Carole and I are awash in great books. We have stacks teetering on our nightstands that are calling for us to read them. We also have lots of new books staring at us, books lurking from the shelves, scads of new books stacked on the counters and tables — and after the “Year in Review” and “New in 2008” book lists being published in the past month, there’s more on the horizon.
What’s a reader to do? Well, in self-defense, a reader can call a moratorium on book purchasing. Carole and I have agreed to not collect new books in January.
I can’t say it will be easy for me. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking, looking at and pondering books.
Among my favorite pastimes is perusing the shelves of local thrift stores for that beautiful read-once hardback copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns or Water for Elephants.
I enjoy reading book reviews almost as much as the tomes reviewed and have discovered some incredible books before they hit the radars of book clubs.
I linger at My Borders and learn about what’s on the shelves (and what doesn’t belong there — which is a surprisingly high number, if the sloppiness of editing is as prevalent as cited in a recent New York Times book review article).
I regularly check out the books on assorted pages of Half.com and Amazon.com to see what’s out there: what’s selling, what’s rated by fellow readers, what’s on sale.
I visit my library’s list of award-winning books — and the more I search, the more awards and worthy recipients I discover from around the world.
Now, I did get some of the book-buying out of my system by using my gift certificates yesterday to purchase, among other things, The Vanishing of Esme Lennox.
My single possible stumbling block is People of the Book, which is set to hit the shelves today. I called Carole last week and asked her if she'd agree to allow a single purchase — and darned if she didn't say she could wait to purchase the book until she winnowed down her stack. I am weak.
However, I will try to resist the call of new books for at least a month. Carole and I have a few books we will be reading together and I have at least a half a dozen new novels from last year I haven’t even started. How can I enjoy a new Geraldine Brooks novel under the weight of so many excellent books? At least, that is what I will tell myself.
Wish me luck.