The Reading Wishlist

The truth is I have too many books on my reading Wishlist, and given the rate at which I add more on, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that I will ever get round to completing it. At one point, I split my Wishlist into fictional and non-fiction. It is ridiculous!

Furthermore, there are some books which seem to bypass the Wishlist phase. I just buy them straight out and read them.

What is going?! This post shares some thoughts on my reading Wishlist. Do they even work? What is the point of having one?

Keeping Track

Obviously, one of the main functions of my reading Wishlist is to keep track of all the recommendations, be they from other people, other books or from google’s advertising algorithm. A book is put on the Wishlist so that I can consider buying it later, and it might be more appropriate to read in a different season of life.


My brother works in the forex market. From my limited understanding it’s like the the stock market, but instead of businesses, people are investing in currency. Thee is a wide variety of currencies in the world and each nation have their own. Likewise, I too have various currencies. Not least of these is financial.

Reading takes time and also emotional investment in a topic. Spending £10 or so on a book is not really the biggest cost. Usually I will be reading a book for at least 2 weeks, having it’s discussions and thoughts populate my mind. That’s time and headspace taken up. Additionally, there is also the storage currency. Where would this book go? Can I fit it on my bookshelf – literally. Due to recent and upcoming life changes, my wife and I are being very meticulous about storage space and this includes being very strict on which books we keep and which go to charity shops or friends.

So, how do we bypass the Wishlist.

This works both ways, perhaps you want to recommend a book to a friend, or maybe they want to recommend one to you. If money is not the only factor – how do we get past the the Wishlist shield?

  1. Downright, buy and deliver the book for them.

This has worked for me recently. Someone from Church has been recommending a couple of books on sexuality and gender, and they were really keen to get my thoughts on the issue. Two days later I got a book delivery and then another one a week later. Clearly my friend wasn’t messing around. I’ve ended up reading the books quickly and letting them bypass the Wishlist. Why?

Honestly this was largely due to wanting to get it out the way. But also, the fact that it meant so much to them that they were willing to organise the purchase and delivery communicated to me that it was important to them.

When we downright buy and deliver the books we are recommending so “willy-nilly-ililiy”, we communicate that this is a seriously good book/important issue.

I think this makes sense, because it is so easy to recommend a book that we’ve read. Everyone does it. But few actually go out of their own way to make sure we get a copy.

When I think of the books I have most seriously wanted to recommend to other people, I have usually ended up buying them for the person myself. Either as a birthday present or as a ‘random’ gift.

Not only does this bypass the dreaded Wishlist, it also comes across as really generous…I mean, who doesn’t want free books!

2. If buying someone else a book is not really an option, consider lending it to them or better yet giving them your copy.

Some people are really particular about receiving second hand books. (As for me, I don’t really mind, but I used to work with someone who had an issue hygienically with it!). But, for me, one of the ways I seriously engage with a book is by highlighting and underlining. So if you are lending a book, do let that person know whether you are okay with them making the book their own!

3. Keep going on about that one book.

Some people, recommend books like a search engine. Any topic being talked about results about hearing a book they read. If I’m honest, I probably fall into this category. But we know someone is serious about a book, when they keep going on about one single book that they want us to read.

I think this is respectful of the person’s time and attention, money and limited capacity to read. One book at a time please.

Anyway, realise this has been a longer post than usual…I think I went into rant mode!


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