476 to 215

I did it.

I purged both my unread library and overall TBR list and I feel really good about it! I feel like the titles left are books I genuinely want to read and I’m not hanging on to them because I *should* read them, or they were given to me and I feel guilty.

It wasn’t easy, though. Purging my overall list was not too bad but seeing the books in my unread library, holding them and flipping through them, that part slowed me down. I wound up having to do about three pass-throughs to make sure I was really being honest with myself about what I would ever actually read.

Now I need to actually pick one of the books remaining and have a relaxing afternoon of reading!

 

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Drastic Decisions

I’m thinking about making a drastic decision. I’m talking a big, burn it all and start again kind of decision.

Gandalf

I’m thinking about slashing my TBR list into ribbons and getting rid of 90% of my unread library.

DW You've Got to be Kidding

Here’s the thing.

It doesn’t bring me joy. I look at it and I feel stress about all the books I want to read and haven’t yet. I flip through my notebook of titles and think about how I’ll never read them all because I add titles to it faster than I cross them out.

I’m not sure if I’ll follow through with this but it’s sorely tempting. I would absolutely set some ground rules for keeps. I’d keep books recommended to me by specific people whose tastes I know I can trust. I’d keep books by authors I know I love and want to read. All the other books, though? The ones I picked up on a whim because it sounded interesting? I’m not sure I’d miss them if they were gone. I don’t know that I’d say to myself “hey what about that one book about the thing? why didn’t I keep that one?”

There’s a lot of food for thought in this decision. I’ll keep you updated on my choice!

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A-Z Bookish Questions

I’m in a bit of a reading slump right now – I pick a book up, read a few pages, and nothing seems to want to click.

In the meantime, I thought it’d be fun to do a bookish survey! I found this one over at The Perpetual Page-Turner. It’s a few years old, but it was the first thing that popped up on Google so here you go!

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Clive Cussler – I have easily read 45 of his books. They’re formulaic as all get out but they’re fun and they’re easy, and I’ve been reading them since I was 11. I can’t stop now!

Best Sequel Ever:

I’m going to cheat here and say Lord of the Rings – I mean, it is technically a sequel to The Hobbit!

Currently Reading:

Nothing in particular. I am going to have to try and push through this slump though, it’s been two weeks now that I haven’t been able to settle on a book!

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Same as my drink of choice when I’m not reading – herbal tea.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I do vastly prefer physical books, but I won’t deny the convenience of an e-reader. I am hoping to get a new one soon, actually.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Oh dear. I was not one for good decisions in high school. Let’s go with Holden Caulfield. And I hate Catcher in the Rye, so that tells you something.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy. It’s the last book I finished and it was completely beyond what I was expecting and I really enjoyed it.

Hidden Gem Book:

The Lost Salt Gift of Blood by Alistair MacLeod. I picked it up on a whim and it blew me away.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

I suppose when I first began reading on my own. I’m not sure when that was, I feel like I’ve just always been reading. Oh dear, that’s a bit of a cop-out answer though, isn’t it?

Just Finished:

The last book I finished was The White Bone.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I just can’t even remotely find it in me to try contemporary paranormal romance. I’m sorry. I also don’t like self-help books very much.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin, at 1177 pages.

Major book hangover because of:

The one that still sticks out to me six years later is The Collector by John Fowles. I could not stop thinking about that book for weeks after I finished it.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Five that contain just my books. There are another two that are shared between my husband and I, and then he has a few more of his own.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

The Hobbit. I think I have read it half a dozen times perhaps, and I’m not much for rereading.

Preferred Place To Read:

I actually really enjoy reading on a long bus ride!

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“Your truth may not look like mine, but that is not what matters. What matters is this: You can look at a scar and see hurt, or you can look at a scar and see healing.”

A Gracious Plenty, by Sheri Reynolds.

Reading Regret:

Oh gosh, I am not sure! I try not to have regrets. Possibly all the books I never read.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):

The Sancti Trilogy by Simon Toyne. I picked up the first one on a whim and loved it, so I picked up the second and third. Unfortunately I read the first book about 5 years ago at this point so I may need to reread it first!

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

The Hobbit. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. He, She, and It, by Marge Piercy.

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Chevy Stevens. I LOVE her books. They’re twisty and clever and take place in the region I grew up in.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Chevy Steven’s newest, which is being published NEXT WEEK!

Worst Bookish Habit:

Dog-earing pages. I will try to appease your sensibilities by clarifying that I never do it to books that are not mine!! And it’s not like I don’t have bookmarks – I do! I just…always seem to find myself dog-earing.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Truly a book for our times.

Your latest book purchase:

War Hawk, by James Rollins. I love his Sigma series and I enjoyed Tucker and Kane’s appearances there so I am excited for their continued adventures.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

I’m not sure. I’m often kept up past by bedtime by fan-fiction, though!

 

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Purging unread books

The weather is unseasonably mild and rainy, so my brain has put itself firmly in the mindset of “it’s spring! it’s time to spring clean!”.

I’d been wanting to go through my unread library anyhow, so this weekend seemed like the right time. I started last night and just finished – and I’m quite happy with my results! I began with one rather messy BILLY bookcase and have ended with the same bookcase looking much neater. It’s been relieved of the weight of some 45 books – every one of them books I fully intended to read at one time.

read-everything

I realise it can seem daunting to get rid of books without reading them – who knows what joys you could be missing?! I get that, I really do! I approached this the same way I approached my recent clothing purge, with a sort of abridged KonMari method. Shelf by shelf, I pulled every book down and held it in my hands. I read the back of the book, I turned to a random page and read it to see if it made me want to keep reading. A lot of them very nearly sucked me in and distracted me from the goal at hand! Some of them didn’t, though. I also read Goodreads reviews to see if any of the books had big issues that I prefer to avoid. For example, one book I had picked up because it featured a dog? Turns out animal cruelty via scientific experimentation is a primary subject. No thank you!

gladiator-thumbs-down

Much like when I finished with my clothing purge, I now feel like when I look at my bookcase, I will see only books that I am excited to read. And who knows, maybe now I will have an easier time choosing something to read! (Yeah, right!)

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The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith

Kupersmith was only 25 when this evocative and lush book of short stories was published. It’s not that I hadn’t accomplished anything at 25, but I certainly was not publishing. Good for her, is what I’m saying.

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The Frangipani hotel is a magical collection of stories inspired by Vietnamese oral traditions, interwoven with modern-day sensibilities. Every story has a supernatural aspect, but you never feel like you are reading a fantasy or something that requires a suspension of disbelief. Her language is truly suggestive of the location and atmosphere of each story and I was transported within each one. This book receives a rating of 5 bowls of phở from me!

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Whoops?

No excuses here, just an apology for my year-long absence!

2016 was an eventful year for us all, and 2017 is shaping up to be just as eventful. Thankfully, there are always books to come home to.

I’m chugging right along in my annual Goodreads challenge. Last year’s goal was 100 and I made it to 93. I’m maintaining 100 as my goal for 2017 and so far I am on track, with 12 books read so far.

I’ve actually changed my reading style slightly this year. I’m trying not to multitask, focusing instead on one book at a time to better absorb what I’m reading. I’m also letting myself relax a bit with my reading choices. As always, the focus is on my constantly growing and shifting unread library, but I am also allowing myself the occasional reread and library books. I am trying not to get too caught up in checking items off a list that I forget to enjoy myself. I am also making a more conscious effort to read more minority voices and more non-fiction, both areas in which I tend to lack a bit.

I can’t promise regular updates, but I am absolutely going to endeavour to post more often than once a year in 2017!

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Booking Through Thursday – Multiples

This week on Booking Through Thursday, Deb asks about multiple copies of books.

Do you own multiple copies of any books? Why? Is it the format? Size? Just because you love it?

Do I ever!

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I currently have 10 copies of The Hobbit. As you can see, they are all different – and that’s why I have them! It began last summer when I found a vintage copy with a really cool 70’s-ish cover, and then I figured, well, I love the book so much, why not? I’ve found all of these at second hand shops except for the third from the left, which was the copy I started out with. I love the variety in cover art. The furthest on the left is actually full of art from the Rankin/Bass animated version!

I will probably continue to collect Hobbits as long as there continue to be so many beautiful editions out there!

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