$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.