For the Infinite Collector of Books

Somewhere on my resume, I should have the title: Infinite Collector of Books.

I really also should be in some 12 step program for this literary addiction. 

If you were to visit my home, you couldn’t help notice just how many books I have stacked and double-stacked on sagging bookshelves. I prefer the term collector rather than hoarder, but really there isn’t too much difference. IMG_1009

I set up alerts in my iPhone for the Dollar Days sale at the used book store.

I know what time the nearby Barnes and Noble closes, the aisles and genres in Ed McKay’s, and the fastest way/cheapest way to get the most out of my Amazon Prime membership.

Lest I should forget, the library located down the street from my house and the wonderous thing that is InterLibrary Loan. As if the title of poet/writer didn’t clue you on my love of the written word, let me just spell it out for you:

I’m a bibliophile, and I love books.

But even good things, like books, can turn into a wretched white elephant if we’re not careful. Because I could/always will be able to justify used books or the occasional new book, I accumlated more books faster than I could read the ones that I had already bought. See the problem? Lots of books+ More books= a reader with shelves of lovely short stories, poems, memoirs, novels–ALL UNREAD.If you follow me on GoodReads, I even created a whole shelf for books that I own, and most of them fall under the category of “to read.”

As cliche as it sounds, part of the solution is admitting that I have a problem.

But the other part of the solution is doing something about it! While it will break my heart and help my wallet, I’m giving up buying books for awhile or even checking books for myself at the library.  I need to read what I own before I parade any more writers, novelists, poets into my house to sit upon those tired shelves.

Beginning today, I’m giving myself a bit of a summer reading challenge.

I’ve selected 11 books from my own library that I will read. In order to bring any more books to my loving home, I have to finish all 11 books. Now, I’m not setting a timeline or some due date because I already have a long wish list/library list of books waiting for me. Throughout the summer, I will blog about my progress through these books. How much I love/hate/apathetic toward these books…there could also be some wailing and gnashing of teeth…

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The Read Your Shelves Challenge:

  1. The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin
  2. Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin
  3. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  4. Sinners Welcome: Poems by Mary Karr
  5. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  6. Ariel by Sylvia Plath
  7. The Writing Life by Annie Dilliard
  8. Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty
  9. A Year in the Life of Shakespeare by James Shapiro
  10. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  11. Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro

What books on your shelves need to be read before you get new ones? How many do you have unread?(I can neither confirm or deny that I have A LOT)

10 Books a Week: To Read

On Monday, I shared my 10 books of faith.

On Tuesday, I shared my favorite poets.

On Thursday, I shared my favorite novels.

Today,

I am sharing my 9 books on my to read list…

Yes, I know there should be 10, but here are my To Reads for a long while.

  1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: I put off reading this book to focus on the darker mash-ups for Austen novels. Now, it is time for the real thing.
  2. The Scarlet Pimpernel by The Baroness Orczy: I saw the movie in college. I liked it. I hope the book is better.
  3. Middlemarch by George Eliot: If I finish this book, I deserve a medal.
  4. Grace (Eventually) Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott: I adore everything she writes. Enough said.
  5. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis: My college professor raved about this trilogy. I only cared about what was on the test. Time to remedy my ignorance.
  6. Confessions by Saint Augustine: The time has come to make peace with this misogynist. Perhaps, reading his whole work will lend a bit more context to his narrow views on women.
  7. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving: My blogging friend Alise will be thrilled, and I bought it to read too.
  8. Wicked by Gregory Maguire: I love the musical and hoping the book is better. Although, it would be nice to have the musical score play at the appropriate times in said book.
  9. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Don’t take away my feminist card just cause I haven’t read this book yet. See it’s on my list (grasps feminist card firmly).
  10. ____________________________?

What book should fill in the #10 spot? Share your suggestion in the comments. 

Check out Sarah Bessey’s blog for her reading suggestions this week!

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