Somebody Stop Me

 I have tons of unread books at home. When I finish the book I’m currently reading I could read Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope or Philippa Gregory’s The King’s Curse or Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin. I could dip my toes into the world of Victorian sensationalist journalism with The Invention of Murder or spend some time with my favourite, Maeve Binchy (I still have two copies of Scarlet Feather. For real, does anyone want one?). I recently bought a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, intending on re-reading that soon, I could read that.

Instead, I found my feet carrying me to the library. It started innocently enough. I looked at my TBR Pile Challenge list and saw that most of the books still on it are books that I don’t own. So I logged into my account at the library and placed a hold on a couple of them. Because my library is awesome (shout out to the Metrotown branch of the Burnaby Public Library!) they were ready the same day.

I was just going to quickly pick them up and leave again. Then I got there and thought I would just quickly see what books they had displayed at the front. Five seconds later I already had two books in hand so I decided that I might as well meander over to the Mystery and Fiction sections and see what they had.

I left with eight books.

Here’s what I brought home:

Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay Dad by Alison Wearing. This was one of the books I had put a hold on, one of the reasons I went in the first place. This book has been on my list forever and I can’t wait to read it.

Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin. This was the other reason for my going to the library. The Happiness Project really changed the way I looked at my own happiness and for various reasons I’m kind of in the mood to revisit that whole idea.

Twisted Sisters by Jen Lancaster. Although I haven’t had much luck with Lancaster’s fiction attempts in the past, I’m a sucker for punishment and couldn’t help myself. Maybe this one will sting less if I don’t like it because it’s from the library? Or maybe Lancaster has finally found her fiction stride.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I was in the bookstore the other day and read a little of this book and decided that I was interested (ha) in reading it after all. I can’t remember why I was suddenly drawn to it – I think I read about it somewhere here…

Us by David Nicholls. I’ve been wanting to read this since it came out. I liked reading One Day (it was one of our first book club books!) but I LOVED the movie. That doesn’t happen very often. I watched the movie alone the first time and loved it so much I pretended I hadn’t watched it and watched it again the same day with my husband. Still there was enough about One Day that I liked that I’ve been wanting to read Nicholls’ follow up.

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby. I’ve never actually read anything of Hornby’s but I guess I have to start somewhere. The idea of a book set in 1960s London is kind of enough for me right now!

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud. Every review of this book I’ve seen has made me want to read this more. I looked for it when I was at the bookstore the other day and they didn’t have it. At the library? Jackpot. I’m finally going to read this. More domestic noir? Bring it!

Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith. It’s been a while since I’ve visited my friends at 44 Scotland Street. I’m pretty hardcore about reading this series in order and Love Over Scotland was the next one. This was the first time it was actually at the library so naturally I wasted exactly zero seconds tucking it under my arm.

Have you read any of these? Where should I start? (OK full disclosure, I started reading Happier at Home outside the library already but I’m still in the middle of Renee Knight’s Disclaimer and I’m quite enjoying that too!) When exactly does book hoarding become an issue?

29 thoughts on “Somebody Stop Me

  1. How can I possibly stop someone who is such a wonderful Book Booster. I’m trying to limit myself to a book in hand and a book waiting on the shelf. I used to bring home a stack but found the angst of possibly preventing someone from reading a book because I’ve got it and it’t just sitting there a bit too much. Yes, that saying of “so many books, so little time is true.”

    • I did used to feel that way about library books too. A number of these had multiple copies available so that shouldn’t be an issue. But when I have library books I tend to give those priority over the books that live with me. And because the library is around the corner from work I can walk them back well before they are due. And then sit and read in the park behind the library. Win-win.

  2. You absolutely don’t have a problem. (Because if I say otherwise, then that would mean I have a problem, too. Ha!) It’d be great if you read the Nick Hornby soon, because then I could read your review and decide how soon to try something by him. 🙂

  3. Library books totally don’t count in a bad way for book binges. All that money saved!! I’m a black sheep I think, I was not at all a fan of the Woman Upstairs. I did really love Us though so I say start there. Save the Lancaster for when you need something light – I still haven’t read that one.

    • Have you struggled with Lancaster’s fiction like I have? I LOVE her memoir style books. A LOT. They’ve had a big impact on me. But her fiction so far has frustrated me.
      I’m dying to read Us. And The Woman Upstairs – why didn’t it work for you?
      So much money saved. My husband didn’t even sigh too loud when I brought in another giant pile of books. I guess because these will eventually go back to where they came from.

  4. Haha it happens to the best of us. Despite having 100 unread books on my shelf, I just bought four more on Saturday. And they weren’t free library books!

  5. Ha! This same thing always happens to me…I go to the library, even though I have books at home to read, meaning to only check out one or two books, and then, before I know what happens, I come home with fourteen instead. At least it’s a cheap addiction, right? Hope you enjoy reading all your “new” books! 🙂

  6. Oh, I LOVED Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter!! I hope you enjoy :).
    Also, come on. Any booknerd in a bookstore or a library is a bookcident waiting to happen. Yep, I’m making up a new word!
    Also, I love Nick Hornby but couldn’t get into that one. Hopefully you have better luck! I highly recommend checking out his Believer columns. Ten Years in the Tub collects years worth of them and he’s so clever and funny.

  7. I have a very similar problem!! I have dozens of books to read at home, some of which I am already in the middle of, and yet I go to the library. Even then, while I try to stick to my overall TBR list, I sometimes find myself wandering up and down the shelves and coming away with an armful of new titles!

    • That’s definitely what normally ends up happening to me (except I’m not usually in the middle of several books at once!). For some reason, this time, most of the books I grabbed were already books on my list. Which made it that much easier to justify taking them all home!

  8. My book club hated The Woman Upstairs, all bar me and another woman. It was our second meeting and left me feeling a bit shell shocked realising that a significant number of them just wanted to read about “nice” characters in a “nice” storyline!

    • Nice characters with nice storylines are so boring! What would you all discuss? How “nice” everything was??? I’m encouraged by your feeling on The Woman Upstairs, I think it’s going to be the one I read next.

      • Ha ha Our last read was Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love where everyone did go on about how nice everything was. And then it came to me at the end and I said that I had been enraged by it, and someone said, Hooray!! A dissenting voice!

  9. I think you are a younger me on the other side of the country. I totally do that all the time! I so badly want to to read both Us and The Woman Upstairs for the same reasons as you. In fact, I am jealous you are reading them now, and am considering a trip to my library…
    Also, I really like Gretchen Rubin’s books – I hope you got something out of it. I still haven’t read her newest.

    • I think you may be onto something!
      I’m working on Us right now and I really like it. The narrator’s voice is excellent. It’s funny but awkward and a bit sad. I’m excited to see where it goes.
      I’ve only read the one so far but I love her podcast!
      Go to the library right now! Do it!

      • So, I went to the library today and came home with The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan (which is the one I had on hold), The Ship (I keep hearing good things and it was just sitting there on the display table), Casual Vacancy (was it your review that made me want to read this?), and, you guessed it, The Woman Upstairs. I’ll be reading the Henry Morgan book first, since I can only have it for 3 weeks. Fun!

      • Maybe you read about The Casual Vacancy here – it’s really good. But JK Rowling can do no wrong in my world. I hope you like it!
        YES. The Woman Upstairs! We’ll have each other to talk about it with after!

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