Just like this. This is adorable.
Anyway- this isn't a story I would necessarily think of as newsworthy, but when I squealed at my mum because of the cuteness, she was like 'you can write about it on your blog!' and I was like 'I think you misunderstand what I do here', but here I am, writing about it on my blog. Aren't I an obedient child?
BIRTHDAY TALK! Now. As I have actually not moaned about too much, I've been doing a thing where I haven't bought any books before my birthday. As in, for the whole of this year, I haven't bought a single book. It's kind of unbelievable how it's happened, and yet, it has. To sum up the whole experience- it was really difficult, and then it was less difficult, and now I hardly even start sweating when I go into Waterstones, although I do a bit. There's this fairly large part of me that enjoys depriving myself of things sometimes (this sounds bad... It's less self-punishy than it sounds, honest!) if only because, when you get them back, you appreciate them even more.
One thing I completely didn't expect from the experience was how it made me less inclined to read. It's weird- and I really don't want to think of myself as a person who can only get pleasure from having new things all the time, but it feels like I only want to read books that I don't own, even though the books I DO own, I really really wanted to read at some point. Enter, THIS VIDEO:
Ellie tweeted this video a while back, and it's the truest of all true things ever. I love it. If you can't be bothered to watch it (I'm stunningly realistic about how often people watch videos people post. It's probably because I basically never do.) her basic point is- it's MAD owning so many unread books, and the excuses people offer about buying new ones when this is the case just don't cut it- like, you're building a collection? That's great, but collections have to mean something, and if you haven't read the books you own, they don't actually mean anything to you. And buying books is great because you're really excited about reading them, but buying, like, 8 at once? It's ridiculous because you'll read one and be really excited about it, but then the other 7 just go on your shelves and get less and less exciting as time goes on, and start to feel like the albatross around your neck. (You know which one I'm talking about. And if not, you should really fucking read that poem.)
So. The point is, hey, read the books you have, people! And then buy more, and be really excited about them, but in smaller numbers and only if you REALLY want to read them. I am so down with this, and I have thought about what to do after my 100 days of non-bookitude. And I think what I'm going to do is this- I really really really want to have a nose around in charity shops again, because IT'S BEEN SO LONG, but I want to be in control of it rather than having THE NEED FOR NEW BOOKS control me. The video lady (I so can't remember her name...) says that she'll allow herself 1 new book for every 3 books she reads that she owns, and that seems sensible, so I should have a system like that, maybe? I'd like to have a one in, one out policy, but I have a harder time getting rid of books than not buying them, so I just don't know.
Here's what I do know- I think this book fast has been very good for me, and I don't think I'll go back to my crazy overindulgent book buying ways again, except for mayyybe a very few bad weeks (and by bad, I obviously mean really really good...) I am really excited to step foot inside a charity shop again though, and I'm not even going to feel bad about buying the occasional book because, guess what? despite my best efforts at being good, my mum doesn't even appreciate the non-buying of books! So that just sucks.
Anyway. That was pretty rambly, wasn't it! Give yourself a treat for reading it, if you did. Now let's talk about something else vaguely related to my birthday!
Remember last year when I made a 23 Before 24 list (because it's what the lifestyle bloggers do, dontchaknow?) and then never mentioned it again? Well, I've kind of been working steadily away on it all year, and have actually, miraculously, kind of done most of the things on it! Or at least the things with a viable end point. Some of them are kind of ongoing, vague things, but I've been working on those, too!
I'm not going to bore you by going through every point on the list, but a few of the things I've done are:
- Write more letters to people- Totally. Especially internet people. It's pretty awesome.
- Keep a not wholly negative diary- Sometimes I write down things that I've done rather than moaning about my life. It's nice.
- Go to a faraway English place/a literary trip- Oh hiiiii, Haworth!
- Go to the London Natural History Museum- I literally just did this on Monday. It was pretty great. I'm glad it was on my list so I was forced to go.
- Actually participate in NaNoWriMo- And I'm so happy that I did.
- Go to the cinema alone/watch Tiny Furniture
- Be more musically exploratory- I don't know how much I achieved this, but I DID discover Joni Mitchell this year, so... I feel like I won.
- Try out at least one new recipe a week- At the time of writing, I haven't quiite done this yet, so I feel a little bit like I'm jinxing myself, but I have made 49 new things and I know exactly what I'm doing for the other 3, so... I'm declaring myself a winner, early. This has been the BIGGEST and annoyingest thing I've been doing this year though, but at this point I am DETERMINED to win.
That was actually more than I intended to go into, but I actually got a bit excited about how many of the things I wanted to do, I've done! I feel like, for me personally, setting goals is quite an important thing (I get competitive with myself... which is weird) for the sense of achievement I get when I complete them, but I think that it's important to keep them in perspective and not get carried away like I have a bit with the recipe thing. Like... if it's starting to piss you off and making you NOT do other things because 'shit! I have to cook!' then it's time to stop, probably. I can see myself making these lists for many years, but I CAN'T see myself ever fully completing one. And I think that's ok, and healthy, and normal. Not that I'd know anything about that.
All of that is really just a prelude to tell you that next week's Sunday Sundries is basically just going to be my 24 Before 25 list. You'll love it! It involves books, obviously.