14 AUGUST 2004, Page 55

Q. Each week - When I read The Spectator I find

that there are always one or two articles which are so erudite, lucid, pertinent or amusing that I cannot bring myself to throw them away. I feel that I must tear them out and keep them to reread in the future. My problem is that I keep finding mouldering heaps of these treasures buried under other things, or in folders or boxes where I have made some attempt to store them properly. Needless to say, they remain un-reread. Can you suggest either a way for me to keep this collection in order, or a way for me to cure myself of this hoarding compulsion?

K.S., Sydney, Australia

A. lam grate/Id to Judith Russell in the Aldeburgh Bookshop for the following solution to this problem, which besets many bookmen and academics. Set aside a backstairs lavatory for the specific purpose of processing all the unread articles that are giving you grief Equip the lavatory with a pot of wallpaper paste and move the pile of unread newsprint in there. You could wallpaper the whole room with unread articles, but it would be more realistic to paste

up around 2,000 words of newsprint at a time, within easy reading distance of the lavatory, and train yourself not to leave the room until you have read all the words, even if you have completed your 'business: In this way you will be free to paste up more print on top of the article you have read and leave it to thy in readiness for your next visit. The increasing thickness of the wall opposite the lavatory; contrasted with the diminishing pile of newsprint, will give you a daily sense of achievement.