Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Addiction Has Never Been So Pretty

My name is Sarah and I have a problem.
I buy books. A lot of books. I buy them used, new, paperback, hardcover, electronic. I don't discriminate. I try and read what I buy. I do. But sometimes I buy three books at once and I only make it through two before I go shopping again.  That's not to mention the times where I read a review and I can barely wait the three minutes it takes to one click buy the book on amazon. It's a sickness. My bank account hates me. I'm running out of room on my shelves.

The point I'm trying to make is that I have a ton of books that I haven't read. What's worse is that I have a ton of books that I'd forgotten that I own. I needed a way to organize my To Be Read list. Which is why when I saw this post on Book Riot I immediately texted my mom to see if she had any unused mason jars. Thankfully she had one.

The idea is that you write down all of the books you want to read and throw them in the jar (or whatever container you want, the mason jar looks nice in my room) and pick one out when you don't know what to read. So last night I spent way to much time going through my bookshelves writing down all of my unread books on colorful pieces of paper. It was a revealing exercise. Like I said before I have a lot of unread books.

After a two hours and a lot of reminiscing I'd made it through all my shelves.  Instead of being embarrassed by the number of unread books I have, I was actually quite proud of the number I have finished.  I split up my shelves by color. Classics in yellow, contemporary fiction in blue, the only sizable genre I read is historical fiction so that's in pink, and then the odds and ends (like nonfiction, young adult and fantasy) are in orange.
Had I done this months, or let's be real years, ago I'd have noticed some trends that would probably have saved me a lot of money. For starters I'll buy any classic so long as I don't already own it and think there is some slight chance in Athena's heaven that I'll ever get to it. Second, I need to stop buying historical fiction novels at rummage sales. Third, if I don't like an author once I'll be hesitant to try them again (There's no need for me to have four Zadie Smith novel's when I can barely make it a hundred pages into them). Lastly, while my young adult and nonfiction selves take up the least amount of space in my personal library they are also the ones with the highest percentage of finished books. Basically the lesson I learned was that if I'm not super into a genre I'm more critical of what I pick up. If I buy a memoir it's usually because I'm going to go home and read it that day. I should take that discipline and use it for the other sections of my library.

Now all my unread books are jumbled together in an antique mason jar. I officially can never say "I have nothing to read" as an excuse for well, not reading. My goal is to never go more than a day in between books. I'm hoping having everything color coded will allow me to find books I'm really in the mood for instead of forcing myself through Hemingway when all I really want is to read one of the many a killer thriller.  I think I'll draw from the jar at least every five books. That way I can still read what I want and make a dent in my personal library.  Here's hoping that this is a system I can stick with!

Do any of you have strategy for cutting down on unread books? What about ever growing TBR lists? I'm all ears!


Rhiannon Johnson said...

Very interesting idea about the mason jar full of suggestions. As a fellow book addict, I also like that your slips are divided into genres because I have to be in the mood for a book and would worry I might toss back in a slip due to said mood.

David Meredith said...

I didn't see your contact information so I have posted here. My name is David Meredith and I very recently came across your book blog. I have just released a novel - The Reflections of Queen Snow White - on in the Kindle Store this past October and would be happy to send you a complimentary copy if you would be interested in reviewing it. I have included the dust cover synopsis below. If you are interested, just reply to this e-mail and I will happily send you your free copy right away. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response!

What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fiancĂ©, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

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