Friday, June 27, 2008

100 book challenge

So in the Red Eye a couple of days ago was an article on something called the "100 Thing Challenge"—which caught my eye at first because I thought it was a spin on my long-running 100 Favorite Things exercise.

It is and it isn't. It's an article on one person's attempt to simplify his life by reducing his personal belongings to 100 things. This appealed to me, probably foremostly because I'm preparing a cross-country move in a few weeks, and so the idea of reducing my belongings has been much on my mind lately.

But 100 items only? Sheesh, I thought to myself, I don't think I could reduce even just my books to 100, much less everything else. (It actually turns out, if you look at the original post from the guy who came up with the challenge, that he's allowing himself books as an exception, so that's heartening.)

But it did get me to thinking: if I tried to reduce down to 100 books, what are the ones I would choose? I have a lot of books that I cart around from apartment to apartment to apartment, more for their decorative value than anything else. Many (most?) of them I don't think I'll ever re-read (and if I was struck by the sudden impulse to re-read them, I could probably go get them out of a library). But there are some that I do refer to regularly, or plan to re-read, or just can't bring myself to part with. But is that category larger than 100?

I think I'll make a list of the 100 "must-saves," and see how I feel about the "leftovers." A complete list or list in progress will likely appear here soon.

See also: the LibraryThing Swap this Book feature; BookCrossing; and my own lament, last year, about what to do with all the CDs clogging up my living quarters (a problem I'm still in the process of solving).

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