There are a ton of ways to hear about a new book. On TV, in the newspapers, in magazines, on blogs, browsing the internet, browsing in stores, and even better, by word of mouth. There is nothing I love better than to have someone tell me about a good book they’ve enjoyed. If they are enthusiastic enough, what will I do? Probably buy it, even thought I know all too well what I already have in my To Be Read pile.
Friday, yet another one arrived via the UPS truck, and I sort of cringed. Something has gone awry with my ability to manage, organize, and move through reading materials. Back in the day, (when I was working the nine to five job) I subscribed to one magazine, and I typically had no more than about two or three books to read at any given time. I didn’t buy more until I had read them, and I kept up with my one magazine (RUNNER’S WORLD) each month. My night stand held the current magazine issue, maybe a couple back issues, and the current book I was reading. That was it.
When the book arrived on Friday, I opened the package, took it out and went upstairs. I stared at the other books yet to be read, dismayed by the sheer numbers. I looked at several months worth of back issues on the magazines (plural!!) I’ve subscribed to as well. Maybe I have a problem? Buying books when I still have so many, plus, subscribing to four different magazines (all related to writing). I mean, I can barely stay ahead of the pile of books, much less read the magazines.
Maybe you’re wondering just how many, like maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here. Well, I went ahead and counted them. Might as well face reality, and it’s fifty. FIFTY brand new books, I haven’t bothered to crack open. What is going on?? I mean, I’m reading, constantly…, but it also appears I succumb to buying more if I hear of one receiving rave reviews in the genre of my current WIP. I fold like a lawn chair and off to Amazon I go. Here’s what’s even worse. When I took the latest one upstairs, I started trying to organize all of them somewhat, and found I hadn’t even taken one out of the Amazon package yet. It was like opening a Christmas present…, I had no idea what book was inside. (Hilary Mantel‘s WOLF HALL – I don’t even know why I bought it, except I bought BRING UP THE BODIES, and I must have heard something about this one… *sighs heavily.* See what I mean??)
I feel like the woman who buys too many shoes…, or dresses, or bathing suits, or whatever. I have to stop. I have to get this crazy book buying thing under control. And I need to let a couple of the magazine subscriptions expire. It’s worrisome at the very least, and downright irresponsible at most. It wears on me because I know they are sitting there, these brand new books, that need to be read. They aren’t supposed to be dust collectors. At the same time, I don’t want reading to be a chore, as in, I MUST READ THESE, like when you need to scrub the bathroom.
I’ve decided I’ve got to exercise a little self control here, and read what I have before I buy more. I think this will be harder to do than I realize. I’m bothered by the fact I don’t know why I bought most of them at this point.
There had to be good reason…, or maybe it was just word of mouth…, or something.
Can you relate?