Despite my stated goal of reducing the to-be-read (TBR) stack of books I own, the theme of 2016 could easily be summed up in the title of this post. Never mind that my closet shelves already groaned beneath the weight of books I just HAD to have, never mind that even a rapid reader would literally have reading material for years, I have gone and purchased (or received from Paperback Swap) more than 50 books this year.
While I’ve been diligent about reading from my stack, there’s simply no way to get ahead—that is, reduce the TBR stack to a more manageable level—if I keep buying books at such a pace.
But really, who can resist David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls for 50 cents? The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady for $1? Or even At Home With Beatrix Potter for $8.50? Not I.
It’s not just the books themselves that I love—I love the hunt. I carry lists of books I’m looking for in my purse. I search out used bookstores when I’m on vacation, and I happily troll the Internet for books to add to my collection.
There is a way to fix this, I know. Simply stop going into the Friends of the Library bookstore at my local library. Stop frequenting used bookstores. Stop reading book blogs because they introduce me to books I want to read and if I can’t find them at the library I end up adding them to my wish list (and we all know what I wind up doing then—say it with me—recklessly buying books). Stop reading the book reviews in my Sunday paper (because: see above).
But who am I kidding? I’m not going to do, or stop doing, any of those things. Searching for books is a huge source of simple pleasure and happiness. This is a relatively harmless addiction, since most of my book purchases are $10 or less. I could collect Faberge eggs, or antique cars, or even first editions, all of which cost a lot more than my second-hand copy of P.G. Wodehouse’s A Damsel in Distress. And my TBR stack is not—yet—a fire hazard.
I have to conclude that unless my very nature changes, I’ll continue recklessly buying books.
I can live with that.
How about you? Anything you’ve spent 2016 “recklessly buying”?