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 No 50c withdrawn books at the library.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 And I could say 'but a 50c withdrawn book from the library doesn't add much ...'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 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.


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:

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:

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 ;)

chrisa511 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 :)

Anonymous 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!

Anonymous 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! ;-)