions as gyms are closed.

I have spent a day at work and hours on other days dealing with work stuff. Blurgh. I’d rather be pottering.

Of course, I’m grateful that I have employment, and that it is secure. I’m also very aware of how fortunate I am that I live in a place I can get out and walk straight into the bush.

Hope everyone is finding things to fill their day!

Decluttering: the pendulum has swung

Soooo…previously, I had to read a book I bought or it had to remain on the shelf until I read it. No avoiding what must be completed.

Now I have given myself permission to stop reading if I don’t like the book, I’m worried I may have a whole new issue.

Don’t love the book? Out with it.

Book’s only OK? Out with it.

Meh! Out with it.

I’m reading a book I recently bought in the US. By an African-American author who is apparently a YouTube star and a TV actor/director.

I like reading books that give me different perspectives, books by the marginalised, by minorities, by outsiders. Hence my attraction to this book.

But besides learning about African hair, I didn’t feel this book gave me a new understanding. It was good, better than OK. But didn’t sing to me, didn’t resonate with me. I definitely didn’t laugh “freakishly hard” as it said I would on the cover. Didn’t laugh at all, actually.

I was tempted to abandon the book. Enough already.

But then I realised I was becoming too quick to move on. Breaking my rules is a slippery slope.

See what happens when you break rules! This is why things have to be done in a certain way, Why standards must be maintained.

But it is too late. The horse has bolted. The gate is open. I’m becoming a cruel reader.

[As the book was a series of unrelated chapter, I suppose I could have taken my time but I want to declutter. I also wanted to get a sense of the author that comes from reading all at once. But mostly I want to declutter.]

Decluttering books

Did not finish!

I’ve told you how hard it is for me to stop reading a book when it is, by all reviews, a great book.

I don’t start every book I pick up.

But once I’ve started a book that is well-written or literary or intellectually challenging. I feel I must persevere; must not let the book beat me.

It’s like a central thesis of mine: get into a book, it must be finished.

But I’m going to break my own internal laws.

I’ve stopped reading this:

It’s beautifully, lyrically written. I love the sense of place. The concept finding self in a fishing town in Tassie; the conflict between helping dad on the fishing boat or being consigned to the horror of working in a cannery or moving to the big unknown, this all has the potential to be original and insightful. The author is a surfer and it shows in her descriptions of surfing – she gets surfing.

So why am I not finishing the book?

It’s not a hard read. I could finish it in a weekend.

It’s the abuse that I know is coming. And one of the sons dies. That’s obvious to me. And confirmed by reading reviews and questions on Goodreads.

Why did the author have to go to melodramatic extreme? It’s like all those books that came out a decade or so ago about child abuse. Those Cathy Glass ones.

OK, Past the Shallows is much better stylistically. It has a better plot, not formulaic. Sense of place is strong.

But it’s not the book I want. I want it to be a book on identity, on coming from a small Tassie fishing village with low employment options where allowing self-expression is actively crushed, where options for masculinity are very limited to hard-drinking, gruff monosyllabic utterances. But the character wins out. The dad may have hit a kid once but doesn’t routinely abuse his children and doesn’t force his child to leave school early.

I want what the blurb on the back says isn’t enough, to be enough. Brotherly love. Secret friendships. Small treasures. I want their power to be enough.

So I’m not finishing it. And I’m giving the book away.


Shhh! Don’t bother me. I’m reading.

It’s my latest challenge to declutter my house and rid myself of things.

I know! How good is this? I am actually tidying up and ridding myself of stuff by reading, by sitting here and reading.

I rarely hold onto books anymore. I know with all the new books being published and referrals to, or discovery of, old jems, there’s just too many books to read to spend time reading ones I’ve already read. So if a book isn’t one I would re-read, I donate, give away or exchange it. I only keep “keepers”. Oh and I keep reference books. And there’s my box sets of Little House and Famous Five. And all of Mr S’s books; he never parts with books.

My problem is: I buy more books than I read. And I borrow books. And friends lend me books, saying they think I’ll like it. And I’m in a book club. And I like keeping books.

I have several books on the go at once.

So, I have piles of books everywhere.

The two sides of the book shelf behind “Mum’s spot”. Where I sit and read and watch tele and muck around on the ‘net. Of course, I have more books than this. All around the house.

Now before you comment, “Hey Lucinda, books aren’t clutter,” or, “Hi, you might want go start with all the other paper clutter around your house before you start reading,” know that I really enjoy reading and decluttering by reading strikes me as an enjoyable task.

A few years ago Dar inspired me to Read Down the House. I picked twelve books that had hung around my house for too long and aimed to read them. I didn’t get through them all. Pout! One is still on my shelf. A worthy book. A book I searched for for years. A book I craved. And now I’ve owned a copy for years. And haven’t read it! (And when I tried, found it a little boring.)

So to this year’s reading challenge:

Read from my house.

1. If I get to page 100 and am not enjoying it, out with the book.

Do you know how hard it is for me me give in and not read a book once I start? Let alone one that I have bought and have had sitting on a shelf for months and years!? A little frizzon of anxiety, like I am breaking a core rule of being, hits my stomach. I can’t let a book defeat me. I have to win by finishing it.

But as a fellow bookclubber says, “I just need to learn to let it go. Life is too short to read things you are not enjoying.”

I will persevere!

2. If I find I am just not in the mood, I can put the book down but I must try again within the month. Or Out With The Book.

I thought about adding a rule to not buy more books until I have freed space on my shelves but that is just silly. Who can NOT buy books? I realised that wouldn’t work anyway when I read a recommendation by Jennifer. The book wasn’t at my local library so I had to buy it. The online seller upsold me another book by recommending one by the same author. I just had to accept the offer. What if the book wasn’t available in the future? Or I forgot it’s title or author?

I was going to also add a rule that I can’t take books from friends who want me to borrow the book. But that’s just mean and anti-social.

I’m not going to set a number or a theme or a topic. I’m not stop borrowing from the library. I am just going to try to dive into some of the book I have at home.

Anyway, shhh, I have to finish this chapter.