This week, the brilliant bloggers of The Broke and The Bookish asked us to list ten books we'd be right this second if someone handed us a fully loaded gift card.
It just so happens that my mother-in-law gave me a check for my birthday, and I planned to use a big chunk of it to buy books, so this was not as theoretical of a question as it could have been.
As I wandered the bookstore, phone open to my TBR list on Goodreads, I had an important realization. I don't see much point in buying books for myself.
WHAT?!? you screech. NO POINT IN BUYING BOOKS?!?
Allow me to explain.
--If I want to read a work of fiction, I can check it out at the library and read it, then return it to them for storage. Should I ever need to re-read it, it will still be there. As a side bonus to not buying every book I read, my children will still be able to eat, and it will be possible to walk through my house without being crushed by a tower of books.
--I used to buy and keep reference books. Gardening books, hiking guides, that sort of thing. But now, with the internet serving updated information at my demand, I see no need to add to my collection.
--Professional books I can usually talk my principal into buying.
In short, the only books I can justify actually laying down money for are ones I will bring into my classroom.
Only slightly mollified, you tone the shriek down a bit and demand But what if the book is so popular you are 173rd in line to check it out at the library? Or what if it's so rare the library doesn't have it?
Honestly? There are over a thousand books on my TBR. I do not NEED to read any book right this second. Or rather, I do need to read about fifty books right this second, so I will work on the first 49 while I move up the holds list for the 50th. And if it's that rare, and I'm that interested, yes I can hunt it down and order it. But given the whole abundance-of-things-I-want-to-read-that-are-readily-availble thing, I'm only likely to do that if the book is, yes, one I can bring into my classroom library after I've read it.
In practical terms, this means that I wandered around the bookstore with money to burn, bought three YA novels and a really nice booklight, and called it good. I also ordered a bookish t-shirt from Society6 and plan to get a Powell's shirt too. That will be my entire birthday check, spent on book-related items. Huzzah!
1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
I can't find my copy of this, and I didn't get a chance to read it before I misplaced it, so I got it again.
2. The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
I found out about this book soon after I'd sent in my wishlist for my classroom library. It was one of a dozen or so books I read the first chapter of while I was in the bookstore, and it made the cut.
3. We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
Another book that passed the first-chapter test that day. It may be a little too high school for my middle school classroom, but that is a grey area where I do let myself buy books.
4. This light, since my bedroom is gloomy at night.
5. This shirt, which sums up my life philosophy.
6. And, probably, this one, for a little local love.