Adventures in Reading

More Books Please!

Saturday evening resulted in an impromptu trip to a used bookstore. Between my desire to trade in a dust-collecting stack of unwanted books and my struggle to stay awake (a result of the time change and an erratic work schedule), I traversed dark country roads to visit one of the few used bookstores in my area. I am now the proud owner of: Eudora Welty’s The Collected Stories, Jack London’s Short Stories, Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, Brendan O’Carroll’s The Chisellers, and Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. Not too shabby, and in addition I have been considering splurging for some hard to find but must haves (in my opinion) on Amazon.

Lately I have been wondering how people select books to read. (How do you select yours?) I know I regularly refer to my “stack” but it is more metaphysical than actual. In the lower right corned of my blog I have listed titles that I would love to read, but I admittedly seldom get around to selecting one of them. There are far too many books staring me in the face and brushing against my fingers for me to remember a list I have made. However, I was considering doing a monthly dice roll, which will ideally help me work through these faceless books I have listed.

On a reading note, I have been struggling through Emma. I was scanning a literary criticism of Austen and one of the chapters was entitled “Emma – A Character Only Jane Austen Could Love,” or something similar but I am beginning to see the point of this statement. Emma certainly has endearing moments, but I am either not interestered at the moment or the book is uninteresting, and considering it is Austen I doubt the latter is true.



My reading list selection consists of several methods:

1. I surf endlessly through Amazon Listamania during my online down time.
2. Movies. If I like a particular movie (in these cases, it’s usually old movies), I’m inspired to read the book. Or if I see a promising movie trailer, I make a mad dash to the library to get the book read before the movie comes out.
3. Roger Ebert mentions a book here and there in his reviews.
4. Interests of the moment. A few months ago, I was really hooked on old episodes of Deadwood, so then I started looking into Westerns.
5. And finally, if I’m obsessed with a particular book in general, I look for books that remind me of the former book.

Comment by T Y

I must agree with T Y’s number 5. I tend to rely on Amazon to tell me what books are similar to the book i’ve just read. Or i’ll pull one from my stack of “to read” books at random.

Comment by mysebrel

I must admit that I have never used Amazon for book recommendations (it’s never even crossed my mind), but I might have to give it a try.

Comment by bookchronicle

I am a book whore. Take me to a store, book sale, or outdoor festival and I will return home with an armload of books. I will not read many of them. But I do like to touch them and hold them. Then I catalog and shelf them. I can’t tell you the number of occasions when someone recommends a book, and I will check my shelves, and voila! There it sits. And then I will read it, proud that I did not have to spend money on it. Of course, using this haphazard method, I sometimes purchase the same book twice. Last month I found four copies of the same book that I had purchased at various sales.

I must be daft.

Comment by Ms. Place

Ms. Place: When I started cataloging my books I was impressed to find three copies of Richard Wright’s “Native Son.” Who’d have thought I could find the same novel three times and not realized it?

Comment by bookchronicle

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: