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ROOTs for 2022

Like many bibliophiles, I’ve accumulated more books than I actually have time to read. If you stacked all my books on top of each other, they would reach a height of 145 feet. That’s just shy of the Statue of Liberty (minus the pedestal). I acquired most of books in the decade between 2006 and 2017: the years when I was working on my M.A. and M.L.I.S degree and shortly after. Ironically, this was also when I was the most cash-strapped, and so I frequently sought out local used book sales in order to find copies on the cheap, which unexpectedly resulted in purchasing more books than was probably wise.

I’ve been trying to read more of what I already own instead of checking out or purchasing new titles. Within one LibraryThing community, this is called ROOTing: reading our own tomes. Last year, I was able to read about a dozen of my owned-but-not-read books, or ROOTs, and plan to continue the practice.

Reading one ROOT per month seems achievable. Here’s my list for 2022 (in no particular order):

  • I, Robot / Isaac Asimov
  • I Hope We Choose Love / Kai Cheng Thom
  • Steppenwolf / Herman Hesse
  • Unfinished Tales / J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Book of the Courtier / Castiglione
  • Vineland / Thomas Pynchon
  • Wide Sargasso Sea / Jean Rhys
  • Five Dialogues / Plato
  • Subtle Acts of Exclusion / Tiffany Jana and Michael Baron 
  • On Poetry and Poets / T.S. Eliot 
  • Opera and Its Symbols / Robert Donington 
  • A Short History of Philosophy / Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins

There wasn’t much of a science behind this list: mostly just titles I kept passing by while muttering to myself “yeah, I should read that.” Inevitably, I will pick up other books along the way (I’m already reading “Self-Compassion” by Kristen Neff while also reading “I Hope We Choose Love”), but having a realistic goal of one per month should allow me to balance somethings old with somethings new.

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