Friday, March 25, 2011

The Next Book

Tonight I find myself with a familiar, frustrating, but somewhat welcome dilemma. I have finished the book I was reading. It's time to pick the next one.

It's agonizing, but I love it. I read a lot (sort of like people breath a lot). There have been times when I've finished a book and have stalked from room to room like an addict in desperate need of a fix and can't find anything to read that I haven't read before or that I'm ready to read again. I mutter incoherently, pull books from shelves, shove them back, and whine and snap at anyone who is unfortunate enough to come between me and a bookshelf. For me, that's truly hitting rock bottom. It isn't pretty and I'm not proud of it. It's just the way it is.

Thanks to my sister in law, I have occasional access to shelves and shelves of stock for a library book sale in her town. They have a tremendous amount of stock and a huge selection. They sell all the books for 50 cents per pound. For $5, I can buy 10 pounds of books, some well-loved and some brand new. Do you know what 10 pounds of books is? Heaven. I have 2 stacks of books that I have not read yet from my last trip to the book sale.

My mother and sisters and I trade books. I have a stack in my kitchen and another in my bedroom--more that I haven't read yet. My children got books for Christmas (of course) and for birthdays and because if we are near a bookstore on the weekend we go in. They have started piles they think I should read. My friends borrow my books and loan me theirs and I have a bag with some of their must-reads waiting.

As a voracious reader, an addict in need of her next hit, I am empowered by the possibilities and promise of so much unread material within easy reach. Yet I find myself bewildered and struck powerless by an overwhelming inability to choose. To choose one. The one. The next book.


  1. I'm glad you posted this! I'm reading the book that Alan recommended to me...The Belgariad (spelling?). I too have "stalked from room to room" in search of a book I haven't read! :) It was wonderful talking to you today!

  2. It was a joy to hear your plight. I have a houseful of books, and read all kinds, including children's & young adults', but still, to choose the 'right' one is important too. Or, I guess I mean the 'right' one right now! I like that you describe 10 pounds of books as 'heaven'. How right you are!

  3. Ruth,
    The agony! Not only do I have trouble choosing the next book, but I also suffer the loss of the last one. I almost feel bad that I have to leave those friends, begin a new adventure or discover a new place. Will the old book feel bad? But then I look around and I see all the unread books, and I know it is my duty to discover their treasures, too. I wish I could come over and visit to see all the books in your house. It's sounds like you almost have book plants, that grow over time.
    Happy Reading,

  4. I loved reading this slice. I too read a great deal. Every room of my home has books in it. My husband complains that I have stacks all over and still check out more from the library. Now I have a Kindle (a gift from him that I'm sure is intended to lessen the piles around here) and I've got over 100 free books downloaded on it. It's a great problem to have in life!