Thursday, April 07, 2005

Books and More Books

One night, a few weeks ago Brenden came over for dinner and a bit of New Tetris. At some point during the night, we were talking about books and he asked the seemingly innocent question "So how many books do you have that you still haven't read".

I didn't really know off the top of my head, but guessed it to be a lot. Maybe 15, 20? I don't recall if I said it or not, but I was thinking "No more then 30, certainly".

Today, the local library was running a book sale and Linzy picked me up 6 books for 42 cents a piece. Looking at the stack of books on the kitchen table got me thinking again about all the unread books in my imaginary queue.

So how many unread books do I really have lying around?


That is insane.

Since I started this blog almost a year ago, I've posted reviews on 20 books (18 posts, one for three books). Even if I read 4 books in the next month, which isn't likely, I would still have more books on hand then I could read in the next 3 years. And that doesn't even count all the books I'll likely receive for my Birthday/Christmas, or that I will want to get because I've been waiting for them for 4 years (I'm talking to you George R.R. Martin).

Somewhat in my defense, a significant number of the unread books (probably over half) were actually given to me by a co-worker years ago. He brought a big cardboard box full of books to give away into work, and somehow I ended up getting all the science fiction and fantasy ones. So that put me significantly in the hole to begin with. Plus, since a bunch of those books aren't anything I would have picked out for myself, they keep getting bumped down the list in favor of newer books. Most of the remaining books were picked up over the years at various garage sales, book sales, the $1 table at Half-Priced Books, etc.

Years and Years ago, when I had a lot more leisure reading time, I had a lot of books but had read all of them at least a few times (keeping only my favorites). More recently it seems that while my reading pace has slowed, my bargain hunting for books has not.

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