Getting older is, of course, constant. But every year these things are marked. And this post marks another year for me.
It also means I’ve been reflecting, as people do on these occasions, and one thing that has really come to the surface is that I’ve got a little too ‘one-click’ happy.
Seriously. I’ve bought a scary amount of ebooks since my Kindle’s arrival. I’ve also been noticing a trend from doing The Readers podcast. There are too many books I want to read and not enough getting through them.
It’s not surprising really. It’s the nature of being a book addict and book blogger. But sometimes these things get out of hand. So I’ve come up with a couple of solutions. And if you listened to the latest episode of the The Readers you know what one of those is going to be.
The first one is that I’m initiating a book buying ban starting today (this includes all forms and non-fiction). That doesn’t sound that bad considering that I’m lucky enough to receive copies of books for review from publishers. But that doesn’t explain how I’ve bought and not yet read unread 38 novels ebooks this year (I’m not counting non-fiction or short fiction).
Some highlights include:
- Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories: Volumes I and II by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- 11.22.63 by Stephen King
- Napoleon’s Pyramids (Ethan Gage 1) by William Dietrich
- The Dogs of Rome: An Alec Blume Novel by Conor Fitzgerald
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World by Haruki Murakami
And it doesn’t explain either how I had a last minute panic last night and clicked and bought:
- Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) by Dorothy L. Sayers
- The Mystery of a Butcher’s Shop by Gladys Mitchell
- Tales of Horror and the Supernaturall by Arthur Machen
Or why I have a proper pile including:
- The Winter of Our Disconnect: How One Family Pulled the Plug on their Technology and Lived to Tell/Text/Tweet the Tale by Susan Maushart
- The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
- The Berlin Novels: “Mr Norris Changes Trains”, “Goodbye to Berlin” by Christopher Isherwood
- The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers
- Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense by Jack Dann, Nick Gevers
- This Night’s Foul Work by Fred Vargas, Trans Sian Reynolds
- White Noise by Don DeLillo
- The House on the Strand by Daphne Du Maurie
- A Study in Sherlock – Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon
These are all in a nice sculpture in front of me.
That’s quite a selection if I do say so myself and it doesn’t include that much SFF as I consider it my main staple reading diet and these represent a form of escapism or veering away from that.. You can also see there a book called The Winter of Our Disconnect, which bring me to the other things that inspired this challenge.
Thinking about what I do with my time. I want more time to read. I enjoy reading but I get distracted. I’ve also been thinking about other aspects of my life like my diet, clutter, and work. And slowly been trying to improve those parts of my life too.
One of the principles I’m slowly adopting is minimalism: reduce life to the essential. And it’s an ideal that I’m not following by constantly buying more books. So I think that reading 33 of my own bought books before buying any more is sensible. And I hope will teach me about enjoying what I have and appreciate why I wanted to buy them in the first place.
Not that I’m without books. I’ve got plenty. And the elephant in the room is that I get review copies from publishers. So this can’t be much of a challenge? I know it sounds daft but they are ‘work’ and the books I buy myself come with no obligations.
A subject we might touch on in Monday’s episode of The Readers, which is a blogging special with my usual co-host Simon from Savidge Reads and we’re being joined by Kim from Reading Matters.
But it’s not the quantity of books that’s really the issue. It’s hard to say buying this book is an essential when I already have a pile of other books I’ve bought that were also essential originally.
So the challenge has a wider roll in my life.
The second part is one in and one out on review copies. It’s another way of considering the essential nature of my available reading.
Though I’m not going that one stage further and reading only books that I’d read during the end of the world.
As someone that buy’s books on a whim. I’m going to find this hard.
Wish me luck!