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Monday, February 19, 2007


I'm getting to be like Danielle - I want to read everything. Blogging only increases the need to read. The constant exposure to books and topics that appeal is never ending in the blogging world, so in addition to all of my previous interests, I'm finding myself inundated with reminders of books and authors that I've been interested in but haven't gotten around to reading, new titles and interests that arise in my own reading, and ALL of the titles and topics that the rest of you are reading!

This has produced a curious greed and the feeling that I must stockpile these books so that I can get to them when needed. At this point, I know that settling down and refusing to purchase any more and refraining from library visits is a good thing. But might not something get away from me if I don't act fast, get that book, and add it to the TBR stack?

Whoa, Nellie! Get ahold of yourself! You are NOT going to run out of things to read. It just won't happen. Self-discipline is called for here.

A resolution to complete all of the books that are waiting is in order. Or at least a moratorium on purchases. Those lists will still be good in a month or so. Longer by then, of course, but the books will still be available.

Therefore, I will not order any new books until March-but will still receive those already ordered :)-and will not check out any new ones from the library. I will see what damage I can do to the stacks in 10 days without adding to them.

This stack contains a few still in progress and those that need to be read. This is my current project stack.

Here are the ones already ordered, but not yet received:

The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor
The Silent Tower by Barbara Hambly
Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack

If I can make myself concentrate on the 8 in the stack and the 3 to come, I'll forgive myself the greedy attitude I've developed and move on with whatever I choose. This won't be accomplished in 10 days, but should make a satisfying dent and will, perhaps, let me realize that I need to finish what I begin before adding willy-nilly to the stacks.

I just finished A Corpse in the Koryo (set in North Korea) by James Church and need to review it. And work on my quilt, and clean house, and work in the yard, and write letters, and pay bills, and balance statement, and ....


  1. I can relate! My January experiment died right away in Feb. as I started back reading multiple books at once. I only have 4 going presently (2 are short story books) but am jonesing to start many, many more!

  2. I remember, it was only 3 short years ago that I thought my TBR pile was ridiculous at 40. Today it's 393 and I'm wondering what the he77 happened. My problem with keeping a "suggested reading" list...I want them NOW.

    Good luck!

  3. I've given up the battle and am working on losing my guilt over having too many in my stacks while still checking more out from the library. Bottom line is that I'm reading and will never run out of options when I finish a book. BTW, I'd skip the yard work myself. ;)

  4. Carl - I really need to get back to The Physics of the Buffyverse which I've sort of abandoned for fiction. I'm storing up the fantasy for March!

    SheBear - My list isn't that long! Do you mean you actually have them or just the list of what you want to read? My "list" is actually several or two in my purse at all times, one I keep in WordPerfect, one I jot down new titles on as I read or hear of them.

    Les - :) well, I'm going to try, but my will is weak! The lists can continue to grow, but the purchasing needs to slow down until I catch up. Have done a little yard work this morning, not much, but the weather is so lovely today!

  5. Skip right to Break, Blow, Burn. I got it when it was first published and ate it up.


  6. Once again I think you are living inside my head...Your's and Danielle's are the only two book blogs I read but you two alone have helped make me a very bad girl this last year, ha!...I am trying to not buy or borrow but it's hard. And when I finish one I give it to someone or put it in the box for The Bookman so it is out of the house. This last weekend I've been out in the garage boxes going through stacks that we moved here 8 years ago and then the scads that we brought over from my mom's house...I want to read EVERYTHING! ...starting with my existing stacks...of course...

  7. I feel the same way -- greedy about books, and I never used to be this way, before blogging! I'd like to stop buying books too, but ... it's so hard ...

  8. I've always had this many books and so little time, etc., but since I've discovered the many great book blogs and other book websites my problem has grown many times worse. I'm still discovering great new books that I missed in the 90s. How sad is that? At this rate I'll never even begin to catch up so it's nice to know that there are bloggers out there who are willing to help sort it all out.

    More and more of my reading time is starting to go to biographies of some of the "new" writers that I am just now "discovering." I'm currently fascinated by Patricia Highsmith, for instance, and am pleased to see how much material of hers, and about her, there is out there.

  9. Does it help to know you aren't alone? ;-) I'm not sure it has helped me. I think I need to take the road Les is trying to go down, feel less guilt about bringing books in. I thought February would be a good time for a moratorium on my book buying and let my wish list build up some, but it didn't turn out that way. I should know better than to aim high. I have to take it one day at a time . . .

  10. I have the same problem of stockpiling. My concern is that I will never get to all the books that I have.
    I will be looking for your comments on Winterson's The Weight. I read Margaret Atwood's contribution to the series titled Penelopiad, and I really enjoyed it.

  11. I'll admit I'm a little wacked in the head anyway, but sometimes I get, like, seriously depressed when I think of the number of books out there and the fact that I will NEVER get to read them all.

  12. I have a bit of a reputation, eh? It looks, though, like I am not alone! :) I am thinking exactly this thing--time to put a halt to library books--must concentrate on just what is on my nightstand at the moment, must stop accumulating books that I already can't fit into my bookshelves. But along with this idea, do you know what I am thinking...I have not been to the bookstore (new books not used) in ages (actually not at all in February), and maybe I should go tomorrow after work...I hate to think that I am as greedy as I am--but I am greedy for words and stories and information. That can't be too horrible, can it?

  13. Mary - Break, Blow, Burn is in progress. I'm reading it a little at a time. I love her style of criticism and the fact that most of the poems she has chosen are some of my favorites.

    Debby - Your comments about getting back in control of your stacks made me realize that I was only pretending to be in control!

    Dorothy - I didn't used to be this way either, but the more titles and authors and interesting subjects I read on other blogs, the more books I want! A Blogging Temptation Factory!

  14. Sam - I like your idea of reading biographies of more current authors. I'll be checking in to see how things are going with Highsmith.

    Feline - :) Yes, it does help to know that others are having similar emotions. As you say, "one day at a time." We are an unusual kind of addict, aren't we?

    Brad - After reading The Penelopiad last January and reviewing it on my other blog, I decided to start a blog just for books and reading. In fact, that is the reason for Winterson's Weight...another take on an old myth.

    Jordan - No, there will never be enough time, and we will never get to read them all. But we will just keep trying, won't we?

    Danielle - Nope! I can think of lots of compulsions that are worse! Oh, and used books don't count? Well, now that is good to know!

  15. Oh, Jenclair, you have so aptly written about the common woe of all bookbloggers. You have hit the nail right on the head. I try to take a deep breath whenever this greed starts my teeth grinding and my muscles tightening. I tell myself I won't get to them all, but with the help of my list I won't be wasting as much time reading losers.

    Luckily, I'm not a hoarder. Most books I'll never reread so I send them on their way to other readers. I am also lucky that my small town doesn't have a good bookstore so I'm not tempted to buy so often. Of course, I love to fill my online shopping cart to the brim, but I don't usually buy. I frequent the library, but don't feel guilty about taking books back unread. With all that said, I still have stacks of books that will take me over a year to read IF I don't add to them.

    I'm so glad to hear that you will still receive those books already ordered. That sentence made me smile. Good luck with your resolve. Your example will provide a beacon for us all. No pressure intended! ;D

  16. Oh I hear you! I was just updating my bookpedia file with my unread books and it's too much! I think I need to put a stop to the library borrowing and book buying for a while too.... Hmmm, maybe we need a support group :)

  17. Yes, dear, I actually have them - and then another "thousand" or so on my that-sounds-interesting list. I keep my lists (TBR, wish and read) in excel. I like the sortability excel gives me. I'm such a nerd when it comes to facts and the different ways I can arrange my books to be read. Right now I'm going by books that other people want to borrow (never, ever loan out a book that I haven't read) and what I'm most interested in reading. How do you decide what to read next?

  18. Cheya - It is a "common woe"-evidenced by the many sufferers of this condition. I, too, can let most of them go without a qualm (which as we all know, still leaves more books than there is room for). We will see how long the resolve lasts!

    iliana - A support group sounds good!

    SherBears - Good question about what to read next...that deserves a post in itself!

  19. Ohmygosh Jen!! I only sound like I'm in control!! I most definitely am NOT!!! haha! But, there are worse things...=-)