As for me, I didn't get many directly bookish gifts, although the super soft sweatshirt that says "Coffee Till Cocktails" on it is a great thing to wear while reading, and the See's candy is a great thing to eat while reading. But I DID get a gift card to Powell's from my darling winemaker, and of course I had to rush right out and use it today.
Even though I have:
- 33 items checked out from the library
- 16 more requested or on hold
- easily 50 books from my classroom library lurking in various corners of the house
- about a dozen books I own but haven't read
- and I just re-joined Book of the Month and got a FREE BOOK with my renewal, so I have two brand new books that arrived on my porch today.
What was I saying?
Oh yeah, my book haul.
With just a little help from my own wallet, I was able to get three books. Yes, I wrote this whole big post about what cool things I'd get at Powell's besides books, but I just didn't feel like knick-knacks were what this gift was intended for. Although I did linger for a few moments beside these glorious mugs.
First I pulled about 20 books off the shelf to consider. These were books that I want to read, books that seem substantial enough that I might actually read more than once, books I want to support, books that I think I can re-sell if I DON'T want to re-read them, books from my TBR that were on sale, etc. I sat down with all of them, handed my daughter the latest Phoebe and Her Unicorn to read while I sorted and decided, and got to work. First, look it up on my library catalogue. How many holds did it have? If none, then I don't need to buy it. I also looked at Goodreads--how long had I been wanting to read it? What was its rating? I found a few more books I specifically wanted to look for and went back out into the stacks. By the time I got back, the kid had switched to Subway Surfer on her device. I continued on, undeterred.
These are the books I eventually put back:
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven--Sherman Alexie (The only one I've read before.)
The Reader--Traci Chee (Put it back because it used up my entire gift card and because I was trying to NOT get a book that was really for my classroom.)
All the Things we Never Knew--Sheila Hamilton
Shadow Tag--Louise Erdrich
A Gentleman in Moscow--Amor Towles (Put it back when I remembered I'd just ordered it from BOM!)
The Underground Railroad--Colson Whitehead
The Best American Mystery Stories 2016--edited by Elizabeth George. (Put it on hold at the library instead.)
The Master and Margarita--Mikhail Bulgakov
In a Dark, Dark Wood--Ruth Ware
The Paris Wife--Paula McClain
Reservation Blues--Sherman Alexie (Okay, I might have read this too, when I first discovered Alexie in about 1991)
A Spool of Blue Thread--Anne Tyler
Avenue of Mysteries--John Irving
I think any of these would have been good choices, but I went with these.
Girl Waits With Gun because Lory at Emerald City Book Review really liked it, and it's been awhile since I've read a 1920s mystery. Plus, the cover is terrific, and it has like a million holds at the library.
The Almost Nearly Perfect People because I've never heard of it before, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Scandinavia, and the blurb compares it to Bill Bryson's writing.
The Year of Reading Dangerously because it's the one I could afford after choosing the first two, adn I have been wanting to read it, and again--I'm a sucker for black and white and red and vintage-y.
You may notice that all of this is more serious, more literary, more nonfictional, and just generally more adult than most of what I read. But that's the thing about buying books for myself. I can't justify it for something I'm going to spend a few hours one afternoon on.
Oooh, and as I was wandering the store, I came across these beauties:
Also, have I ever told you about the time I was doing a massive shelf cleaning, took a bunch of books to Powell's, and accidentally sold my signed, personalized copy of her book of essays reflecting on her own writing? I feel like I don't deserve any other books by MY FAVORITE AUTHOR after doing that.
(Oh, and when I got home today, I opened my BOM box and saw that I'd gotten The Sun is Also a Star and A Gentleman in Moscow.)
Coming very soon: a survey in which you tell me what to read next. Sheesh.