I haven't bought a new book since December 31st.
Sitting in the lounge, on the shelf below the coffee table is a brand new, unopened DVD player that I purchased in November. My existing DVD player is well over 15 years old. It cost a good few hundred pounds back when Gladiator and The Matrix were weaning us all off VHS video, to wonder at the increased definition and ease of these new shiny discs. Now though, it's showing its age. It's decided that it really doesn't like dust, or scratches. Even the smallest single particle, or barely visible smudge of a scratch on any media will send it into a hissy fit. Play stops. It doesn't even try to power through, to work past the obstruction. Nope, not only does it down tools, it even refuses to let me forward the movie to a cleaner future. So it's going.
Why am I returning to watching DVD's? Have I not got Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ It's for the same reason I'm not buying any books.
2023 is going to be a Depth Year.
I first read about this over on Raptitude. A few years back, David Cain suggested the idea of a Depth Year. This was to be a year where instead of buying new books and movies, you took time to read or watch what you already had. When I read his description and how the experiment had worked out, I knew I wanted to give it a go.
You see I'm terrible at this. I buy a book because I want to learn something, to gain a new skill, to see myself better or doing something different in the future. But often, after thinking about what I want to learn or to become and after buying the book, and getting all excited in anticipation of this better future me...
...I put the book in my bookcase and only read the spine over days, years, months.
My depth year is an acknowledgement that there are things buried on my shelves that I felt important enough to pay money for to solve specific problems in my life. By not buying anything new, I'm going to give myself time this year to dig them out, give them my attention, see if they still scratch an itch and then apply them. Reducing choice will make deciding to read these books easier.
As an added benefit, I can see this saving me some money. No more purchases for anything other than what I need to do my job. No more maybe's or "just in cases", or "two drinks in and Amazon is looking tempting". No more recurring subscriptions for media services I'll not have time to use.
My mental energy levels should improve too. No more decisions to be made about purchases.
And although I didn't succeed very well, I think this will build upon what I blogged about in 2020, when wanting a Year of Less.
So let's see where this goes. I'll still be writing book reviews about those unread gems on my shelves, I'll still update my bookstack. I'll still be following some of my deep seated interests such as writing, photography, living a good life. But I'll be utilising what I already have, making do, and hopefully rather than scattering myself wide, I'll be going deep.