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Posts Tagged ‘library’

Prueba1675

I have a problem.

I can’t get rid of any books, no matter how crowded and chaotic my shelves have become.

I’m not sure why. Yes, I grew up with thousands of books–as seen here, in this picture of me reading to my daddy in our library, my favorite room in the house.in library with daddy

And yet, my dearest, most simpatico buddy, who has been my best friend since I was four years old and came from a very similar book-oriented family, doesn’t struggle with this. Once I said to her, “Oh, wouldn’t you just love to own all the Jane Austen books in beautiful hardcover editions?” But she simply shook her head. “Not really,” she said calmly. “You can always get those from the library.”

And she’s right, of course. Because of her saner attitude, her house is clean and neat and tidy, and I envy the heck out of it.

Mine is a mess. library bookstore

My office, particularly, is out of control right now, and if I could just free up some space on the shelves to store other things…But I can’t seem to make the tough decisions.

bookcase
Every day, I wake up determined to weed out. Every day, I come in, stare at the shelves, and walk away again, unable to part with any book, no matter how old or new, read or unread, paperback or hard, illustrated or not, classic or quirky.

I know some of you must have conquered this problem! I’d be so grateful if you’d share! What guidelines do you use? Is there some rule I could apply that would make the amputations easier?

I’d truly love to know what the key is to letting go.

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Prueba1675

I haven’t come even close to reading what was on my TBR pile this week. (I didn’t need those last two words. This is the case EVERY week! 🙂 )

In fact, all I ever do, it seems, is ADD TO the pile. Here’s how it happened…tell me if any of this sounds familiar! 🙂

His Highness and I rearranged some furniture in various rooms, which meant moving some books, which meant I actually browsed one of the bookcases I don’t usually get to. Oh, dear. LOOK at all these wonderful books! I pulled out Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Northrop Frye’s “Anatomy of Criticism,” and Mary Stewart’s “This Rough Magic.” I felt quite proud of my restraint. It could have been 30 instead of three!

Then, my daughter and I walked to Barnes and Noble, to be virtuous and get some exercise. B&N was the reward for the virtue. But would it have been much of a reward if we hadn’t bought anything? So I got one of the Kate Atkinson books I’d missed. I loved her “Case Histories,” and I was thrilled to see these newer ones. Again, I was proud of myself. It could have been a hundred.

DSC02741 Another thing…the RITA award finalists were announced, this past Tuesday. Some of the books looked soooo good, but I hadn’t ever read them! Well, I’m a writer. I’m supposed to be studying the best in my craft, always growing, always improving. So I had to buy a few and download them to my Kindle. So proud of myself…didn’t buy ALL the ones I wanted. Just about four.

Later that night, in another fit of virtue, I realized that I’m not using my Audible account as much as I should. I got it so that I’d have plenty of books on tape to amuse me while I take my daily walks. But I’ve found that my favorite diversion is corny oldies, which sweep me along to their beats, and remind me of how much fun it was to be young and fit. So…needed to put the Audible account on hold, be virtuous, save a few pennies, right? Except that I had some credits there that I must use before I initiated the hold. So I picked up “The Queen of Bedlam” by Robert McCammon and Phillip Pullman’s “Grimm Tales for Young and Old.” Just the two. Just to save a few pennies.

Then, while I was researching a lecture for one of my Brit Lit classes, I got an itch to read a new biography of Zelda Fitzgerald, “Z” by Terese Anne Fowler. (I know…not Brit lit, but still…one thing leads to another…)

Photo by Chris Chan

Photo by Chris Chan

My book budget being totally blown, I decided to try the library. Oops! Remember those books I checked out in a dazed semi-orgy a few weeks ago…but haven’t read? OVERDUE. When I signed in online, I discovered that once again I’m featured on a big, shameful WANTED poster in the library lobby.

WANTED: Bookaholic With Absolutely No Restraint. Ten books overdue. Fines in double digits. Approach With Caution! Considered impractical, absent-minded, dreamy and very dangerous.

So…yeah. Ten added to the pile, ten overdue and costing me big bucks, all while honestly trying to be so, so good.

See what I mean? There are just too many books.

Sound familiar?

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Prueba1675

As Stephen King famously said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” 

How’s that for the official stamp of approval? 🙂  You can see how little respect he’d have for me if I ignored him!

So, though I have a deadline coming up, and it’s better not to even talk about the state of the laundry room, I really think I need to read today.  😉

I have shelves overflowing with books I haven’t read yet, and books I long to reread.  I have a wishlist at Amazon so long it’s embarrassing.  And the library could build a new wing on my late fees.  And yet, like a true addict, I’m still always on the hunt for something new and exciting.

I’m assuming that, since you’re reading a writer’s blog, you’re pretty much the same!

So when I stop by to say hi here each mid-week, I’ll be talking about what I’m reading right now–and how I’m liking it.  I hope you’ll swing by whenever you can and let me know what you’re reading, too!

Here’s this week’s tally:

Just started: 

Roundhouse, by Louise Erdrich.  So many people have recommended this to me that I finally broke down and got it.  Can’t wait to see if it catches me…

Still chewing away at:

Drood, by Dan Simmons.  This Victorian-era tale about Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens is beautifully written, slow-paced (which fits those authors perfectly and doesn’t bother me one bit), but I keep postponing it.  Maybe that’s because it’s a bit dark, and I’m craving something lighter and easier these days?

Just finished:

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn.  Wow!  If you like mysteries, and you’re one of the few people who have been resisting this one, let me add my name to the chorus!  This is a fun, weird, twisty book.  It’s a bit dark, too, actually, but not quite as heavy as the Simmons.  Those of you who have read it, I’d love to hear what you think about the ending.  I’m dying to know if my reaction was as weird as my daughter seemed to think! 😉

The Gettysburg Vampire, by Susan Blexrud.  From my Kindle, this Civil War-time-travel romance by my writer buddy Susan was a real treat.  If you like historical romance–and, of course, sexy vampires–I think you’ll love this one.  Very emotional (I love a strong hero dealing with lots of emotional baggage, and Malcolm has that times ten).  Plus, Susan really knows her time and place!  She layers her writing with so much atmosphere you can smell the steam in the air as the ghost train thunders by.

Calling my name from the shelf: 

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloane.  Actually, I have this on Audible, and it’s up next for my walking amusement.  I hear great things!

Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen.  A friend loaned me this one after I finished The Girl Who Chased the Moon.  Gosh, she gets great covers, doesn’t she?  I don’t know why I didn’t discover this lovely writer sooner! 

window with booksOkay…that’s my list!  Now I hope you’ll share, too!  What am I missing?  I love all genres–and even nonfiction!  Do you have any undiscovered (or long-resisted) nuggets of gold to add to my basket?

 

 

 

 

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