Books in Queue

Ever since I learned to read in Kindergarten and discovered the magic of words on a page and the worlds that they opened to me, I have been hooked. I spent my formative years carrying around a book in my coat pocket (the 80's version of a Kindle app on a smartphone) and developed a habit of reading at the lunch table while munching on the bologna and mayonnaise sandwich that my mom always made me on school days (again, it was the 80s). In the summers I was often found in the upper branches of the maple tree in our front yard, along with the books and pillow I had somehow managed to wrangle up the tree with me. 

Yes, I have always loved books. And...I have always loved to collect books. 

Below is a photograph of my real-life nightstand. If I were being really honest, I would have thrown open the doors of the cabinet beneath and let you see the shelves of books, hidden behind closed doors, that have been purchased over the years and are waiting to see the light of day on the top of the cabinet...ever nearer to the hope of possibly being plucked out of line for reading. It's entirely possible that I am a book hoarder. And I'm not sure I'm really apologetic for that. At least...not yet. As you'll see below (if you continue to read), I'm also learning the importance of minimizing and downsizing, so this may change, but for now, books continue to be my friendly vice.

This image is the personal property of C.G. Koens and may not be used without permission

While there is an incredible backlog of physical books awaiting my attention, today I'm sharing just a few books—some I own, some I'd like to own, and some that have come to me in electronic form on my Kindle—that are making their way to the forefront of my interests as I look towards the new year. 

A little background: Ever since I helped my parents clean out this autumn and move the items they had collected over the 28 years they lived in their home, I have been in a purging and simplifying mindset. So many of the books you see on the list are focused on minimizing stuff and maximizing time usage. Life is too short to get bogged down in "woulda, shoulda, coulda" regrets. More on that in a moment. 

From Laura Vanderkam:

From Joshua Becker:
From Peter Walsh:
  • Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life - This one is actually already in process on my Kindle, and I'm about 50% of the way through it, but I doubt I'll finish it before the year ends, as it is the kind of book that you read a little bit, and then mull over what you've read and decide what to do with that step before moving on.
In addition to these, I still have the front stack on the nightstand to work through. These include:
As one of my "small victory" goals for 2023 is reading one book a month for fun (or learning/personal growth), this list actually gives me 13 to aim for and work through. 

Remember just a minute ago when I said that life was too short to get bogged down by regrets? That includes the regret of buying books with the best of intentions but never ending up reading them. Or worse still, starting them, slogging halfway through the book, and realizing that I really don't like it. Leaving an unread book on my shelves is one thing, but I confess to having a number of books on my Nightstand Stack that are technically "in process" but haven't been touched in years because I just couldn't get into them, but I can't bear to give up. That's a "woulda, shoulda, coulda" regret if I ever saw one, so perhaps learning how to let go of those "thanks, but no thanks" books should be another one of my "small victory" goals in 2023. Either that or just push through them and revel in the feeling of completing something I didn't want to do, and possibly learning something in the process...we'll have to see which one wins out. Which would you choose?


  1. I have a shelf (or 2) with books I intend to read. I have a friend who just checked off book 186 for this year and very well could reach 200 read by New Years Day. I, like you, would like to read a book every month that I enjoy. I enjoy..I joined a book club to make that happen. I have not liked the last 3 books at all.and last month didn't read past chapter 2. This month I'm being a good sport and reading even though I don't like it. Normally, I won't give my time to something I don't like. I can't get that time back so I rarely get talked into doing something as time consuming as a book if I don't enjoy it. I am cheering you on in your quest to read more. May 2023 be a year of clearing out those unread books and shelving them in your library of read books.

    1. Cheering you on as well, Jane, in your reading quest!

  2. For me, it depends on why I'm reading it. If it's something to aid my spiritual life, or something I personally really need to work on, then I will try to soldier through and finish it. If it's fiction, I'll easily give it up if it doesn't hold my attention (or if the writing style just drives me nuts). There are too many good stories to waste time and energy reading bad ones. The hardest decisions for me are the 'curiosity' nonfiction reads. want to know what they have to say, but they often get too academic so I'll just start skimming and picking out the highlights. I figure, I know where to find those books again if I ever want to finish them. I've also heard the idea of creating a "not finished" shelf on Goodreads, so you could periodically review what's there and decide if you want to give it another try.

    1. I've considered the idea of the "not finished" shelf, Elizabeth, but there's a part of me that just cringes at the thought of giving up. I still have this hope, however faint, that maybe one of these days I'll go back and have a different experience with a book I started on, oh, 15 years ago. HA!


A reminder: there are more than 400,000 words in the English language, please use them wisely.


Related Posts with Thumbnails