May 14, 2009

BTT: Book Glutton? Why, yes, yes I am.

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

Okay, this question made me absolutely bust a gut laughing. It's as if the question was directed at me. I mean, have you seen Mt. TBR? And the list? Forget it. I might not make it through that thing in my entire lifetime. And I am adding on to it all the time.

I read pretty slowly compared to most bookaholics I've encountered. I can speed read technical and academic books and manage to find the information that is important and be done in no time. But when I read for pleasure, I slow down, savoring each sentence and paragraph, soaking in the language and the poetry and the rhythm of the writing and the juicy details of the plot. I retain information better slowly (which is why I write down everything after I find it in the textbooks and manuals). Besides, the love of reading does not come from ingesting as many books as possible in the smallest amount of time, but from taking time to really get a feel for the flavor of the book and taking the time to digest what was said and how it was said. Reading for pleasure to me is the equivalent of enjoying a gourmet meal, as oppose to just eating fast food or whatever I can grab a hold of to get through the day.

Okay, now that you're hungry for a good meal, you should also be hungry for a good, slow read. Taking the time to enjoy a book is half the fun (the other half being finding out what happens at the end!) With that said, there are far more books I want to read than I can possibly read. My bookshelf is filled with books yet to be read. Once I read a book, I give it away or mooch it on BookMooch and get another book to read (so that most of the books I own, save my favorites, are in Mt. TBR).

I do love the collecting of books, the excitement of a new book purchase, the anticipation of bringing home a possible new favorite. Yay!!! I have to drive right past used book stores. They are the worst. I have managed to curb my appetite for brand new books, but used books? Those half-price discount gems? Much trickier.

So, the love of collecting and gathering great books is almost as much fun as reading them for me. But I do have to draw the line somewhere or my house would be overflowing with books (and my bank account would be even emptier than it is already- wait, is that possible? I'm not working. Hm.) So I am very much a book glutton, but I am on a strict diet right now. I am sticking to only getting a book when I get rid of a book. Not the most ideal of scenarios, but at least I won't be adding on to the library, just replacing.

By the way, if you have the courage, you can view my personal Mt. TBR (or maybe it is a mountain range???) by clicking on my profile and viewing my Reading List blog. It's huge so if you have a tendency to add on books, you better proceed with caution. :P


  1. I enjoyed reading this post. Great minds think alike - I blogged about my own book addiction yesterday. I just seem to have no self-control when it comes to books.

    I usually manage to resist the urge to buy books (mainly by staying away from bookstores) but the local library has a siren call that I just can't resist. I take my kids in to borrow books and I always come out with a few for myself, despite the fact that i could read a book a day for the next year and not make a dent in my TBR pile.

    Is there a support group for compulsive readers?

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  3. Having a book blog and starting to read other people's blog really made me realize what a slow reader I am.. It might be because I'm reading a lot of books for work (academia...) and there is probably only so much reading you can do in a day... It's been a while since I last gulped a novel in a day!!

  4. I went to your profile and read your other blog. I loved your tbr list! I keep a list of books I want to read in works database and it is up to 978 or so last time I checked. Yow, and that is not even the ones I own that I haven't read (close to 250 on that list). Molly at My Cozy Book Nook has a great post about this today. She mentions a 12 step program for bibliophiles. We need help or more book cases. One or the other! Have a good day and happy reading.

  5. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to afford a library in your home? So far this week, I've actually made a dent in my TBR pile. Of course, the week's not over yet.

  6. Loved your blog!

    And yes my eyes are much bigger than my stomach and it seems that I am always adding more books despite having a romm full of unread books.

    Every now and then I beat myself up over my addiction for buying books and then figure out everyone needs a little pleasure in their lives.

  7. My TBR pile is totally out of control. I have some ARC books to review, so I am reading those first, but yes....I do get panicky. I have not yet been able to put myself on a "diet"...I am too weak!

  8. Great post! I had such a good time reading everyone's BTT yesterday, and they made me feel much better about my TBR pile at home.

  9. my tbr pile seems to work like so:

    read 1 book; receive 4
    read 2 books; receive 5

    with math like this, i'll never reach the bottom of my pile--and for that i'm glad!!!

  10. Thank you everyone for your comments! It is always heartening to read about others with book addictions!! I am going to go check out Molly's 12-step program post at My Cozy Book Nook. Do you think there is help for us?

  11. Oh - you and kaye are so sweet to mention my "tongue in cheek" post.

    I think you and I pleasure read in much the same way. I intentionally slow down because I also want to savor the language. Half the fun of reading, in my humble opinion, is to enjoy the journey. While I would love to read several books each week, I am satisfied to read at the pace in which I enjoy --- and to continue to add to my own "Mount TBR"

  12. It wasn't until after I visited a few other blogs that were also talking about excessive book habits that I realised this was a BTT topic (I have a headcold, that's my excuse for being so unobservant).

    Obviously I managed to tap into the group consciousness with my own post on Thursday on the same topic. It must be a sign to follow the BTT topics more closely.

    I'll look into that as soon as I check out Molly's 12 step program. Sounds like something I need to read.

  13. I very much admire your ability to drive past used bookstores, and your adherence to your rule about only getting a book after getting rid of one of your own. Wow. I wish I could do that. ;)
    I also enjoyed how you likened reading a book to savoring a good meal. I honestly never thought of it that way.

  14. Susan- No problem! You must have a sixth sense with your post!

    Sunshine- Oh it helps I don't have any money to be spending, too. :-)


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