Book Problem

There are a ton of ways to hear about a new book.  On TV, in the newspapers, in magazines, on blogs, browsing the internet, browsing in stores, and even better, by word of mouth.  There is nothing I love better than to have someone tell me about a good book they’ve enjoyed.  If they are enthusiastic enough, what will I do?  Probably buy it, even thought I know all too well what I already have in my To Be Read pile.

Friday, yet another one arrived via the UPS truck, and I sort of cringed.  Something has gone awry with my ability to manage, organize, and move through reading materials.  Back in the day, (when I was working the nine to five job) I subscribed to one magazine, and I typically had no more than about two or three books to read at any given time.  I didn’t buy more until I had read them, and I kept up with my one magazine (RUNNER’S WORLD) each month.  My night stand held the current magazine issue, maybe a couple back issues, and the current book I was reading.  That was it.

When the book arrived on Friday, I opened the package, took it out and went upstairs.  I stared at the other books yet to be read, dismayed by the sheer numbers.  I looked at several months worth of back issues on the magazines (plural!!) I’ve subscribed to as well.  Maybe I have a problem?  Buying books when I still have so many, plus, subscribing to four different magazines (all related to writing).  I mean, I can barely stay ahead of the pile of books, much less read the magazines.

Maybe you’re wondering just how many, like maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here.  Well, I went ahead and counted them.   Might as well face reality, and it’s fifty.  FIFTY brand new books, I haven’t bothered to crack open.  What is going on??  I mean, I’m reading, constantly…, but it also appears I succumb to buying more if I hear of one receiving rave reviews in the genre of my current WIP.  I fold like a lawn chair and off to Amazon I go.  Here’s what’s even worse.  When I took the latest one upstairs, I started trying to organize all of them somewhat, and found I hadn’t even taken one out of the Amazon package yet.  It was like opening a Christmas present…, I had no idea what book was inside.  (Hilary Mantel‘s WOLF HALL – I don’t even know why I bought it, except I bought BRING UP THE BODIES, and I must have heard something about this one… *sighs heavily.*  See what I mean??)

I feel like the woman who buys too many shoes…, or dresses, or bathing suits, or whatever.  I have to stop.  I have to get this crazy book buying thing under control.  And I need to let a couple of the magazine subscriptions expire.  It’s worrisome at the very least, and downright irresponsible at most.  It wears on me because I know they are sitting there, these brand new books, that need to be read.  They aren’t supposed to be dust collectors.  At the same time, I don’t want reading to be a chore, as in,  I MUST READ THESE, like when you need to scrub the bathroom.

I’ve decided I’ve got to exercise a little self control here, and read what I have before I buy more.  I think this will be harder to do than I realize.   I’m bothered by the fact I don’t know why I bought most of them at this point.

There had to be good reason…, or maybe it was just word of mouth…, or something.

Can you relate?


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