Sunday, January 02, 2011

Time for Another Book Challenge?

Longtime readers (all four of you) may recall that in 2009, I challenged myself to finish reading more books than I purchased. I ultimately succeeded, finishing 101 books along the way. I also purchased 96, so in the end I barely broke even.

Last year there was no challenge, and my efforts at self-restraint were weak at best. I celebrated my 40th birthday by driving to Indianapolis ostensibly to eat Waffle House waffles, but I also carried along directions to every bookstore in town. Needless to say, I purchased more books than waffles on that trip.

Now my problem is worse than ever. The bookcase that I have reserved for unread books is literally sagging under the weight:

A rough estimate is 350 volumes. I know people who don't own that many books, much less books they haven't even read! That's 3-1/2 years worth of reading, assuming I do not add to the pile or turn into Evelyn Wood (though there are a few books that I'll probably never read anyway --some of the vertical ones have been around for ten years or more). And yet, for Christmas I received a $75 gift card for Half Price Books. Let's face it -- I'm not going to stop buying books anytime soon.

So that brings me around to the title question of this entry. Should I do another "book challenge"? I'm thinking no for two reasons: 1.) I don't like doing big projects twice because the second time is never as interesting or fun as the first, and 2.) writing a review of every single book I read for a year is hard work, and I just don't feeling like doing it again.


Jen said...

Well, I find challenges helpful, and I enjoyed reading yours the first time around ... so I say, do it! Of course, you could try to make it different, like instead of reviewing the book, you could write a blurb about when you bought it and why, and whether it was worth actually reading it. Or not. Whichever.

Cyndi said...

Nice bookshelf Dave! I bet there are more books that did not get into the picture! I thought I was the only wierdo that had tons of "never-read" books on the shelf. A few months back I bought a book "Outlive Your Life." when I bought I said - "Oh, I am REALLY gonna read this one!" My daughter looked at me like I was nuts - because obviously I would read it - I was buying right?!?!? Ahh, she has sooo much to learn! So I know you are wondering if I read the book... NOPE!! Not even ONE chapter. Yeah, but it looked really cool ;-)

David Johnsen said...

Cyndi, when you mentioned "Outlive Your Life", it reminded me of a T-shirt: "I'll never die... I have too many books left to read."

Is compulsive book-buying a subliminal attempt to live eternally? Discuss.