So, today I finished Sara Nelson’s So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading, in which the author sets out to read a book a week and talk about the experience (hey, doesn’t that sound like a great idea?–too bad I am not getting paid for it like she did). As soon as I finished the book, I headed for the bookstore, despite the fact that I already had at least 30 books at home that I haven’t read yet. There are so many books to read, I can always buy more. I wanted to buy some of the books that she talked about in her book, but when I got to the store, I remembered that I was missing 3 books in the Martha Grimes series, and I saw some other books that I have been meaning to buy for a while, so I actually only ended up with one book that she had referred to: She’s Not There about a woman’s experience going through a sex change operation and how she copes with the world after the process is complete.

As I was standing in the bookstore, adding up how much money I was spending, and debating which books to put back for later, it occurred to me that I need to keep a running list of the books that I have available to read, and the books that I would like to get. So, now my spreadsheets of books I have completed has become a full-fledged workbook, with sheets for Books I Want to Read (That I Already Have) and Books I Want to Read (That I Need to Buy). I briefly considered adding a list of Books That I Have That it is Unlikely I Will Ever Read, but I decided that may be going a bit overboard. And anyway, why would I want to keep track of that?

This listing is a good idea for making sure I don’t forget books that I really want to read, but it is a bit daunting. As of right now, I have 42 (!) books that I already own that I haven’t read yet, and 15+ books that I would like to get (my last entry is for any book by David Sedaris, and I know there is more than 1, but not exactly how many…).Even if I read a book a week, that would take me over a year. Fortunately, I actually average at least 2 per week, but it is still a lot of books. Especially since I don’t actually read that much EVERY week.

The big struggle for me is going to be stopping myself from buying any more books until I get through some of the books that I already have. Why am I spending money on books when I have over 40 here already? The bookstore isn’t going anywhere. It’s book gluttony. Part of it, I know, is a reaction against the time when I didn’t have money to go buy books whenever I wanted to. It wasn’t that long ago that I actually got to the point sometimes when I didn’t have anything to read! It was a terrible feeling, although even then, I had plenty of books I could have re-read. But I am far beyond ensuring that I have something to read when I am done with the current book. That will be the good thing about this list, I think–I can look at this very long list of books that I already own when I am tempted to go buy more books.

Man, I crack myself up. Sure, that will work.


One response »

  1. I’ve decided to only count the books-not-read that I can easily see from my position in this chair….and the number is 34!!

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