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Thursday, August 12, 2010

On the non-buying of books ...



































So ... those are my bookcases. Some of my bookcases. There's more, but taking pictures involves moving boxes, and I couldn't be bothered.

Anyway ... I've developed a really bad habit lately of buying books. And that may not sound all that bad, but books are expensive here. Plus, I have all of these books already and I've only read 19 books this year.

The other picture there – of the pile of books on the bed? Those are the books I've bought so far this year (I took the picture before I bought Kraken) and I haven't read any of them. I mean – I've read some of them in the past, like To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Princess Bride, but certainly not since buying these particular copies. As for the rest – there are some very interesting-looking reads in that pile.

So. This is what I'm going to do: No buying books – of any kind – until after December 31. No new books. No secondhand books. No 50c withdrawn books at the library. Because that defeats the purpose of a book-buying ban. And I could say 'but a 50c withdrawn book from the library doesn't add much ...' but it does. It adds another book to the pile of books I'm already not reading.

And I have some amazing books there, just waiting. I'd do a library ban, but that's really not going to happen, so I'll stick with a book-buying ban, with Mockingjay being the one and only exception I can make for myself between now and December 31.

I'm still reading American Gods and The Two Towers. I still have Horns by Joe Hill and Gone with the Wind on the nightsand as well. And oh, so many more books ...

I bought Kraken, and that's my last purchase for the year. As an example of how expensive books are – Kraken was $40. So was The Passage. That's a lot of money to be spending every week on books that I'm just stacking up on my nightstand. On average, standard paperbacks are about $25. That adds up. And I love books, love new books; love discovering new authors and great reads.

But I also love finding buried treasures. And I have so many treasures already on my shelves, just waiting to be unearthed.


Now. On a completely unrelated note, although it's still about books, so perhaps a slightly related note, I'm planning on doing my classic-a-month challenge that got me into book blogging in the first place. I don't really have a list in mind yet, but I was talking to Eva from http://astripedarmchair.wordpress.com/ about it and she mentioned something about diversity, which got me thinking.

So what I'm after, followers, readers and commenters, is suggestions for classics from around the world – any culture; any genre; fiction or non-fiction. I'm looking to expand my literary horizons.

12 comments:

Suey said...

I really need to ban myself too, and I feel like I don't do a whole TON of buying, but whatever it is I do, it's too much and I can't keep up! Good luck to you!

Fyrefly said...

My problem is not so much with the book-buying (I've got myself trained to not go into the library when the booksale is open) but with the bookmooching. Even though I have to pay to send books out to get points, when I mooch a book, my brain goes "ooooh, free books!", and I wind up with an enormous TBR pile. Good luck with your ban!

Jodie said...

You got Kraken then. I am still curious about those squid.

Classics from around the world...there are the Russians but they're a bit obvious. The classics circuit might be a good place to look, they ran a whole Harlen Renaissance tour: http://classics.rebeccareid.com/previous-tours/

How about Arabian Nights or The Epic of Gilgamesh? I'm sure there must be more, but my brain is blanking.

Maree said...

Suey: That's my problem too
Firefly: I've never used bookmooch - I have a feeling it would be a bad idea - lol
Jodie: Yes, I did. I still want to read it. Plus: GIANT SQUID. How bad can it be? Oooh, good idea! I'll trawl their archives - thanks!

Rachel said...

I have the same problem so I joined a book buying ban for July. I didn't buy one book! Which for me is an achievement. Head over to 25 Hour Books if you want to join the August ban. I found the community support really helped.

You can find that here: http://www.25hourbooks.com/2010/08/book-buyers-anonymous-august-sign-up/

Rachel
And the plot thickens...

Amused said...

Good luck with your ban! I find the best thing when I do a ban is buy the books that I want as gift for others and then ask to borrow it if they like it ;)

Chris said...

Wow! That is HORRIBLY expensive for books!! :( That's so sad :( But YOU HAZ KRAKEN!!! I want teh Kraken!! I hope you enjoy it. Love you Maree :)

Maree said...

Rachel: Thank you! I'll be sure to check it out :-)
Amused: Lol good plan. Thank you :)
Chris: It's crazy. I wanted to make sure that the last book I got before the ban (apart from Mockingjay - lol) was one that I REALLY wanted. But for now I can't justify the cost - not when I have stacks of books already just waiting for me ... I'll let you know what Kraken is like :)

jennysbooks said...

I am on a more or less permanent book-buying ban until I get a job and sort out my life...but I do the exact thing Amused does. I hope my friends and relations don't notice and mind. :p

Classics from around the world....hmmmm. Tricky. Have you read any poems by Rumi? It can be hard to find a real translation of him, but he writes beautiful poems.

Craig Ranapia said...

So what I'm after, followers, readers and commenters, is suggestions for classics from around the world – any culture; any genre; fiction or non-fiction. I'm looking to expand my literary horizons.

JunichirĊ Tanizaki's 'The Makioka Sisters' is a classic of 20th century Japanese fiction, and quite an interesting read on a number of levels.

Maree said...

jennysbooks: I never thought of adding poetry to my list - thank you!
Craig: Oooh, I'll track that down - that's exactly what I'm looking for, thank you!

leeswammes said...

Oh my, that are quite a lot of books! I can see why a book-buying ban may be in order. But also, you could try to read more: join in with some of the Read-A-Thons that take place regularly.

I'm jealous that you have The Passage and I can't believe you haven't read it yet. You just don't deserve more new books! ;-)