Saturday, April 7, 2007

List Crazy: What to Read and What You've Read

I recently read So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson. It is a book of essays about her New Year's resolution to read a book a week for a year, and write a diary about her reading adventure. She started with a general list of "should reads", and found herself straying from that list almost immediately!

I love seeing book lists...what to read, what has been read, lists of favorites to pass on, etc. Check out this great blog about books. ( This particular page has lists to not only inspire your reading, but will make you want to establish your own similar lists such as a reading queue, books read over the previous years, and notable books of the forthcoming year. (The only unfortunate part of this blog is that all the book links take you directly to Amazon. As an independent bookstore owner, that pains me! Why is Amazon not perceived as direct competition to independents in the eyes of our customers? Case in point, just this week a man told me he would just get something on Amazon as though it was no big deal...everyone shops there after all, right? I think he forgot he was talking to someone behind the counter at a brick and mortar bookstore.)

I started writing mini book reviews of everything I read about 15 years ago. It's fun to look back on the path your reading forms; you can clearly see the transitions between authors and genres. You can say it with a sigh, pride, disgust, or with gratitude - so many books, so little time.

Friday, April 6, 2007

What's On Your Nightstand?

True bibliophile that I am, I have an incredible number of books piled upon my nightstand. Each night I have to carefully maneuver around my book mountain in order to shut my light. My eyes never waver from the leaning tower of books, which has grown so tall that I fear it will topple onto my bed in the middle of the night. What's on my nightstand? I'll tell you.

A Star Called Henry
by Roddy Doyle
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater also by Vonnegut
The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
Being Nobody, Going Nowhere by Ayya Khema
A Woman of Independent Means by Elisabeth Forsythe Hailey
Zoology by Ben Dolnick
The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho
Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles
Dry by Augusten Burroughs

All of these titles are precariously perched atop the magnificent boxed set of The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper. I hardly have room for my special night kit which is comprised of a few hair elastics, my green hair brush and my Burt's Bees lip balm. I think I'm in serious danger of being mauled by my most cherished possessions, as there's not enough room to accomodate them all. I suppose reading faster might aid me in diminishing the threatening pile next to my bed. Although, even if I finish all of the books piled on my nightstand, 15 more books are sure to arrive at said nightstand's funeral. I've got to resign myself to the fact that my night table will be perpetually occupied by an unstable stack of books.

Something rather embarassing has just occured to me...Fo
r someone who reads as much as I do, I can be rather thick-headed...There's a much more obvious solution to my overcrowded night table conundrum. I could just go out and buy a bigger table. Geez! Better yet, I can just begin to pile books on the floor next to my bed! I've already got a tiny stack on my hope chest that's going through some kind of gestation period...It's sure to grow into another honking pile over the next few weeks. Another solution would be to stop buying books...Nevermind that one. That would be much more of a problem than a solution.