Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Bookworm's Lament

One of the worst moments of my life happened the day I realized I would never be able to read all the books in the world. Don't laugh. I was just a kid, and I was devastated.

I'm seriously addicted to the written word. I've always needed scores of unread books on hand, just in case. Even with hardcovers and paperbacks overflowing my bookcases and end tables, I buy more. And then I go to the library and feed my craving with selections I wouldn't or couldn't buy but can't resist borrowing, just in case.

When my new living room furniture arrived, I knew I had to clear out some of my bookish clutter. Three boxes went to the used book sale at the local writers’ studio. Even so, there are three full bookcases downstairs and another bookcase upstairs. Only 10% of those books are keepers. And I have placed a hold on six books at the library (mainly because my husband will kill me if I start bringing books home again before I’ve cleared more bookshelf space).

Did I forget to mention I’m getting a Kindle for Christmas?

What do I read? Everything. Fiction and non-fiction. All genres. Traditionally published and self-published. Hardcovers, paperback, e-reader. My idea of Heaven is a big library with stacks that go on forever.

I recently finished State of Fear by Michael Crichton, an interesting piece of fiction with tons of footnotes and less-than-excellent dialogue. This novel is an opinion piece and a huge information dump on the global warming and climate change discussion. Do I recommend it? Well, maybe, sort of. I did stick with it until the end to see how it turned out. But it’s not my favorite Crichton novel.

Sunday I closed the cover on The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes. It will become part of my permanent library. Keyes compares “page fright” to “stage fright” and exposes the truth behind procrastination and what some call writer’s block. I'm guilty of serious procrastination, so Keyes' words hit close to home. There’s a lot to think about in this little book. I highly recommend it.

What’s next on my shelf? I'm going to read Flesh and Spirit by RMFW member and fantasy author Carol Berg. I’ve been collecting Carol’s books for a while now, so I have a little catching up to do. Her newest novel, The Soul Mirror, is scheduled for release on January 4, 2011.

So many books, so little time.



Mary Vaughn said...

I hear you! When I donated three boxes I brought home one. I figure I'm still ahead by two.
My office is the smallest bedroom in the house and the books are taking over. So more have to go.
Good luck.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Mary -- I couldn't fit all my books into my tiny office. There would be no room for me.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll check out "The Courage to Write." Not a fan of learning lessons while reading fiction :), so I'll skip Crichton's book.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks be coming by, Elizabeth. You'll enjoy The Courage to Write, although from what I know about you, you already have that fear thing under control. With two great mystery series going under two names, you'll on a roll.

Tamela Buhrke said...

My local used book store loves me. I am always coming in with boxes of books... making room for the new boxes of books that I will be buying. :-)

Thanks for reminding us how much we love them!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Tamela -- our library system holds a huge three-day used book sale every year in the mall, and AAUW does the same. I always take home a bag of books.

j. a. kazimer said...

Enjoy your Kindle. I recently purchased a nook, and am so in love with it, we're talking about moving to Vermont so we can marry. :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

LOL, J.A. My Kindle arrived today, and now I'm trying to decide if I can really wait for Christmas or if I need to open it right away. I'm thinking right away...

j. a. kazimer said...

Right away! Like right now! Forget Christmas, celebrate World AIDS Day instead with the gift of a super cool e-reader. Or if that doesn't work for you, it is the first day of Hanukkah. Hmmm...as I type this, I'm guessing the box is already ripped open and fifty books have already been downloaded.