A lit purge occurs when your reading list gets too long and it needs to be culled of all the items that, frankly you are never going to read. Generally this occurs after a realization that there is absolutely no way you will ever have the time or interest to read all of the items the list contains. The main cause of this is probably that you buy books faster than you read them. This makes it a mathematical certainty that your list will grow, and not shrink. Thus, the lit purge.

Every once and a while you must go through your reading list, and find all of the items that you no longer want to read. There are many good reasons for removing an item from your list:
  • Out-dated - Some items have just been on your list so long, that time has passed them by. A great example of this is computer programming books which seem to go out of date faster than milk.
  • Unrealistic Expectations] -Yes, I know you were going to buff up on literature and read that thick tome of Wadsworth poems that your ex-girl/boyfriend told you were “inspiring”. You aren’t. So take it of you list, be it mental or physical, and move on to things you are more likely to read. Like Maxim.
  • Not Quite Interesting Enough - It seemed pretty interesting in the store, but now that you are faced with the reality of actually reading it, you’re not up to the task. It’s ok, it happens to the best of them. Sell it on half.com and move on.
  • Career / Interest Change - If you moved from engineering to marketing all of those books on 6502 assembly language are not really going to be useful anymore. Also, get rid of all those books on Jung so you could impress that girl/boy in your philosophy class.

    Remember, you will never get through your whole reading list, it is a constantly change, constantly evolving beast. Just follow where it takes you, guide your interests, and you’ll have a lot of fun.

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