Drowning In Books

I’ve come to the realization that my books will soon suffocate me. I’ve even stopped buying them now but they’re still multiplying! I’ve only made one big purchase this year of 5 books from bookcloseouts.com, but I’ve been getting a lot of review copies, so they just keep coming in…I’m like a book magnet! I got my copy of Poppy Adams’ The Sister for Barnes and Nobles’ First Look Book Club today. Of course, you’ll hear no complaints from me. I love my books. But I can hear my poor TBR bookshelf weeping as the books begin to no longer even fit sideways on top of the other books.

So now I’m devising a system where I’m keeping all of the review books in a separate box and ordering them so that each company gets it’s proper turn…yeah it’s sad when you start needing a “system” to read. And of course I’m in all of these challenges too. I’ve made an oath to myself that I’m no longer signing up for challenges this year (which I haven’t) unless it’s the Once Upon a Time Challenge, RIP Challenge, or Eva’s yet to be announced challenge. I’m just too overwhelmed and really just can’t take the commitment factor of it. I’m way to much of a “can’t fail” kind of guy and I know there’s lots of failure ahead of me with these challenges that I got myself into! For instance, with the Series challenge, I’m supposed to have the rest of the Song of Ice and Fire series and the entire Chronicles of Narnia series read by May 31st…yeah right. It’s do-able, I just really don’t feel like reading Narnia right now, so it probably won’t get done. And I haven’t even started on my 5 books for the Themed Reading Challenge and one of them is over 1000 pages long…that one ends on June 30th.

One answer could be that I could back out of reading review copies, but I’ve been really enjoying those! You get to know authors and publishing companies and it’s just plain neat. So my new plan is to read 1 challenge book, 1 review book, etc. And if I want to throw something else in the mix (like the previous Four Letter Word ) I’ll do it! I guess it’s all in keeping a balance and trying not to get overwhelmed. That’ll be the day when I learn how not to get overwhelmed…maybe I should find a self help book in all of these, huh?


27 Responses

  1. geez maurice Chris! I guess I totally lucked in with the one ARC I read by Laurie R King! LOL.. I couldn’t handle more than one “now and then”..certainly not what you are doing!… to me it begins to not be fun anymore.

    You could drop out of a few challenges, ones that you haven’t begun yet.?? We all know that not doing them or not finishing them doesn’t get you flogged! lol..

    I did the dragon one only because I knew I was about to read the Pern books. and of course I hope to join Carl’s Fantasy one. But again, I know I don’t have to push myself to read Fantasy books . (big surprise huh?!) Well, I hope you figure it all out!!

  2. That’s all you can do, Chris. Try to find some sort of magical balance. It is TOUGH that I know. I try to juggle library books which more often than not are challenge-related and review copies. But this month the library copies have been winning. I really need some sort of authoritative accountability in place when I’m at the library.

    My thoughts on the review copies is that you can’t not be excited about getting them. They’re new. They’re free. They’re great. But they can get a bit overwhelming when you stack them all together. I haven’t seen my floor in months. One at a time though you’re just grateful and pleased and wanting to read it right then and there.

    Deadlines sneak up on the challenges. I really really wish the series challenge deadline was later in the year. I’m just not going to get as much read for that as I would have liked.

    My *favorite* challenge–a challenge I’m not hosting–is the A ~ Z Challenge and the By the Decades challenge. Those two are fun.

  3. Deslily, Oh I think it’s tons of fun! I like getting review copies because they’re not challenge books so it gives me a little break. And they’re total surprises and I’ve gotten to talk to the authors, so it’s fun. I have one coming up called Witch Ember that sounds good. I think I’ll start it after Dragonflight which I am LOVING! Took me awhile to get into it because I had to learn her world, but I love it now. I figure I’ll just stay in the challenges and admit failure if the time comes and I haven’t finished them :p If anything, I’ll stay in them and try to get the TBR pile down! Carl’s OUaT challenge is a no brainer! Almost anything I read (review book or not) will fit into that one!

    Becky, My big thing with review copies is I feel strongly obligated with them, so I have that on my back. So it gets a little overwhelming…but you’re right…you can’t help but love them! What I love most about review copies is the assortment of genres that I get…I get to read a little bit of everything, which I love. And I’m finding new authors and reading outside of what I read before and hopefully encouraging others to do the same. Oh and I am LOVING the A to Z Challenge! At least with that one I can put every book I read down! At least until they stop fitting….

  4. I just stumbled across your blog – Via Google Alerts telling me that someone had posted with the word “Narnia” in their article. Kind of a round about way to find a blog, but I am a big Lewis fan. πŸ˜‰

    Nice site, looks like you have some great stuff on here.

    I must recommend that you start the Chronicles of Narnia. They are the most amazing books ever. Normally you would expect Lewis to be a more “wordy” author because he graduated oxford, but he is surprisingly fresh and clean. I’m sure that you will enjoy his books very much.

    May I also recommend “Ink Heart” by Cornelia Funke? I would rank her with Lewis and Tolkien.

    Eric Novak

  5. Hey Eric, I’ve read the Narnia books before…a couple of them a few times, so this will be a reread! I like Lewis a lot…I like his nonfiction as well, so I’m glad to find another fan πŸ™‚ Just not in the mood right now, but I’m sure my Narnia mood will strike up again soon! Glad you like the site…hope you hang around! And I have Inkheart sitting on my shelf! Hoping to get around to it soon. Quite a compliment to rank her with Tolkien and Lewis.

  6. my situation resembles yours. I have so many books. I have so much anxiety about it I can barely concentrate on a book. I now have a CD collection so I can listen to books in my car.

  7. Lisa, It’s quite sad, isn’t it? lol..I haven’t gotten to the point where I can’t concentrate on a book…I like the fact that there are so many books to read, but it can definitely be overwhelming!!! I just feel obligated to pump out the reviews for these review copies. But hey, I don’t mind…it has it’s perks. I’ve been loving audio books lately by the way…am just discovering those!

  8. While I haven’t quite gotten to your point, I’ve been trying to ration my time so that I don’t end up reading books I don’t even like. I only have so much time to commit! So I don’t blame you if you have to drop out of some of your challenges. Real life does have to intrude sometimes.

  9. Kim, Oh I definitely leave time for real life πŸ˜‰ I tend to read about 100 pages a day…that’s the quota! I probably won’t drop out of challenges, I’ll just end up not completing them. I’ll look at it as a growth experience and accept that I can’t be perfect at everything, lol.

  10. Chris, i hope the plan works. It sounds so much like doing homework. As long as it’s still fun…whatever makes the path easier.


  11. ohhhhhh…. just wait until you are at the first hatching!!!

  12. I signed up for that First Look Book Club also, but never heard back from them. Imagine my surprise on Friday when UPS dropped a copy on my doorstep!

  13. Carole, LOL! It does sound kind of like homework, doesn’t it? I think I was just having one of my “freak out” days when I wrote this post yesterday. I tend to have those when everything feels overhwhelming, but today’s much better!

    Deslily, Oh, I’m way past that! Loved that scene! I should be done the book today πŸ™‚

    Stephanie, I got my copy yesterday and was wondering what the hell it was! I knew I hadn’t ordered anything from B&N, but was very happy to see that it was The Sister….sounds like a good book!

  14. This is a problem I empathize with. I do, in fact, have a specific shelf for ARCs, these days, because I kept misplacing them (you may have noted this is a recurring theme in the Life of Bookfool). I stopped trying for First Look books because there was no point when so many other folks are dying to foist their books upon me. And, one could argue that I was brain-damaged by book avalanches, not just bruised. I think that would be pretty easy to prove.

  15. Bookfool, LOL, I haven’t graduated to a shelf yet, I’m working out of a box for now. I stopped with the First Look Books too…I find that I enjoy the books that authors send me much more anyway and I like the interaction! You crack me up πŸ™‚

  16. It’s a really small shelf. Fissure cracks are okay, it’s the major fault lines you have to watch out for. I know, I’m not normal today. I’m just not. πŸ™‚

  17. What is really sad is that we are all drowning in books and so cannot throw a life preserver to our fellow man! πŸ˜‰ Be safe…and for heaven’s sake be kind to those books so that they don’t bury you!

  18. I can definitely sympathize with you on mount tbr. Mine is becoming ridiculous in size and scope. Sadly, I haven’t stopped buying books. I’ve gotten six this week and 2 review books. It has begun to affect my enjoyment of my books in a way because I feel as if I must rush from one to the next when I would really like to take some time after an especially good book and mull over it a while.

  19. oh my gosh!!!! I see that you’re reading their eyes were watching God. At last a book you’re reading that i have read. (Albeit, i read it in college) but at least that’s a start.


  20. don’t worry, its not sad. you have SO MANY. and you have to read them for so many different reasons. so a system is probably needed.

    i’m curious, who do you review books for? and how’d you get into that?

  21. Carl, yep…we’re all alone in this ocean of books 😦 No one can save our fellow man. But it’s a good ocean to be drowning in, isn’t it? And I’m always kind to my books!

    Lisa, It’s an addiction, isn’t it? lol…but one could have much much worse addictions! It does start to affect your enjoyment eventually which sort of sucks. I know that pressure that you’re talking about. Especially when the review books pile up. You really feel like you have to start plowing through them. And then when you’re reading one you’re thinking about how you have to get to the next! Sheesh! I’ve gotten a little bit better though. Writing this post actually really helped. We need a support group!

    Carole, I have been LOVING Their Eyes Were Watching God! I’m actually reading it for a book group right now and sadly I’m like the only participant aside from the moderator 😦 But Hurston is such a phenomenal writer! She has such a way with words. Quite a passionate story.

    JP, Yes, I have entirely TOO many :p The system is working well…although it’s a tad bit psycho. Who would’ve ever thought you need a system to read?! I review books for quite a few different places/people. I started reviewing for Curled up with a Good Book (curledup.com) You can click on a link on their page to become a reviewer. You just have to submit a sample review. Then I met a few authors online who asked me to review their books and I guess word of mouth traveled and I get emails all the time now from authors asking if they can send me their books! I’m also now reviewing for a SF/F publisher called PYR Books who publish some really great stuff including books by Ian McDonald! I just got River of Gods for free and I’m hoping to even get an interview with the man! I’m trying to get a contact with another book company right now too. I also somehow got put on a press release list, so I get emails every day for new books and if I like them, I just let them know and they send me the book! I honestly don’t know how it all happened, I kinda just woke up one morning and I was reviewing books for people all of a sudden…but it’s cool, I really like it…you get interactions with authors! I got to interview one of my favorite young adult authors recently, Brandon Mull, and I’ll be posting that at the beginning of March.

  22. Awww-I’m glad I’m in the future challenge plans. πŸ™‚ I hope everything works out! Sometimes I feel crazy overwhelmed too, but then I just make a little list with boxes to check off and that makes me feel better. Especially if it’s colour-coded. πŸ˜‰

  23. Eva, Your challenge sounds fun…it actually sounds like a challenge! Which I’m all about…something I’m not familiar with at all. You’re way too organized for me…I tried the check off list and it just didn’t work…I kept straying from it :p And I wouldn’t even begin to know how to color code things! You should do a post on this organizing system of yours to educate us πŸ˜‰

  24. Good Lord, you are starting to sound like me!! That’s what I’ve had to do. And you are right, I actually thought of giving up the review copies, but I’ve really enjoyed the ones I have gotten!!

    I just got a copy of The Sister this week too!! Looks like a good one!

  25. Stephanie, I don’t think I’ll ever get as bad as you :p I’ve just really started with review copies in the last couple of months, so I’m not ready to give them up yet! Getting to know these authors is just way too cool! Plus, I’m finding some really cool books that I would’ve never heard of otherwhise and some really cool publishers as well. Not that I need to find anymore sources of books :p I have enough. The Sister looks great! You better get better soon!!! And take good care of yourself!

  26. Oh my goodness…I could so relate to this post. And I don’t even get review books. But that never-ending pile of challenge books…whew. It’s just that all these challenges really ARE fun…I just need to learn how to limit myself. With those, plus all the books I “have” to read for homeschooling, I feel like there’s no time left for whims. I think you’re right…just shoot for a little balance and call it good.

  27. Debi, It’s near impossible to limit ourselves when it comes to challenges, huh? The best thing about writing this post was all the responses that I got! Looks like we’re not alone in this feeling :p I forgot about all of your homeschooling books too! Sheesh! It’s all about the balance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: