Monday, November 14, 2016

A Year Without New Books

From Kate’s Writing Crate…

          About five months ago I reviewed Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill. In this memoir, Hill goes looking for her copy of Howards End on her landing, but it isn’t in that bookcase or in the many other bookcases in several other rooms. By the time she finds it, Hill comes across about 200 books she hadn’t read yet. Deciding to read these books, Hill decides she will not buy any new books, unless required by her publishing job, for a year.
         I’ve been reorganizing some of my books and realized I have a few hundred of my own that I haven’t read or started but haven’t finished.

How does this happen?

It’s easy. While I read every book I received as a gift or bought through the Scholastic catalog in school when a child, as an adult I can buy or borrow more books than I have time to read. As I’m a voracious reader, most friends and family members give me gift certificates to bookstores for birthdays and holidays and it doesn’t take long to fill a shopping cart/basket.

Although I read and write for a living, I have to read most books on deadline. When looking for novels to review, I have to read two or three to find one to I’d like to review. For non-fiction, I don’t have to finish reading the book before I decide if it is review-worthy so I save a little time there, but end up with a lot of partially read books.

I don’t get rid of them because sometimes these books are review-worthy, but I can’t complete reading them with enough time to write the review by deadline so I save them for the future. Sometimes I need to digest books so a few months after I read them I decide to review them. No wonder books pile up.

Not surprisingly, I have decided not to buy any books for a year. This moratorium started on November 1st.

So far so good! All these unread books caught my interest or they wouldn’t be piled up in my home so it’s not painful to concentrate on them. As I read and review them, I’ll lend or give them to friends or donate them—unless I truly love them. These books will grace the shelves of my personal library.

Unfortunately, the pain will come when I hear or read about fantastic new books or favorite authors have new releases. Luckily, I can make a list or pile these books in an online shopping cart. In only fifty weeks, I’ll have room to pile them up at home again!

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