Is Reading Books Enough?

Year after year one of the top three New Year’s resolutions is to get organized. It is partially for this reason that January is Get Organized Month. It has been since 2005 (when it was established by the Board of Directors of NAPO on which I was then serving—thanks for indulging my moment of pride).

Another popular New Year’s resolution is to read more books.

This January, for Get Organized Month, I’m participating in a collaborative organizing book promotion campaign orchestrated by Shawndra Holmberg.

I truly believe, with 14 authors and 19 books, there’s at least one book for everyone. Genres include: how-to, motivational, workbook, novel, memoir, planner.

All the authors have put their hearts, souls, time, and talents into writing these books. Each of us is gratified every time someone reads one of our books.

But, is reading enough?

The protagonist in my novels is named Patience (a virtue necessary to be a successful professional organizer and, if truth be told, author). Her name is not Charity, and, as her over-generous self is often heard saying to her husband Fred, “I’m not running a charity.”

That phrase came to my mind recently as I was reading the May/June issue of the IBPA Independent magazine. A market report from Codex-Group concluded that only one-third of what book buyers read in the past month was actually bought new or received as a gift. More than half of the books they read were obtained for free (from libraries, free downloads, loans from friends, etc.).

Wait! What? I spent hundreds of hours to create my books (as did all the other authors) and most people who read them are not going to pay a cent for the privilege?

Wait, again! You can see from the photo, which is a portion of my home library, that I do, in fact, own many books – about 3,000. And a book on one’s shelf often is like a good friend. But I must admit that these days I borrow most of the books I read from the public library or buy them secondhand. (All that good professional organizer talk about experiences instead of stuff, minimalism, recycling, etc.)

But I can’t continue to entertain and help my readers if no one pays for my books. And neither can my fellow authors.

So this year: Do I want to get more organized? Yes. Do I want to read more books? Yes. But my resolution is: to BUY more books.

How about you?

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