Julie, in the dovegreybooks Yahoo Group so many of my bookish suggestions come from, emailed a link to this article today, about tbr (to-be-read) piles, and the Credit Crunch Beating tactic of reading books already on the shelves, rather than buying new ones. Or rather, his article was all about the difficulty of doing this. The article has a veritable plethora of links to other relevant blogs and articles, and I’m adding another link to the chain – but do go and read what Sam Jordison wrote; it might strike a chord.
This has come up recently. I know some regular Stuck-in-a-Book readers are noble folk who don’t buy in haste, use libraries, read books on the bookcase before heading to the local bookshop. More of us, perhaps, are inveterate book buyers.
Now, (Ooo, semi-political tone alert) I don’t really think the Credit Crunch is *quite* as world-shaking as the newspapers would have us believe. The very rich are getting slightly less rich; the rest of us have to pay more for petrol and pasta, apparently, but it’s not 1929 and I’m still going to buy books. What Jordison, and Bookninja who inspired the article, have trouble with is not wanting to read the books on their bookshelf. Sometimes not with the best of reasons… I quote:
As I scanned my shelves, I found I had convincing arguments why I shouldn’t read each one of the orphans — or convincing to me anyway. I rejected a book called “English, August,” by Upamanyu Chatterjee because it is, after all, November. No to “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” by Robert Tressell because the book jacket says it’s about “the desperate lives of working people.” No to “The Unconsoled” by Kazuo Ishiguro because I heard it wasn’t nearly as good as “Remains of the Day” or “Never Let Me Go.”
Not the problem, here. I really, really want to read so many of my books. Time is the thing. And having to read books for Book Groups or university or… or…
Shall we take a little look at my Must Read Very Soon shelf? It’s a step above the To Be Read pile, which currently stands at about 500 books or so. I think I’ll talk you through it tomorrow… the books I should have read before the end of 2009, we’ll call it, for that is as urgent as things can get in the book-filled mania of my reading life.