Sunday, August 14, 2011

Too many books, so little time!!

First time Sunday Salon post!

I’m coming clean with a problem, or what I like to call a compulsion that I can’t and don’t really want to stop. For several years, I’ve never been able to read just one book. OK I read one book at a time while I’m actually  reading, but when I actually consider the books I’m in the process of reading, I’ve found it hard to say I’m reading only one book at the moment.  (I still don’t know how to change the right side of my blog to show what I’m really reading right now, which would be several books, not just one!) I know its not unusual to check out several books at a time from the library, but to be in the process of reading all of them at the same time, doesn’t seem quite right. I know this because people ask me, “How do you keep all the books straight in your head?” And I don’t know how I do it, I just do.

Here are the books I currently have checked out at the library:

You’ll notice several of the library books have “14 DAY RENTAL” stickers on the spine. I have to try to read those books in two weeks and I usually can’t renew them because someone else has it reserved on hold to check out when a copy is returned. 14 Day rental stickers are placed on very new or continually popular books in the library system.  Part of the cause is I will read great weekly posts called “Waiting on Wednesday” (my favorite is from Breaking the Spine) and I’ll look for that book in the library system first, or I’ll put it on my wish list so I don’t forget it. What sometimes happens is 2 or 3 of these books will be available from my hold list at once and behold, I have 2 or 3 brand spanking new books to take home and try to read in TWO WEEKS! The initial thrill is fantastic; sometimes its been months since I’ve seen them online. And then the reality sinks in: I have to read ALL of them in TWO WEEKS!

And here are the books I’m reading currently:

Again, one of them has a 2 week sticker, but hold on, what’s that? A NON-Library book in the mix?! Yep, I’m attempting “Olive Kitteredge” for the second time in an attempt to participate in the monthly book discussion meeting at my local library. (Last month they read “Belong to Me” by Marisa De Los Santos. I had a borrowed copy of that paperback from a friend for over a year and didn’t finish it by the meeting.  The meetings happen on Thursday nights around seven and I always have good intentions when I start the books, but when it comes to that Thursday night, I’m already settled at home and don’t want to leave the house again. It goes this way several months in a row; I like the IDEA that I’m reading the same books as the others though!)
OK Back on the subject, too many books, so little time.

HERE is a picture of one of my bookcases at home - these are books of my own purchase, the TBR (to be read) shelves some would call them:

It doesn’t seem like many but both of those shelves have two rows each of books.  I’d like to think I've exercised some serious restraint in the last few years on buying books. (Hence the start of this blog and reading mainly books from the library too!)  Currently I’m only buying books from three authors: Michael Perry, Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner. The list used to be a lot longer.  I’m not against any author or supporting bookstores or anything like that - I think the picture speaks for itself that I just have WAY TOO MANY books on the TBR shelves.  Contradicting myself here, but I’ll come clean and admit I enter book giveaways and participate in online book clubs as well, sometimes winning a copy of my own to read. Contradicting myself again, I forget my self-control and splurge in my FAVORITE bookstore once a year, Snowbound Books in Marquette, MI or I get frustrated when hold list is several holds long and buy the book anyways.

MY point? Do I have one? I’m not looking for help or anything.  I don’t see myself changing the habit or process anytime soon. It feels good to get it out though. The day I start getting stressed out by having TOO MANY BOOKS to read, is something I bet will never happen. Feels good to come clean and get it out there in the open!


  1. When I try to read more than one book at a time, I find that one book is always better so I focus on it and don't read the other one until I've finished the better one. I hope that all made sense.

  2. I get carried away in the library too - our library always has a ton of new releases and I want them all!

    I have trouble reading more than one novel at a time - I can read a novel and a nonfiction book at the same time but that's about it!

    Good luck on getting through your bookstack...