My China Policy

I have an overpopulation problem.  I have too many books.  More importantly, I have too many unread books.  I don’t mind having a lot of books at my place if I’ve actually read them.  At some point in the past, when breakfasting with a friend, I decided to initiate what I named my China Policy.  Inspired by China’s famous “One-child policy” – initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1979  as an answer to that country’s population problem.  (See here for more info on that policy).

My goal was similar: to limit the overpopulation of unread books in my possession.  My policy is simple: I am only allowed to buy a new book when I have read two books that I already have, but have not read.  How’s that sound?  Well, it sounded good in theory, but has turned out to be difficult in practice.  I began allowing too many exceptions to the policy: books for my book club don’t count (“I have to buy them anyway”) and if libraries or bookstores want to have sales to give away books for practically nothing (“I can’t pass on this opportunity”).  In fact, I have allowed so many exceptions, my overpopulation – like that of the world –  has only continued to increase.

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)

So, in the spirit of Thomas Malthus, whose famous “Principles of Population” was published around the turn of the 18th/19th centuries.  I am hereby reinstating my China Policy for the rest of 2010 with only one exception allowed:  eBooks on my “nook” or iPhone don’t count (“they don’t take up any additional space”).  Will I stick to this policy this year?  I doubt it, but “something must be done!” about this overpopulation problem… 🙂

1 Comment

  1. Jade said,

    April 5, 2010 at 12:06 am

    All good readers…and writers in fact, have this overpopulation problem. Some of us even sacrifice eating in order to get a copy of a book that has been pre-ordered for months. Eh, it’s better than being addicted to crack right?


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