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So Many Books…

December 28, 2009

This is a family of readers and book-lovers. Bryan and I LOVE books!

In fact, we’re seriously considering turning one of our spare bedrooms into a library/reading room. At this point, the prospect of more books entering this house is higher than another child.

We love perusing the local Borders and Barnes & Noble. Call us nerds. But pair that with dinner, and it’s a perfect date. It’s rare for us to leave a bookstore without a book in hand, or a list of ones to add to the Amazon.com shopping list.

When we were “young,” our annual vacation to Santa Barbara consisted of reading books at the beach for most of the day. (That was before dogs, baby and furloughs.) To us, this was vacation.

But with loving all things literary comes the invariable problems.

First and foremost, there are just so many books to read and so little time. I’ve instituted a new rule for myself with respect to books. I must finish the one I just bought (as well as the ones that came before that) before buying a new one. This is a form of torture for me. Right now, I have a shelf of not one, not two, but 12 books that need to be read before buying more.  I constantly remind myself to read those on my shelf first.

Second is the always-present issue of money. Without the birthday or holiday gift cards, I carefully plan my purchases in order to get the most out of my book budget. Aside from the weekly Borders coupon, Bryan and I have come up with two great ways to get the most books at a little or no cost.

Bryan is a big fan of the library. Aside from new releases, you can find nearly all books at some library branch around town. The other great way to find books is used bookstores. The Goodwill bookstores carry tons of books in all genres. A few weeks ago, I was so excited to find Piece of Work by Laura Zigman in hardcover for a mere $5.99. This was is my Amazon shopping cart for nearly two years! And there it was (along with several books that I’m convinced were donated from my shelves).

The third problem is storage. I have allowed myself two bookcases in my home office, and both are nearly full. I cannot buy more bookshelves, so if I’m not wild about a book, off it goes to my sister (also a literary lover) or Goodwill. I’m sure this will inevitably become a problem. But for now, the strategy works quite well.

All this talk of books makes me ready to read my nightly chapters before drifting off to sleep. Now if I can only get through Piece of Work without starring longingly at the many other books waiting in the wings…

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