can a man kick the book habit?


Towards the end of last year it became apparent that the Stourton household was heading for a book crisis. My wife and I both brought substantial collections into our marriage. I get a steady stream of review copies and manuscripts from friends and acquaintances hoping for endorsements. She makes factual television programmes and is often sent books by aspiring producers and presenters. I am incontinent when the urge to buy a new hardback novel comes upon me, and she reads incredibly quickly. All these factors had conspired to fill our shelves. The books had become Triffid-like, taking over our home and lives. Something had to be done. So, almost a year ago, in this paper, I took these vows: “My resolution is that for 12 months I shall buy no new books and shall limit my leisure reading to books already in my library. There are bound to be professional reasons for bending the rule from time to time. But if I devote myself to our existing collection I might learn something about myself and my family … I shall catch up with some of the friends’ books which have been neglected, and I shall attack the many review copies that still have a marker stuck somewhere in the first couple of chapters … ”

more from Edward Stourton at the FT here.