I have about 3,000 books. I'm certain of that because I entered them all into a database. What I'm less certain of is the number of those books that I've actually read. My fear--which, unfortunately, is not without justification--is that I've opened no more than half of those. At most. Okay, I've admitted it. I buy them, I want to read them, but I don't. Not all of them, anyway. It's not only embarrassing, it's downright oppressive, with all those unread books staring at me from the shelves. (Okay, that part's an exaggeration; most of the shelves are in the living room, safely hidden from view for most of the working day.)
Today, though, I declare a moratorium on book-buying. There is no more room on the shelves (the latest purchases are piled on a bench, wondering where they're going), the economy sucks and I've started turning down consulting jobs to focus on writing anyway, and here's the kicker: if I read one book a week for the next 30 years, assuming my estimate is close, I will just about finish reading what I have at hand today (and never mind the journals that will keep rolling in until I take some action to make them stop, and the free books I'll be getting to review, and anything I might accidentally borrow from the library).
Like a middle-east ceasefire, I don't expect this moratorium to last long. But maybe it will give me some time to create the illusion of progress in digging out of the mess I've created.