Saturday, July 11, 2009

Progress Report/Mission Accomplished

It has now been six months, and eleven days into the seventh month since I have entered a library or bought a book. Last night I realized I have accomplished my goal to read my own books. I am quite surprised. When I wrote my progress report on the first third of the year, I thought I had plenty to last me until January. But no. I still have a lot of books on the shelves, but they are mostly nonfiction. I'm just not so interested in reading biographies or histories these days. I want a good story, and I own only a very few which I haven't read: a couple Miss Reads, one Laurie Colwin, and some Barbara Pym. The other fiction books are those which are waiting for Tom.

Thus, I announce that today I visited a library and borrowed Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith, and am happily spending time with Mma Ramotswe in Africa.

25 comments:

  1. I'm so proud of you. And I think it's great that you have now visited the library for a book. Did you just check out one? I am still doing pretty OK with my challenge. Have made a few purchases and I seem to be getting a steady stream of advance reader copies of books. Not all of those I even want to read, but they keep coming.

    I think I'm going to get a Kindle. I'm still thinking about it. H wants to get a new golf bag for taking his clubs when we fly on vacation and so he asked what I wanted for our anniversary. I think that means I'm getting him the golf bag - :-). I told him maybe a Kindle.

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  2. I am so, so interested in your thoughts on the kindle. You know what appeals to me about it? The idea of huge tomes, mostly biographies, that I have a hard time holding would become easy books to read. I like to lie on my side in bed to read and I'll tell you, a book has to be pretty compact to feel comfortable for half an hour or more. I'd still buy my treasure books but I'd dearly love to read Churchill or Wodehouse or T. Roosevelt biog. in a smaller version - let alone Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell which I think will sit on my shelf forever. Thank you for writing and please keep me posted about the kindle.

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  3. I'll let you know if and when I get it. Yes, I think it would be great for big books and I've also thought it would be good for mass market paperbacks. I've gotten to where I don't like to read those too much. I like the idea of changing the type size (making it bigger of course) and also the compactness, like for taking lots of books on vacation. We're flying for our vacation in August and H was reminding me that I won't be able to take a giant bag of books (I never know what I will want to read). Thus, the Kindle.

    Amazon just reduced the price by $60 or so in the last week.

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  4. Hello! I'm coming out of lurkdom on your blog to say that is an absolutely amazing achievement. I have SO many unread books and I can't seem to stop buying more. It's an unhealthy and expensive obsession!

    You have now inspired me to read my own books too. As of tomorrow...no more book buying!

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  5. Congrats on reaching your goal and great choice for starting up with the books again. Hope you are enjoying your teatime.

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  6. Kay, I'm glad you wrote back. I've just spent the last hour or so checking out what is available on kindle. Of course hardly any of the sort of esoteric old English authors I adore, though quite a bit of Wodehouse, A. Christie, and some A.A. Milne. The bulk is newer books, but still, I am intrigued and tempted. If we lived closer, we could share one, and share the cost, to see if we loved it. I haven't looked into many mysteries... yet. A few Maigret books by G. Simenon which pleased me. Many of the biog. I hoped to find are sadly, not available. No Churchill or Wodehouse. And no Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Why not, I wonder?

    Rachel, thank you so much for commenting. I'd love to see your books! Good luck with your plan.

    J.G., thanks so much. Teatime is just as wonderful as everything else that man writes! :<)

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  7. I love that series! There's a movie too, but I haven't seen it yet. His other series about Isabel Dalhousie is very good too. It's the Sunday Philosophy Club series.

    The amount of books I own is ridiculous! Last count a few years ago was over 600 fiction books! And I haven't read most of them.

    So, I'm giving myself a challenge of not buying any books for six months. I can't stay out of the library though. I'm not THAT cruel to myself!

    I love your book posts!

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  8. Yes, Debbie, it was on HBO, and will be available from Netflix sometime. I'm not sure I want to watch, though. :<) I think the Isabel series is my most favorite. Have you read the 44 Scotland books? Also, great. He is an amazing author. I think if I had 600 fiction books, I'd hardly ever shop or go to the library. :<)

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  9. Well done Nan, and how very sensible to go to the library rather than sticking stubbornly to your original plan. Great wisdom in knowing when to let go.
    Have you had the television series some of the Mma Ramotswe stories yet? I think you would love them.
    I love the look of your sitting room, could we all have a virtual cup of tea there with you please?
    Carole

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  10. Way to go Nan. You deserve a good romp through the library. Next you can actually go to the bookstore. I imagine there is lots to look at there since you were in.

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  11. I so admire your resolution! You are an example to us all.

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  12. What an incredible idea - this challenge of yours (sorry, I've been away from blogs for a LONG time)! I too have a lot of books I could read that sit waiting on my shelves.

    I'm also intrigued by the Kindle. I have a love-hate relationship with the idea of having one. I love the thought of the convenience and always having a book, always the same size. But on the other hand, I'm such a tactile person, loving to feel and touch and smell my books (no wonder I'm working in the printing industry). But at the end of the day, if someone wanted to buy me one, I'd definitely be thrilled to use it! LOL

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  13. Carole, what a kind thing to say. I couldn't 'stick stubbornly' anymore because there just wasn't anything to read unless I read my (often huge) nonfiction books, which I am just not in the mood for these days. I was surprised to see how very little fiction I actually owned. I've got plans to remedy that! :<) The Mma R. haven't been released on dvd yet. Thanks for the recommendation. Wish you could come sit. Though I'm not a tea drinker. :<)

    Lisa, I'm already dreaming about some book shopping. Maybe today. :<) I love your word 'romp.'

    Well, Call me madam, my good example is over now. But I am going to try really hard to read what I buy soon afterwards instead of letting books sit on the shelves for years.

    Karla, for me the longing for a kindle is to do with not having to hold big books, but as I wrote to Kay, a lot of the big books I want to read are not available.

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  14. I'm glad you reached your goal, but as a librarian, I am thrilled you are back in the library - in these times we really need people to come in and use us and keep our circulation up!

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  15. Good, I prefer coffee anyway. Water would be nice too!

    Carole

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  16. Oh you have given me hope that perhaps I too could read all of the books I own. Do you think the weather cooperated with your quest this year? I know down here on the seacoast we had lot's of snow and ice. Then rain, rain, and more rain. Great weather for reading.

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  17. Congratulations, Nan! That is quite an accomplishment.

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  18. Oh, I need to follow suit! I'm calling a moratorium on all buying period: books, perfume, stuff. It's just too easy to accumulate, and then what? Store it until I die? You have strengthened my inspiration with this post.

    Also, I love the two kitties on your couch. I, too, own two kitties through no fault of my own. My husband brought one home, and my son's girlfriend gave him one. They have becoming my beloved reading companions, and I thought I only loved dogs. Silly me.

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  19. Susan, I'll be helping out a lot in the department. :<)

    Great, Carole!

    Hip Chick, I seem to read the same all seasons and weathers. weird, huh? :<)

    JoAnn, I'm still surprised I don't own more fiction. :<)

    Dolce B. so good to see you! The no-book-buying definitely extends to other areas in this house. And even now that I will begin again, it is going to be very different. Not tons of books that get put on the shelves. I buy it; I read it soon. That's the plan and the hope anyhow!

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  20. Congratulations on achieving your goal! Well done. You have shown amazing will power and we could all (well I could anyway!) take a lesson from you.

    Love the new living room setup! I looks very spacious.

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  21. Thanks, Tara. It really wasn't so hard since I really enjoyed reading my own books off the shelf. But it was upsetting to see how very many I didn't care to even open now. A good reason to use the library unless I'm very sure I want to own a title.

    And thanks about the living room. It feels so good in there.

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  22. Congratulations on the accomplishment, Nan! I wonder if I'll ever get to the point where I've read everything in my house. :)

    Kay, if you're reading this, I want to tell you that Rod got a Kindle and loves it. I think you should splurge and get one for yourself. Of course, if you click through on the widget in my sidebar, I'll get a nice little commission. ;) I miss your blog!!

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  23. Les, I haven't really read everything! There are a lot of books yet to read, but as I noted they are mostly nonfiction. Speaking of kindle, did you read the weird thing that just happened concerning Orwell's books? You can probably google it and find details.

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  24. Yep, we saw that article about Kindle. Weird, eh? And now B&N has an e-reader. The competition is really going to heat up now! I still like my real books, but a Kindle is nice to read while on a treadmill (no pages to hold down) or while eating a solo lunch (again, hands-free). One in the family is probably enough, though! :)

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  25. Interesting points, Les. I was curious about it enough to look up some books I'd like to read but as I wrote in another comment, the big books weren't available. And mostly the choices are the more popular books, which I so rarely read, so I guess it probably isn't pour moi. :<)

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Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.