Booking Through Thursday: Book GluttonyMay 14, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Book Blather | 7 Comments
Here is my response to this week’s Booking Through Thursday:
Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?
Hahahaha! I am having trouble imagining anyone answering no to this question. The only reader I know who does not hoard books is my man Rocket Scientist. He will literally buy a new book, take it home, sit down, and start reading it right away. Then he will finish it before he starts something else. Amazing.
My biggest problem with book gluttony is the library. I can walk in and take home as many books as I can carry, free of charge. This is part of why I’ve tried to limit myself only to new titles I’ve put on hold. Typically they come in at a manageable rate, especially now that I can only hold 20 at a time. Ah, but, we can only check out 30. I found that out the hard way, shortly after I moved here. Right now I’m at 27 again and not sure entirely how that happened.
The next problem is lent books. I always say ‘lent’ because people bring me their books when they think I will be interested in them. I always feel obligated to give them a shot, especially considering I go through 9 or 10 a week. (I have begged ARCs from Trish before when I just couldn’t wait to get them from the library, though oddly enough, I never seem to get around to them). These books have a tendency to pile up, because they don’t have a “due date” the way library books do.
I will buy books that I can’t get any other way, but again, once I have them in hand, the pressure to read them disappears. Heck, I can read that book any time, so even though I was desperate to read it when I found it, why not just let it marinate for a few years? Part of the problem here is that I loathe paperbacks. The other is the “due date” thing.
I’ve gotten much better about this over the last couple of years, particularly since I started tracking my reading. I have actual metrics on how much I can realistically read in a given period, plus a long list of books I want to read before I die. In theory I can tell you how many books I will be able to read if I live to be 75, my family’s minimum lifespan, and in that case, I should also know what many of those books will be. So, okay, maybe I’d like to read Principia Mathematica, but realistically, I’m not going to. It would displace something else.
All my books are currently packed in 10 identical Avon boxes. I left out a good-sized stack of ‘lent’ books and second-hand books that are intended to circulate through our book group. Other than those and the library books, I can tell you definitively that I’ve hoarded a three months’ supply. Why don’t I just take three months off from the library and read them, then? This is a question RS is bound to ask now that we’re getting married, and I’m really racking my brain to come up with an answer.