Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is a season of sacrifice and reflection; the 40 days leading up to Easter and the season of new life. Many people choose to use Lent as a time to work on themselves, sacrificing bad habits or patterns or behaviors in order to become a better person, or at least, a more thoughtful person.
This year I have chosen a sacrifice that has already been difficult. I have chosen not to purchase any books. This may seem small, but for a reading-addict like me, this is tough. Not just because I love books, but because I love to browse bookstores in my spare time, I belong to a bookclub, and I have a mini-vacation planned that would cross my path with a favorite independent bookstore. And there are so many great books coming out soon... I decided on this particular sacrifice due in part to my pile of books at home - let's read what we have before buying more, shall we? - and in part due to my almost thoughtless purchasing of hardbacks that are not ultimately books I want to keep.
So, my hope is that this sacrifice will gently lead me to reflect on what books mean to me, and how I can indulge in them in a more respectful way - respectful to my bookshelves, to my wallet, and to the environment.