Saturday, August 30, 2008

Read and Re-read...

For those of you who know me, you know I like to read. I always have. Growing up I was the odd kid who spent all his extra time in the local library. The public library was about two blocks from school. Often, I would get out of school, and walk to the library until my mom would call looking for me and the librarian would come tell me it was time to go home for dinner. I think I was the only kid in the world who would get into trouble for reading. One day my mom got mad and told me to get my nose out of that book and go outside and play. I replied by saying something to the effect of, most parents would be happy that their kid was reading. Not a popular response.

Now it's tough just finding the time to read. It's very cliche to say, "so many books, so little time." But it's so true. I have one bookcase that hold's recently read books and books I want to keep. Most are passed on to friends and co-workers. Then there's the unread bookcase. It's pretty full right now, and so I have to avoid going to bookstores - which is one of my favorite things to do.

Part of my problem when it comes to books is that I have serious closure issues. If I start a book, I MUST finish reading it. Even if it sucks or I find it really boring. I have books that I started reading years ago that still haunt me, begging to be finished.

Recently, I picked up a book when I was in Portland shopping at Powell's (aka the greatest bookstore in the world). I started reading it, and it seemed familiar. I thought maybe I read something else by the author that had recurring characters. But now that I'm 50 pages into it and committed to finishing it, I realize, I have read this book before. Dammit. Of course, I don't remember how it ended, so I'm stuck. I have to read it all the way through again to completion. Fortunately, it's been a good story. But not so good that I remembered buying it before.

So I guess I have to revamp that saying. So many books, so little time to read them a second time around.


Praers said...

Me too Me too! I have thousands of books in my house. Some I bought because they were cool to buy, like my 1953 copy of "How To Dress" and my book on training guard dogs. But then there are so many I acquired with full intentions to break their binds and dive in, but they still rest there, dusty and huffy as I walk past and move on to something new. I have those I just had to have and some I had as a child and can't part with. Then there are those I stack up on tables around the room so that I will read them only to use them as coasters during parties. But I have some that I want to escape with again, no excuses just something comforting like a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.
Yet in this current purge mode, I have set my standards to relinquish about a quarter of my collection - to good causes and not replace them. I have also recently been getting my reads from the library since some of the book club choices I am listed to read are not something I want to buy on a whim when I could just as easily save the $10. Love the blog and your posts and of course clustermaps - you are an international superstar.

callenstewart said...

Books are my only obsessive collection. I get excited in book stores. Even the smell of a bookstore is almost euphoric to me. Once I stopped in a bookstore in Portland and it was a total mess. Boxes of books stacked everywhere, some almost to the ceiling. You could barely walk through the aisles. Books were two and three deep on the shelves, the furniture was old and dusty. I was in absolute heaven!