On the 14th Feb I posted a small tweet that signified quite a large change to the way that I approach my reading, my book list and therefore this blog!!
I have diverged from my currently owned list of books quite a bit recently, buying and reading a few new ones (Heaven forfend)! This is mainly due to the increasing success of my fellow writers in the club that I go to, but I suppose that going to a writing club begets more literary friends and therefore more bookish activities and events (all good there then 🙂 ) The downside to this happy evolution is that I keep going to book launches, buying books and therefore adding them to my list. The further-further downside is that they never get added to the end, always becoming the next book for me to read. Whether traditionally published or indie published, new books kind of require that they are read quite soon. They call out to me, a bit like the books in the libraries in Ankh-Morpork or Hogwarts.
I have also read some books on my list that I was not able to complete. Firstly Anna Karenina by Tolstoy; I really enjoyed it, but got half way through and couldn’t stomach any more without a break. I will go back to it, eventually!! I also didn’t manage to complete Enchanter’s End Game by David Eddings. This one was more of a “not in the mood for it” failure. I have been repeatedly contravening at Rule 4!! of my own, self applied rules.
In the end, I looked at my To Be Read (TBR) list, and searched my soul. Some of the titles excited me and I wanted to read them NOW, and the others, well… I just didn’t. I therefore attacked my book shelves and my book list and pulled all of the padding out of it (sounds like a teddy bear!) I did this in the knowledge that I would have to write a post about it.
Rule 5.If I find a book that I really cant stomach I must give it to charity and blog about why I thought it would be awful without giving it the chance it deserves, nay, leading it into the expectation that I would read it by buying it, then spitefully only using it as a paperweight to hold my bookcase down (they are known to float off you know!)
What I did, in full conciousness of the fact, was to consolidate all of my potential “haven’t read a book” blog posts into one easy to manage confession; this post. I got rid of 43 books! And, there’s more to come! I only did the parts of my list which are in accessible bookcases. I know there is more to come when I venture into the loft!
And I’m not sorry, see! Not sorry at all. Hahahaha [slightly manic laughter]
Phew, calm again… The decision does still echo the sentiment of my original rules. I don’t want books that I will not read sitting gathering dust in my bookcase when they can be released to give someone else pleasure. All 43 books went off to the charity shop. To find new lives with new parents.
I suppose that I should provide a list of what I got rid of?? Well, maybe in expectation of other future change I actually added a tab to my spreadsheet entitled “got rid of.” You can go and look at the detail if you want. Feel free to agree with some of my choices or berate me for letting a classics slip through my fingers (?) Either way, they are gone. To maintain the succinctness of this post, I will categorise the jettisoned books into a few groupings and explain my reasoning:-
- People who’s books I’ve read enough of considering what else I have to read e.g.
- Count Zero by William Gibson – Nothing can beat Neuromancer.
- Some David Eddings; I loved you while I read you, but I can’t commit to fantasy in the volumes that you wrote it in. Sorry David 🙁
- Some C.J.Sansom
- Books I’m just plain never going to get round to e.g.
- Runes and Shamanism, yeh OK, that was a phase. I planned to read and see what the current me thought about all these subjects. As it happens, the current me has other things to read and write.
- A couple of Dalail Lama books also enter this category
- Day Skipper for Sail and Power – yep, I will let someone else drive!
- Bought in error
- Realizing Hope – Life Beyond Capitalism. I thought it was by Norm Chompsky. It wasn’t, the forward was!
That probably covers it. Sad but true…
To conclude, what does this mean for the future of my reading list? Who knows? The rules are still there, but as I write and read as a more integrated part of various groups, I will change and move with the times.
That’s life that is.