Empty Bookshelves


I have an empty shelf on my bookcase again. I’m preparing myself for a day when I’ll have a room dedicated completely to books, so book space is a premium in my bedroom. I actually cleared away some clothes to make space to empty said bookshelf, which considering my commitment to clothing usually surpasses my commitment to books, is a huge feat.

Why do I have an empty shelf on my bookcase as I start 2015?

Because I am reading my way through the year. Each time I finishing reading a book, this year, I’ll add it to the empty shelf, and hopefully, by the time December rolls around, the shelf will not be empty anymore. In 2014, I gave myself the same goal and I read 34 books in 365 days. Reading a variety of books and constantly having a book to read challenged my thinking.

I strongly encourage everyone to set a goal at the beginning of the year that is attainable, but requires consistent commitment throughout the next 12 months. It’s a great way to grow in discipline, develop a new skill or fall back in love with a hobby. For me it was reading in 2014 and enjoyed it, so I’m going to do it again in 2015.

The empty shelf stands as a challenge to me, and encourages me to follow through on a commitment, even when my desire to watch yet another episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix seems more appealing than curling up with a book.

Each day can pass by so quickly as I rush to work, from work, to eat and to bed. There is not always a desire to look past the momentary desire for mindless entertainment or the quick and easy way to pass the time and to be intentional with what I focus my mind on. I believe that reading is a worthwhile way to spend my time, so my empty shelf reminds me, daily, that I have the opportunity to build into something. There is space for growth, even in the small, mundane moments when I want to check out.

So I’ve cleared my shelf again this year. Reading is not the only goal I have this year. I want to commit to writing at least twice a week, I want to go to India, I want to pay off my debt, I want to explore what it could look like to do some freelance writing, I want to run another half-marathon, I want to gain better control of my finances, and I want to buy fewer clothes. All of these goals require me creating space, metaphoric shelves, on a daily basis to pursue them, and a reminder of the commitment I’ve made, even once new years resolutions have been forgotten.

What goals do you have for 2015, and how are you creating space for them this year?


I’ll be posting a list of the books I read in 2014 that I recommend for others over the weekend.

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