Sunday Salon: The Un-Read Blues

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Stack of books next to my bed - a few re-reads, but most of them never-read
Almost every book lover I know bemoans the fact that they have more books than they can read. And yet we keep requesting more review copies, buying stacks and stacks at bookstore sales, adding to our already hefty list of books on hold at the library. Why did I check out five books to take home this week when I already have this stack next to bed, not to mention the hundred or so unread books on my Kindle (don't worry, most of them are public domain)?

I've been thinking about this, and I think I have the answer - at least in my own case. Once I buy a book, it is mine. I am not someone who gets rid of books once I read them - my husband and I want to have a library once we have a house, and I love re-reading and referencing things that I have read. Ownership of that book gives me a sense of relief - no matter what, I will get to it eventually because it lives with me. It is there, staring at me when I wake up in the morning no matter what, so I don't have to worry about forgetting I wanted to read it or end up in a situation where it is inaccessible to me.

Books I don't own, on the other hand, could get away. I could forget that I wanted to read it, or I could move somewhere with a crappy library, or I could get on hold for the book and never make it through the list (something that has actually happened to me, although not at the lovely Provo Library, which is as perfect a library as I could hope for, even though I do have to put almost everything I want on hold). These unowned books are elusive, and I must therefore read them as soon as possible - if I don't get my hands on them and read them, they could slip away.

So I'm sorry, neglected little stack next to my bed. I still love you - it's just that I feel so comfortable with you. I know that you'll never leave me. However, I'll try not to take you for granted and give you the attention you deserve.


  1. Yes, I think there is something comfortable about owning a book. "It's mine, and I can read it any time I want to read it." That sort of thing.

    Here's my Sunday Salon for this week:
    Sunday Salon: New York! New York!
    And don't forget the Readerbuzz August Giveaway!

  2. Oh, I can totally relate to that to get through the TBRs. But you're right. As long as we own them, we will never be without something to read. Which is why I seldom get rid of books that I own. I could say "never," but this past year, I did donate a few shelves to the library...and they were books that I knew I would never reread.

    And I needed to clear shelves for newer books.

    I have Old TBR stacks and New TBR stacks. Mine by the bedside resemble yours...I have 66 in the old stacks, but I try to trick myself by moving a few into the office, thinking that this will improve their chances of getting read in the near future. Sometimes that works.

    I love the feeling of being surrounded by books, no matter how "cluttered" my daughter thinks my place looks!


  3. I am the exact same way! If I own the book, I don't worry so much about getting it read, because it will be there when I decide to read it.

  4. I think you nailed it perfectly!

  5. So glad to hear I am not the only one out there with books that I own (and therefore will probably read). The shelves of the unread stare at me everyday yet my list of books to buy is also growing!

  6. I know exactly what you mean. There are a ton of books in my house that I wanted so badly that I was prepared to buy them, and I still haven't read them.

    Good luck with your reading piles!

  7. Yes, exactly what you said! I agree!


  8. Oh, you are speaking to this reader's heart. I have the same problem. But I think of it this way - books don't have an expiration date. :)

  9. Thanks for explaining that to me - I completely agree with your assessment. And yes, I have that same pile of books, purchased and unread, stacked on the floor in my writing room :)

  10. I know how you feel. I think I buy too many books, but there is nothing like owning it. It's like proof that you've read it.

  11. Exactly! I tried to explain to someone once that I buy books that I want to read, but once I own them I know I can take my time about getting to them. If I don't buy them, what if I forget that I wanted to read them? And that why I have a spare room with almost 900 books in it, and I haven't even read half of them...

  12. I have a library! I don't own my house, but we have a nice rental house and I have a tiny spare bedroom with one chair and a few bookcases in it but it's still my library :P

    I'm the same way as you, and I also prefer to own books over getting them out from the library. I have about 300 unread books that I own - oops!

  13. I'm the same way! Once I own a book I know it will be there, but there's a deadline on those other books. :) Last time I counted I own about 400 books that I haven't read. It's something I need to work on.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...