Sunday Salon: The Evergrowing Pile

I’m currently searching for a copy of Mendelbaum’s Metamorphoses, but just in case, I’ve reserved my library’s copy of Rolfe Humphries’ translation. It’s not just Ovid I’m having trouble finding. The other day, I dropped by the bookstore to buy a copy of Gone with the Wind, for Matt’s March read-a-long. They didn’t have any left, but I did manage to find some other great books: George Orwell’s Essays, Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day and Gaskell’s North and South.

What shall I do with all these books? Read them, I suppose. Until then they’ll stay lined up on my shelf, smelling of  ink and warm woody paper. And I’ve pledged not to buy new books until I’ve read all the ones on my shelf. Very skeptical as to whether I’ll be able to keep my promise, but I’ll have to try. Soon, I’m going to be swamped by books – before, I had a vague sort of to-read list in my head; since I started this blog, it’s accumulated into endless lists and a literal pile of books in my study. Even reading other litblogs is becoming an issue, because I keep wanting to add books to my to-read list.

It’s something I always struggle with – trying to refrain from reading more than one book at a time; buying more books when I have plenty to pick from at home…

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26 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: The Evergrowing Pile

  1. Yes, thanks to book blogs, I too have an ever-growing pile of books to read. Great selections you picked up this week (not that I’ve read them, but I have already added them to my lists…)

  2. Yes, I’ve made peace with the fact that I will never be one of those people who only goes out and buys one or two new books when I have nothing to read at home… mostly because I think I will probably never catch up with all the books I’ve bought and have yet to read. And those probably only encompass, at best, a third of the books I’d like to read but haven’t. At least books will never go out of style or go bad, even if it takes you a lifetime to get to them!

  3. I have an overflowing TBR list. LOL! Seriously, I don’t have money to buy all of the books that I want to read but I make list after list….you get the picture. It’s insanity :)

  4. I have the same problem, and my TBR is totally out of control. I’ve imposed some stricter limits on myself this year, though, and I’m hoping to actually make some progress. My big goal for 2009 is to get la TBR down to 100 volumes or less. I doubt it’s going to happen, but I’ll give it my best shot.

  5. I’ve been planning on reading Metamorphoses as well. I’ll be honest that I’m not as knowledge with translations as many whom I’m encountering on various book blogs. Why should I seek out a Mendelbaum edition, if I may ask?

    1. claire – it is wonderful never to run out of books to read. I say I’m ‘struggling’, but really, I think I half like the prospect of overflowing shelves.

      Rebecca – Hahah, yes. I began a book blog to keep organised, but now it does seem as though things are spiralling out of control.

      Steph – That’s a good point, but it’s also adding considerably to my problem, because I’m trying to catch up with thousands of years’ worth of literature!

      gautami – Same here; but it looks as though you’ve been doing some great reading this month :)

      1. Samantha – It is rather costly!! Whenever I get my pay, I rush out to the bookstore and spend all my money on books – then I’m forced to live off (close to nothing) for a fortnight. Lucky I’m still a student… I dread to think of what will happen when I move out of home!

        Memory – wow, great goals. I think I’ve given up trying to control the TBR list, but I’ve decided to whittle down on the physical pile, and not buy any new books until I’ve read the ones I’ve got.

        unfinishedperson – I’m actually reading Metamorphoses for the Really Old Classics project, the purpose of which is to read, well, really old (i.e. pre-Shakespearian) classics. And I sort of got into the habit of comparing translations, after I read a post by Rebecca on different translations of the Iliad. I never thought they were important before, but they do make such a difference. Here’s a comparison of some of the available translations of Metamorphoses.

        There’s no special reason why I’m reading Mendelbaum; his translation just happened to be the most lyrical and poetic of the ones I ‘researched’.

  6. “Whenever I get my pay, I rush out to the bookstore and spend all my money on books – then I’m forced to live off (close to nothing) for a fortnight.”

    This sounds awfully familiar. I also discovered the Book Depository, a UK-based internet bookshop that doesn’t charge for postage to Australia, (www.bookdepository.co.uk), so there goes more money.

    My New Year resolution was not to buy books by an author who I already have unread books by, but that’s already fallen apart.

    I love Ovid: all his books are great, including the very sad Poems of Exile. The Metamorphoses I read was the Penguin Classics David Raeburn one: I’m not sure how it compares to the others, but ir worked for me, and got me hooke don Ovid.

    1. JRSM – thank you so much for the link! I think I’m in love with The Book Depository already! No postage fees! And they have Mandelbaum’s Metamorphoses. Amazon, you’ve just lost yourself a customer :)

  7. My ever-growing pile has The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Book by Book by Michael Dirda, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I’m listing the ones that I’m bound to read soon. I’m also trying to figure out which Ishiguro I haven’t read. After your Canterbury Tales post, I am tempted to buy the new edition. :)

  8. Before I started book blogging, I had at most 5 TBR books on my shelf. Now, I’m working my way through almost a hundred! lol Hence, why I’ve cut myself off from book acquisitions this year.

    1. Eva, wow! A hundred! I’m not sure if I’m ready to fully cut myself off from book acquisitions, but I’ve decided to attempt some degree of restraint. Good luck with your resolution!

  9. I’m pretty much in Eva’s boat, too. I have well over a hundred books in my apartment that need to be read… At my reading pace, I probably have enough books to last me for another 2.5 years, but that still won’t stop me from acquiring more. I don’t really see it as a problem as I know I’ll eventually get around to reading them.

    1. Steph – well, in theory I agree with you, because I will read all the books on my shelf eventually! Then again, it’s straining me financially, so I think I need to stop mass buying! I think one book every fortnight is the happy medium for me. Maybe one a week, actually…

  10. Luckily, I don’t live within walking distance of the bookstores so I wind up riding my bike to the library instead. And that doesn’t cost me a dime. Of course, it also helps that I don’t have two dimes to rub together.

    Your selections of February look great – not that I’ve read any of them. Well, I’ve read Gone With the Wind and The Time Traveler’s Wife, but those aren’t on your list for February. :-)

    I’m always so impressed with the number of “classics” you’re reading. I tend to avoid them and without the AP Lit Exam breathing down my neck, I think I would avoid them even more. But you seem to hit them head on.

  11. Christina – I love my library, but sometimes they don’t have the books that I’m looking for, or there’s a long waiting list – that’s when I hit the bookstore!

    Hm, Gone with the Wind is proving to be a problem. Every bookstore I go to, it’s sold out! And the library’s copies are missing, long overdue and ‘in-process’, which is really convenient. I might just have to skip it.. Luckily, it’s a re-read, so there’s no real hurry. I just hope I can find a copy of ‘The Tale of Genji’ before the set month.

    Hahah, as for my reading the classics, it’s mostly because I’m stingy! Classics are so much more affordable. And I do enjoy them in a perverse sort of way. Like, I have this real fauxtalgia for the past, and I enjoy reading about the lives of people who lived hundreds of years ago. These days, I’m trying to read more contemporary fiction, though!

  12. tuesday, I bought a (rather used) copy of Gone with the Wind. I hope to read it in 2009. I could send it to you when I”m done. But it will be months before I finish…

    Oh, I just saw that it would be a reread for you. And then I saw that you wanted it for March. Never mind unless you’d still like it when I’m done…

    1. unfinished person – I’m still waiting for my copy to come in as well! It’ll be great to have someone to read along with; looking forward to hearing your thoughts :)

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