I have moved house three times in the last year and twice the year before, each time the number of boxes of books increased and began to seem a little bit crazy even for me. I am actively looking for ways to reduce this – hopefully before my boyfriend and friends refuse to help me move next time. Yet each time I try to reduce the amount of stuff I have going into boxes I fail, and I fail mainly due to books. I have no problem getting rid of house stuff or clothes that I don’t use/ need but books are different. I find it extremely difficult to let go of books. So first I am trying to reduce the number of physical books I buy. Of course, rather than reduce the amount I read this instead translated into buying e-books instead of paper books.
So the first experiment in this was that for the last month, I have been testing out Kindle Unlimited. They offer a free month before you have to pay for membership which I think is a great service and it is really easy to cancel if you don’t like it. There have been some great aspects to this especially as where I currently live I don’t have access to a library and it was brilliant to have access to a library type scheme again. For example, I read so many cookbooks and travel books – two things that I rarely buy on my own anymore because they are bulky to move and carry. You can read many magazines for free on the app as well which was great.
Kindle Unlimited itself was a fantastic service for the month but… I am not ready to commit to it full time. I have cancelled the membership mainly because I have read all the books on my wishlist that it offers. The selection is quite small overall for each genre and keeping it just for a small number of books doesn’t seem worth it. But as they are constantly adding new titles I think I would pay for a month in three or four months again, maybe around Christmas time when I have time off again and read my way through my wish list once again, check out the magazines and flick through some cookbooks, photography books and travel books. The good thing is that they allow this. I have paused my membership but not disabled it and can start it up again quite easily. So overall I would encourage people to try it, it is a relatively straightforward process to use, there are a number of titles available and you can read outside of your normal habits for free. It is a good way to break out of your reading comfort zone 😉
I have to admit I will be going back to physical books for a while. I miss the paper and the smell and the feel of them in my hands. I need to find a better balance as ultimately for me all electronic Kindle or all paper books aren’t the answer. I suspect going forward I will continue to need a mix of the two because it was enjoyable at times having so many books at my fingertips on the Kindle.
In the meantime, I am already dreading my next moving day!