Sunday, June 24, 2018

So Many Books, So Litle Time, Money, and So On

I "had to" go to Powell's the other day. My youngest was ending fifth grade a the school she's been in since kindergarten, and I wanted to give a gift to her teacher and her principal. Gift cards for books, obviously. While I was there, I figured I could also spend the $23 in credit I had on books for ME. Which is to say, books I want to read but can then put in my classroom library. It's the only way I can justify spending money on books when I have such a great library system.

$23 in books is not a lot, although the 20% off I get as an educator helps, as does my habit of scanning the remaindered books table first. As I browsed, I noticed one result of my being so disconnected from the book world this past spring--I didn't recognize most of the titles on the New Releases displays. Last year, I was always so excited to finally see these books I'd been waiting for.

I gathered up a supply of possible purchases and found a table so I could sort. This is what I started out with:

SO not going to fall under $23. Sigh. 

I skimmed Beloved Dog and Fetch. I got onto Goodreads and checked out reviews for Wildman and Look Who's Back. I examined The Bride Was A Boy back to front to be sure there weren't any images I'd get hauled in front of he school board to defend.

I read The Prince and the Dressmaker in its entirety, and enjoyed it. This caused some consternation when I was filling out the Google form I fill out after I finish each book. I neglected to create an option under "source" for "read it without buying it," so I went with "borrowed."

My final decision was to buy The Bride Was a Boy, Be Prepared, and All Summer Long. I can never keep enough graphic novels in my classroom. I figure I was on the right track, because my personal 12 year old has already read one and a half of them.

From there, I started to get ready for a 3 night weekend at the mountain with a group of friends. This was the initial stack I was looking at for that trip:

It seemed just a tiny bit ambitious. Even I can't read a George R. R. Martin book in a weekend. So I ended up just taking A Storm of Swords, the two new graphic novels, and I Am Alfonso Jones, a graphic novel I'd brought home from my classroom to read this summer. Then literally as we were walking out the door I realized I should bring the book I was currently reading (duh) too, so I added Murder on the Red River. My husband gave me a bit of a bad time when he saw my initial book stack, asking me if I'd just as soon go stay in a tent by myself and read instead of actually socializing with the friends we were going to spend time with, but joke's on him--the place we stayed had a TV and cable, so while everyone else was watching world cup soccer, I got a good chunk of Storm of Swords done. (And finished my mystery, and read one of the graphic novels.)

It is so impossible to ever get to all the books I want to read. There are so many good ones out there. Whether it's a new book by a beloved author, a book that will challenge my preconceptions, a fun read, the one everyone is talking about, one that sounds right up my alley, one that speaks to me for unknown reasons--every book has the potential to be a great find and an amazing reading experience. I have, presumably, only one lifetime, and people keep writing and publishing books, so there's no way to ever catch up. Still, of all the benefits of living in the modern world, the problem of too many books, not enough time, is one of the best aspects.

How do you handle the struggle? What influences your decisions about what to buy, what to borrow, what to read, and when? 

I'm sharing this on the Discussion Challenge link-up that Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts At Midnight run.


  1. If I lived in Portland I think I'd "have to" go to Powell's every week. As it is I go to our local indie about that often, which is excellent if not as big.

    How to decide what to read from the endless mountain? What to buy, what to borrow, etc.? I don't have your task of supplying a classroom library, but I do buy things I think my husband or son would like to read as well. I try not to buy books I can get from the library, so purchases are usually books I know I want to keep and reread, or ones i cannot borrow easily.

    As for what to read when, I have to be in the mood for whatever it is. All too often I get a book home and then the impulse is just not there to read it. But sometimes it comes back, even years later. I can certainly never complain I have nothing to read in the house.

  2. I hope you like your new books! I don’t have any bookstores nearby, so that helps me manage my book buying. If I want to go to a bookstore, it’s a multi-hour ordeal. I’m also broke, so most of the books I acquire are used. Basically, I read whatever I can find and afford.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. I can NEVER keep up with all of the books that I want to read. It's simply impossible! I just reach for what appeals to me in a given moment and try to enjoy as many books as I can in the time that I have!

  4. So many good books! Greetings from Witness Protection was one I want to get my hands on. I heard fantastic things.

  5. It's so hard to narrow down books once you've already grabbed a ton! You also have a lot more self-control than I do, lol. I try to avoid bookstores, but it's so hard... especially used bookstores. My library has a basement called The Book Seller, and they put extra copies/old copies down there and sell them for twenty-five cents. It's so hard not to buy everything! It would be perfect if you were trying to stock a classroom, or shelves at home... *coughs*

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

  6. Wait so you read The Prince and the Dressmaker at the bookstore? The whole thing? How long were you there? I just can't get over my amazement of that to process the rest. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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