Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Desperate times and all that

When I posted my list of the library books that I have out for last week's Library Loot meme I know that I joked around a bit about how many books I had out, but the reality is that most of the time my reading is very much dictated by what book is due back to the library next, and I am often sitting here thinking well I have 6 (10, 12, insert relevant number here) books to read in the next x days, which adds a degree of pressure to my reading.

What this also mesns is that I have an awful lot of books that I have bought or otherwise acquired that I struggle to fit into the reading schedule. Authors whose work I know I love and therefore I buy as soon as I see them sit languishing on my TBR list for years before I finally get to read them.

Well, enough is enough. Tonight I was almost harsh with myself and went through and took a whole heap of books off of my library shelf, and will return them tomorrow. Can I tell you though, it was really, really hard, because there are books that I have will be taking back that I do want to read.

Part of the reason for doing this is that I really haven't been reading very much at all so far this year. I have only finished three books, and I am not really all that close to finishing the next book either. With it being school holidays, I have to be at childcare half an hour earlier at night which means that catching the train is problematic and so I have been driving to work (it also doesn't hurt that the price of petrol has come down so far), and so I have lost three hours of reading time every day. At the end of this week I go on vacation for two weeks, and I know from the past that I read even less when I am not working so I have removed a lot of books where the library due date was before the end of the month.

My criteria for keeping books was that they are the next book in a series that I am reading, they are a challenge book, group read, or they are books that I really, Really, REALLY want to read.

That doesn't mean to say that the books I am taking back are not ones that I want to read because they are, and there is always a fair chance that I will reborrow at least some of them in the short term future, but for the time being I need to give myself a little breathing space.

Given that this was originally supposed to be my Library Loot post for this week, I will say that I did pick up four books this week:

The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts (next book in a series)
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (really want to read it before seeing the movie)
The Mysteries of Glass by Sue Gee (challenge book)
Out Stealing Horse by Per Petterson (group read)

By the time actually put all the books in the library slot that I am returning, I will have gone from having 53 books out down to 36 books out. It's still a lot, and I guess in due course I will try to get it down a bit further, but for now, it's a start.


  1. I'd feel overwhelmed if I had over 50 books out of the library, or even 36 but that's a prety good cut to begin with. Sounds like you have a reasonable plan. Happy reading in 2009.

  2. Sheesh. 36 sounds like a HUGE number to me!! Good luck keeping your library list down. It will be a struggle!!

    I was watching the news today and they were talking about a rash of Great White attacks in Australia. I don't know exactly where you live, but stay away from the water!!

  3. I always get way more at the library than I can read. I'm feeling much like you so far this year--I've only read an average of 15 minutes a day so far there's so much other stuff I need to do. I hope you enjoy Coraline--at least it's a short one!

  4. I've been there. A few years back, I was borrowing so many books from the library that I wasn't getting through any of the books I actually owned. I've slowly cut down over the past couple of years, though, and I hope to start making some real progress on the books I own this year.

    Good luck with all your library stuff! As Chain Reader said, Coraline is very good. I've read it a couple of times now, and just finished the graphic novel adaptation.

  5. I would have gone crazy with worry if I had over 50 books checked out at the library. I have 3 kids, one would bound to get lost.

    3 books read this year is a lot better than I have - 1 chapter. I blog to much now, that I haven't made time for reading.

  6. *low whistle at the amount of books* We're allowed something like five books per section. That's a heck of a lot of books to borrow.

    Good luck with the library stuff! (And I hope you enjoy the lot of them!)

    (Er, also, hi. ^-^)

  7. I experience the same thing-library books get the priority, because they have due dates!

    And you'll love Coraline. :D

  8. Sounds like a good plan. I know I've had to do the same thing in the past.

  9. I really liked Coraline, cant wait till the film comes out.
    53 books out is alot! Were allowed 12 per person at my library.

  10. I know exactly how you feel. Library books come first and that's why I have over 200 unread books that I own but somehow I can't help but order a more library books every week!

  11. I return them on a regular basis Marg and then put them on my request list again. My library doesn't charge for holds - might be better for me if they did!

  12. I always have a bunch of books checked out. It makes me happy to have a bunch of choices but that is just me ;) I'm planning on reading Coraline this year so I'll be looking forward to your thoughts!

  13. I think checking out 50 books is overwhelming for me. Even 36 books too. I used to do what you did, check out so many that when it times for the due date to arrived - that I never get to read half of the books that I check out. So I've been checking out less books now. Probably 3 books. But sometime the pressure is too high that I am forced to read library books first before my TBR pile books. And other times, even with 3 books, I never have the chance to read them. So I would renewal it again and again.

    And books that I have return unread, doesn't mean I don't want to read them either :)

    Happy reading on the 4 books that you just picked up!

  14. Marg - I think you did a smart thing. Too much reading pressure takes all the pleasure out of it and, after all, isn't that why we read books in the first place?

    Take the pressure away and I certainly hope you enjoy your reads now!

  15. Marg since I don't have your email to send this privately I thought I would leave you a message here. You know msn is closing there doors next month. At the group A Bookworm hangout you had some pics of your son there. When shawnee migrated the group to multiply the pictures migrated over. Would you like to have the pictures deleted? All I need to do is have shawnee or Suz delete them. Let me know.

  16. I love love love going to the library and checking out books!! That's why I joined the Library Challenge this year. I don't think I've reached 50 yet - but I have been close.

    Seems to me like we have the same addictions!!! Library, challenges, blogs - LOL.

  17. Hello Marg. Just letting you know I have given you an award. in appreciation of all the help you've given me.

  18. Hi. how are you now my friend? Its me your classmate kristen.. Remember me? I visit your blog it so very nice and cool.. try also visit my blog.



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