top of page

Required Reading

I've been struggling lately with some self-imposed reader's guilt. I have so many books on my shelves (and my countertop... and my bedside table... and my desk...) that I want to dive into. That should be thrilling: new worlds to discover! But those can't-wait-to-read books are usually tucked in amongst books that I'm a little less enthusiastic about. Maybe someone recommended one of them, but it's just not my taste. Or it looked good when I bought or borrowed it, but I just haven't been in the mood to read it.

If I do pick one of those ought-to-reads up, I wind up paging through it listlessly before either giving it up entirely, or dragging myself through it over the course of a few weeks instead of at my usual fast pace. When I don't finish a book, I tell myself I might someday and I leave it—bookmark in place—to haunt me every time I spot it on my shelf.

Recently, a friend insisted that life is too short to waste time on books you don't like. I agree—wholeheartedly. So I'm going to follow a new mantra: "Nobody puts good books in a corner." No more required reading; no more feeling like I have to read something if I don't want to read it. I'm going to put the books I really want to read front and center on my shelves and give away the ones I know I'll never read. As for the books I don't want to read right now but know I will someday, I'm going to tuck them away so they're not lying around judging me for passing them by until I'm ready for them.

Ooh—this is exciting! A new lease on life. No more reader's guilt. More good reads more often.

Now: which good book am I going to dive into next?

A cat in a corner under a chair
Nobody puts baby in a corner


bottom of page