When I was a pre-teen, my bedroom was a perpetual mess. I loved stuff, and it was everywhere. I hated doing laundry (and by this age, my mom made us do our own), so it was all over the floor. I would lose library books in my room and rack up late fees. Unlike those who claim their mess is organised, I could never find anything.

Then one day, and I don’t remember how old I was, something inside me switched over to the other extreme. Suddenly, I couldn’t stand the mess, and I wanted to get rid of everything.

I also wanted to paint my walls black, so you might call it a teenage phase.

Today, I still lean to the side of minimalism. Once I get tired of something (a piece of clothing, a kitchen tool, a book unread), I pass it on.

This January, during my thrift shop sprint, I browsed their books. This can be dangerous. There’s always something which looks interesting. I ended up buying a bunch, including COLLAPSE by Jared Diamond. It was only once I was home that I realised this was my book.

The name written inside is “Mike Nieuhuis March 07,” but this was my book, previously bought used and then donated, with the conviction that I was never going to read it.

Now that I’ve bought it twice, I feel like I owe it to the book to read the introduction at least.