Hoarders, Google Reader Style

Sky Blue and Black (3)

Delaware Moon in Window
September 4, 2009, Delaware
Photo Credit: Melissa Firman

As everyone who lives on the Internet knows, we’re at the 11th hour (almost) until Google Reader turns into a pumpkin and vanishes forever.

By now, hopefully you’ve transferred all your feeds elsewhere. My personal preference is Feedly, which I’ve been using since the Google Farewell Tour was announced several months ago.

Quite frankly, right after I switched over to Feedly, I didn’t look at my Google Reader again.

Not once.

Until yesterday, when I panicked and realized, I haz a whole lot of starred shit in there! 

Like, starred items that go back to 2009.

We’re talking starred reviews of books I absolutely want to read. Recipes I will make (and my family will love). Restaurants I must try when I get that elusive date night with The Husband. Writing tips that will make my novel-in-progress a guaranteed bestseller (or my posts get a gazillion more views or my future nonprofit employers attract thousands more donors – with my new savvy-ness.)

It’s all there, Melissa’s personal reference desk of life.

I tend to be somewhat susceptible to this sort of behavior.

When we moved two years ago, I had Oprah and Real Simple and Cooking Light magazines dating back to the Pre-Y2K Age. They were piled up in our den and our kitchen, some in boxes from a move four years prior and one four years prior to that and possibly a move or two I am forgetting. (You do the math on the number of moves a Pre-Y2K magazine needs to make.)

I procrastinated on packing boxes and instead, spent hours paging through magazines, tearing out article after article that I absolutely needed to keep. About halfway through this project, I came across a binder I created when I once did something similar – and guess what? I’d never looked at any of the articles again.

I realized that this was ridiculous and decided then and there that I was going cold turkey. All of the magazines went into the recycling bin. Gone.


Over the weekend, I found myself slipping back into the same behavior with Google Reader. I spent the majority of Saturday night adding book after book to Goodreads, seeing my “Want to Read” totals creep even closer and closer to 1,500. To put this into some sort of perspective, I tend to read an average of 50-60 books per year.

Today, I went to a volunteer meeting and when I came back, I immediately fired up my laptop and opened up Google Reader, saving posts into Evernote, printing out recipes, adding more books to Goodreads (1,472 …1,473 …1,474…)

And then, about a half hour ago, I stopped.

When are you ever going to look at this again? I thought. You did just fine without this information for however many months.

The books will find you again, if they’re meant to.

Your novel is just fine without the so-called experts’ advice. 

If you ever have a craving for some elaborate recipe, it’s probably archived on some blog somewhere. 

And speaking of elaborate recipes, it’s nice to dream about fancy restaurant date nights, but let’s wake up: your budget and your reality (with two kids and no babysitters) means that a night on the town is dining at Eat’n Park. 

(Not like there’s nothing wrong with Eat’n Park, mind you. Their salad bar and their fish sandwiches ROCK.) 

So instead of spending the night frantically saving and stressing over what doesn’t – in the end – really matter, I’m ignoring the whole thing and burying my head in a book. 

And catching up with all my blogs on Feedly.


Thanks for sharing this post!

3 thoughts on “Hoarders, Google Reader Style

  1. Bryan G.

    I started over on Feedly and trashed everything from Google Reader. It was so liberating. I’m now reading only the blogs I want to read, including yours. 🙂

  2. Lisa Weinstein

    Melissa, are you on Pinterest? It’s kind of the same idea, although if you are susceptible to hoarding, you might start pinning thousands of items!!!

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