Monday, January 27, 2014

There and Back Again

I have too many books.

I know what you're saying, because a large part of me is also saying it, "You fool! You can never have too many books. You would throw away all we've worked for? All we've collected?" I can only turn to this part of myself sadly and close the mental door with great psychological gravity, leaving that voice with its mouth hanging open, looking betrayed. I can feel its disappointed gaze through the door. It's difficult to do because the fact is that there is a grain of truth in both sides of the dialogue. Perhaps one can never really enough books, good books- but I have come to the realization that I have come to curl, Smaug-like, on my hoard and have closed my eyes to the nature of the treasure on which I so thoughtlessly repose.

I am not speaking of the volumes that have shaken my world, unleashed my imagination, expanded my mind, accompanied me to four AMs, and other cliches of the bookish set, but of the tomes that have added up over time as a matter of convenience. You understand, the allure of the one dollar donation book bin at the supermarket is far too great for someone such as myself. The plant sale/library sale is a trap I will actively strive to walk into. Yard sales encourage working out to fill up one's arms between car door and rickety table laden with paperbacks. Over the past several years I have accumulated 143 books that I OWN, but have not READ. I am not one to own a book for decoration. As I have dedicated myself to weeding through my shelves, I have prided myself on whittling things down to those works that I would recommend to my past self, should she ask. I have recently made efforts to purchase with more discernment, so that this exhausting process can be avoided in the future.

Years of buying to the tune of, "I'll read it later," and then never getting around to it are coming to an end.
This is the challenge:

I will read the 143 books. I am not required to finish a book, should I not enjoy it, but I MUST speak about it here so that I can document the purity of the venture. I am not allowed to take books out of the library during this time with the exception of:

1. Books I have been recommended, loaned, or sent
2. Continuations of series that I am in the midst of
3. Continuations of series that I begin during the project (i.e. Game of Thrones)

It seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, it filled me with trepidation to write it. Maybe that means I have a problem. Either way, the dragon is unleashed now and there's no going back. The hoard is unprotected and now is the time to act.

Wish me luck and happy reading!

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