So Many Books, but Limited Reading Time and Lifespan

  1. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    5,111
    This

    Too Much Music: A Failed Experiment In Dedicated Listening

    is an interesting and amusing article about accumulating recorded music, but it's relevant to book acquisition.

    I've been trying this year to limit my book ordering* to the first and 15th of the month, unless the circumstances are exceptional. It's not that I can't afford the books, since most of the books I order are used copies that cost no more than a few dollars -- $20 would be a bit steep compared to my average, I suppose. But I have many books on hand already, some never read, and some that I know I want to reread. And, in the past few years, I've arrived at the point where I don't have room for them all given existing shelf space. Moreover, while I hope I have quite a few years left in which I will be able to read, I know I have fewer such years than I did 20, 30, 40 years ago, during all of which time I bought books.

    Lately, though I haven't been buying books as freely as I'm tempted to, I have been printing some out from archive.org. Even so, I itch daily to order books.

    *Where I live, there are no significant bookstores at hand.
     
    Jan 18, 2018
    #1
  2. hitmouse

    hitmouse Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean. I haven't bought any books yet this week.
     
    Jan 18, 2018
    #2
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  3. Paul_C

    Paul_C Well-Known Member

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    After joining Chrons in search of book recommendations I've acquired a lot of books, and there are days when I wonder if I really need to buy any more.

    Having said that, my Dad can get through ten to twelve books every six weeks or so, and he's 91 (and sleeps half the day :) ) - so perhaps I'll need more after all :)
     
    Jan 18, 2018
    #3
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  4. J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    Actually, modren tech makes it possible to garner up music without all the dross. You used to have to fill a wall with cassettes, now it's one hard drive.
    How much do 100 Tangerine Dream albums weigh? More than this laptop. I have three of their tunes on here somewhere...
     
    Jan 18, 2018
    #4
  5. Connavar

    Connavar Well-Known Member

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    I have been thinking about the same questions for the last 2-3 years. I use to buy 10 books per month when i was newer as an avid reader who had to collect all the favs, the genres, the classics, the poetry, the plays etc. But now i have all the books i want, need unread at home. I have a fav local bookshop that is legendary in here in Uppsala. Uppsala English Bookshop is specialist bookstore for book lovers, i have 4 books worth of books from them. They are like 5 km from my house.

    Im 35 years old, i have been a reader really for real, avid reader you guys know from SFF chrons since 2007 and i have understood you have limited time to read when there are so many quality authors, books i must read. This is why i almost never re-read unless its a beloved book by Vance or Lord Dunsany or Poe or Hammett or Plath type authors i adore. The last books i bought/ordered I'm going to pick up today from the store:

    Complete Plays - Christopher Marlowe
    The Big Book of The Continental Op - Hammett
    Pulp - Charles Bukowski
    The Ghosts of Galway - Ken Bruen

    Marlowe interest me more than Shakespeare these days, Hammett is the greatest ever at his field, Bukowski is the second beat i try after Ginsberg's poetry and Ken Bruen is one of my alltime fav authors who is actually a man living today.
     
    Jan 26, 2018
    #5
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  6. Connavar

    Connavar Well-Known Member

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    Extollager i cant imagine that experience, the history you have with those many books, decades. You are like the reader i want to be in a 20,30, 40 years. I have been thinking about saving money for big shelfs i saw in bookshelf store that was wall to wall, you need room i have understand if you want to age in style with your book collection :)
     
    Jan 26, 2018
    #6
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  7. Hugh

    Hugh Well-Known Member

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    I had a watershed experience some years back. We bought our first place a little over twenty five years ago and for the first time I was able to bring all my books together. I constructed a massive series of shelves, and was really pleased. While I'm sure that some of you have many more books than me, I still had more than anyone I knew.

    Then we decided to move and my wife argued persuasively that I take down the shelves and store the books in order to get the place looking better for possible buyers. To my very great surprise, after I did this it felt like a weight had lifted. This was completely unexpected. The best way to explain it was that it felt as as if the books had been constantly whispering to me (OK, I do know they weren't) saying stuff like "You haven't read me yet", "Look at me, I'm difficult to get hold of", "You must be clever, you've read me" and all sorts of other truly stupid stuff.

    We moved over ten years ago. During the time that the books were stored I had got used to doing without them. Today I do have some smaller shelves for valued favourites, but I try to move on most books that I read fairly quickly, either re-selling on Amazon or giving away. I tell myself that if I ever want to read a book again that I can easily just buy it. So far, I don't think I've re-bought a single one that I've moved on. The arrival of the internet has changed so much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
    Jan 26, 2018
    #7
    Extollager likes this.
  8. dannymcg

    dannymcg Justified and Ancient member

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    I've been moving more and more into ebooks, mainly due to storage space.

    At the same time I can't resist a bargain 'job lot' and often find myself with dozens of unread. A lot are dross and I take them directly to charity shops - once there I just have to browse so usually end up with a bundle of similar size when I come back out :)
     
    Feb 2, 2018
    #8
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