I have these lovely IKEA bookcases—5 of them. FULL. Actually, they were full until I culled back by 2 entire bookcases worth of books. Those bookcases made their way into the kids’ play and create space and house their books, games, art supplies and such.
I won’t tell you how many books I have in the to-be-read pile.
(Including the Kindle, 47. Including books I checked out of the library, 53. Including the book I just ordered from half.com, 54.)
(I have a problem with books.)
I find books in all the usual places—your Barnes & Noble, your Amazon.com. I also love half.com and alibris.com. Also the Salvation Army Thrift Store, the Friends of the Library weekly book sale, paperbackbookswap.com, the consignment store, the Friends of the Library weekly book sale in the town over, the local used bookstore, the distant used bookstore, my sister’s bookshelf when she is otherwise occupied. I have a computer folder full of PDF eBooks I downloaded from different blogs I follow. Did you know that you can borrow eBooks from the library? I do. And you can get practically anything via interlibrary loan. I have 53 books checked out of the library right now. Granted, about 40-something of those are for the kids. They each have a blossoming problem with books.
(My son got a book-light in his stocking. He’s teaching himself to read after he goes to bed. I’m not making that up. All my efforts for naught—he’s just doing it himself. That’s the way they do it, I am learning. Or maybe they are teaching me?)
I am ecstatic to read Dear Life by Alice Munro—she said she was retiring several years ago and hasn’t and THANK THE UNIVERSE for that! Munro tells a story in such a way that you are completely absorbed and in the end you have no idea how she just did what she did but you know it was extraordinary. I received Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver for Christmas and it is sooooo delicious so far. Her prose is an inspiration. I am on a Louise Erdrich kick and if you’ve never read any of her work run to one of the book-getting outlets I mentioned above and GET SOME. I am just about done with Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry and he’s another one who writes in such simple, lovely way that in the end you simply marvel. I’ve got The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, a bunch of homeschooling books, a book called Gilded which recounts the rise of Newport, RI’s high society and the development of their mansions (or “cottages” as they called them). I have The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields which I have attempted to read a number of times, but it won’t penetrate my brain. I’m giving it one more shot. I just received The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty from half.com—a copy from 1979. Pretty funky! Oh! And The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg from the library which is SO good so far.
Believe it or not, I am a really picky reader. If I start a book and the story isn’t grabbing me, I stop reading—life is too short to read a book you don’t like. If the prose is blah, I quit. If I can see what the writer is attempting to “establish,” I’m done. I know I sound like a jerk. I am snooty about books.
I have been saying for years that I will not buy any more books until I have read the ones I already have. I really mean it this time.
(No, I don’t.)
What are you reading right now?