How My Holiday Reading Kondoed My To-Do List

21st August, 2019

How My Holiday Reading Kondoed My To-Do List

It was a first for me this summer. I actually read every single book I took on holiday. Woo hoo!


I’d pitched it just right – nothing too heavy but nothing so cheesily written it turned me off.


(And yes, the above image were my actual books snapped on a Madeiran balcony. Feel free to judge me. ?)


Just interesting, easy-to-read books that I gobbled up. They were well worth the extra luggage allowance (I ditch gadgets for hard copies for a chilled holiday, but it does get expensive…).


Why was it a first?


Well, I used to get all highfalutin and ambitious with my holiday reading.


I’d include a tonne of self-improving business books that somehow never seemed so appealing in the sunshine with my 11am Margarita.


I wanted escapism and room to think, not more work.


And, for 5 consecutive holidays, I took this bad boy with me:

Do you know it? It’s a 500-page epic – well written, thoroughly researched, interesting, but (for me at least) bl**dy hard work.


It contains more information than the average person would ever, ever (and I mean, ever) need to know about where we come from.


But holiday after holiday I dutifully packed it, thinking that this time I’d get beyond chapter 6.


That I should read it, that it would be good for me.


But holiday after holiday it came home in my suitcase with barely the spine creased.


This summer, I had words with myself. ‘Kim,’ I reasoned, ‘You’re never going to read that book now, are you? Come on, admit it to yourself.’


I was right. And I left it at home! What a relief – so cathartic.


(In fact, I’m going a step further and Marie Kondoing dear old Sapiens – i.e. thanking it for its service and giving it to a new home.)


And it felt so good, in fact, that when I got home from holiday I applied the same filter to my to-do list.


I looked at the things that’d been hanging around for weeks like the bags of rotting kale in my salad drawer.


Why hadn’t I completed them?


Were they tasks I thought I should do, but didn’t want to?


And if so, why?


Or were they items that perhaps weren’t so critical after all…


So I got brutal.


I got rid of all the to-dos I knew, realistically, I wasn’t ever going to get around to.




It then put into sharp focus all the stuff that IS really important to me.


So, why am I telling you?


Well, I thought you might like to have a post-holiday purge like me (trust me, you’ll love it).


And, I was wondering if you needed a very interesting book about the history of mankind that also doubles as a doorstop. I’ve got one going spare…

University of Cambridge