(Without Spending A Dime)
I know what it’s like to have to save up to buy a book – I still have the book of Earth Prayers I waited weeks to purchase in college.
I know the pain of putting coveted books back on the shelves. These days I know the agony of having no more livable space for another book (at least until I cull…)
So I came up with a little trick...
Here’s what you’ll need:
- An hour or two of uninterrupted time
- A journal and writing implement
- A place to sit with your ill-gotten gains
- A cuppa (optional, although it will allow you to sit, guilt-free, in a chair in the café so there’s that!)
Begin with your intention of assessment. Going in with the idea that this is your intention triggers the subconscious (and your intuition) and keeps it clear that you don’t mean to by every (or any) book you pull.
Wander. Gather. Pull books into your arms. Look through ‘em first. Or don’t. Go to your favorite sections. Go to new-to-you sections. Allow yourself to be lead.
When you can’t carry any more find someplace to sit.
Make a tidy pile of your books, spines facing you. Open your journal and write down the titles.
See any themes? Commonalities? Look back at your books – are there similarities in the colors used or maybe in the fonts?
Once you’ve explored this track, pick up the first book that calls to you. Peruse it. Ponder it. Write down anything from inside it that captures your attention.
Play along: if this book had a message for you, what would it be?
Now think about the essence of this book. Why did you pick it? What did you hope to get from it? What is the secret (or not so secret) yearning behind the book? What (if anything) is the perceived lack?
(For example: when I end up in the Writer’s Reference section I’m often feeling called back to my long-term writing project but fear that I don’t have the time to commit to it that it deserves so “Let me at least read a little to further my craft and my know-how…” Then I know to ask the question “Is that really true or would I be better served to just GO and WRITE?”)
Repeat for your other books.
When you’re done, bid your books a fond farewell and thank them, heartily, for their wisdom. Take time to review what you’ve written and keep the thoughts and learnings fresh.