Sunday Salon: Excuses, and More Books

Lately, I’ve been wandering around the bookstore a lot. Why? Well, I’ve decided that while exploiting my public library system is a perfectly fine way to procur books, I’d like to build up my “library”. The so-called library only consists of 71 books and doesn’t even fill up a whole bookshelf. I want to reach the stage where I can fill a whole room with books and browse through my own collection.

This week I bought:

  • When We Were Orphans, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle
  • The Weaker Vessel: Woman’s Lot in 17th century England, Antonia Fraser
  • Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban, J K Rowling

Three of the books will be for various projects; don’t ask  me why I bought the last one when I already own a copy.

The Ishiguro is for A to Z, the Mayle for my Summer Reading list and the Fraser for World Citizen. Oh, but I do have an excuse for the Harry Potter: my personal ‘Genre Challenge’ project. The one where I decided I would challenge myself as little as possible by re-reading old favourites. I put Harry Potter down for Fantasy, alongside Alice in Wonderland and The Lord of the Rings.

Anyway, it’s the 25th of January now; just under a week left until the end of the month. I’ve achieved half of my mini-goal, since I completed The Canterbury Tales yesterday. And slight change of plan – instead of trying to complete the remainder of Anna Karenina in six days, I’ve decided to read Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain.

I’m also going to cut a few books out of my February reading list (probably everything except the Fitzgerald and the Eliot) so I can finish AK next month. Oh, and the library just called to say that two of my reservations have come in – Woolf’s The Waves, and Booker winner The White Tiger. Yay!

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16 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Excuses, and More Books

  1. Tuesday, I love love love The Weaker Vessel! Can’t wait to know what you think of it. I want to reread it so much but left my copy back where we moved from. I seriously need to get a new one.

    Also I’ve been thinking of reading When We Were Orphans..

    1. Claire – I think I’m also in love with it, even before I’ve read it! The cover is gorgeous, it has glossy photographs inside, and Fraser’s writing is so very accessible :)
      And it’s a pity you had to leave your library behind. Couldn’t you have shipped all your stuff?

  2. I have been building my own library too. Though instead of hitting the book shops, I have been hitting the charity shops and picked up loads of books really cheaply which have never been read. I think people are clearing out there book shelves to make way for all their Christmas presents

    1. Vivienne – unfortunately, there are no charity shops near me, or any used bookstores for that matter. We only have Borders and an Australian chain called Angus and Robertson. I think there’s a Dymocks somewhere nearby too. So only the big chain stores.

  3. A library? it’s completely different from what i’m doing. i try to finish every book i have then get a new one. if i want another book i finish mine fast and then tell my dad that i have no books to read!

    1. zawan – well, I used to be like that and then I turned into this vicious materialistic monster that likes to hoard books, hahah! In other words, I’m just greedy!

  4. Be careful. The size of that library will increase faster than you ever imagined. When stacks of books become side tables…. Enjoy The Waves – every word. And remember that today is Virginia Woolf’s birthday. Pop over to my blog and enter a birthday giveaway? If only to increase the library size? Great post!

    1. Frances – you’re probably right. In the space of two weeks, I’ve already accumulated quite a bit to my previous collection. Aw, I’m sorry I missed the giveaway. Went away for two days (it’s Australia Day today, so long weekend) and when I got back it was too late.
      I’ll be sure to enjoy The Waves; took a peek at the first page and the writing is lovely.

  5. Hi again, Tuesday.. I was going to just inform you about Frances’s Woolf giveaway, as I know how much you love her. Apparently she beat me to it. Lol!

  6. I concur with everyone else who has mentioned that building a library can swiftly spiral out of control! At this point we have books stacked on our shelves every which way, but we still have columns piled on the floors due to lack of space. Now the challenge is not so much accruing more books, but reading the ones we’ve got!

    Also, my library has grown exponentially since I discovered a truly fabulous used bookstore in town. The books there are in fantastic condition and super cheap, so when I lose all self-control and buy 15 books in one shot, it does significantly less damage to my finances! Then again, given that you have said you like to try to keep your books in pristine condition, the used/charity store route might not be for you, but it really is remarkable (and perhaps a bit sad) to see how many unread books line the shelves of those stores!

    1. Steph – Piles on the floor! I’ll be happy when that day comes :)
      I actually don’t mind pre-loved books as long as they haven’t been tossed around carelessly, but there are no used bookstores nearby for me to exploit! Until the day I discover one, I suppose I’ll continue to buy overpriced paperbacks from the mainstream stores.

  7. It’s true, Fraser’s writing is indeed very accessible. I haven’t read anything else by her, though, but I’ll be planning on that.

    I couldn’t have brought my books here, they’re too heavy! It would be a lot cheaper to buy new copies of them all than pay for the shipping. Plus after a few boxes it wouldn’t be tax-free. We prioritized instead, other stuff like bakeware and dinnerware, etc. Oh well. But, you know, after a few years here, I’ve managed to accumulate about the same number of books as you, a little less probably, I’m estimating, would have to count them. But I’ve been reading from the library a lot and have been purchasing only mostly my old faves (rebuilding the same stash I had), although this year might be different.. might purchase more that I haven’t read yet.

  8. Claire, I’ve also only read one of her works – a biography of Marie Antoinette – so I’m looking forward to reading The Weaker Vessel.

    Wow, you must have had a lot of books! I suppose eating utensils do take priority over books when you’re moving far from home :)

  9. Did you love the Marie Antoinette biography? I should look into that.

    I can’t say I had that many but it was plenty enough. Plus old stuff like Nancy Drews, etc. And there were art books.. you know how big those get. :) I sold most of them but some I left with my brother..

    1. Claire – I liked it well enough. I won’t say I loved it, but I enjoyed reading it b/c I was interested in the content. Plus, there were colour inserts w/ all sorts of interesting photographs and paintings. Took me a while to finish, though – some parts dragged on. I can’t take non-fiction in overly large doses, and Fraser’s books are quite .. large :)

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