Thursday, July 21, 2011

One more thing and then I'll shut up

About the Kindle, I mean.

See, this is how my nightstand looked not too long ago:

You see the problem here, right? That lamp is FAR too short! No, wait ... that's not it. The problem is that I took my life in my hands every single night, lest that towering double stack o' books should topple over and kill me in my sleep.

I'm a book hoarder, is what I'm saying. I cannot resist a clearance rack, a library sale, a thrift store bookshelf. Cheap books are my crack; I buy them in bulk and let them pile up in sedimentary layers. Occasionally I even read one! But for every one book I read, I tend to buy three or five or twelve more.

It's a sickness, and I'm here to tell you: the Kindle is NOT a cure. Nope. Not even.

Because while I've managed to whittle that towering stack o' ACTUAL books down considerably since that photo was taken, here are the books that currently reside on my Kindle:
  • Steig Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. This is the book I'm reading now. So exciting!
  • Robin Mather's The Feast Nearby. That's the book I most recently finished (highly recommended, by the way). Did I delete it from my Kindle when I was done, knowing that Amazon would store it for me and I could re-download it whenever I wanted to for free? No, I did not. I moved it to a "finished" folder instead. BECAUSE I'M A HOARDER.
  • Johnny Virgil's The Snitch, Houdini and Me. Haven't read this one yet, but very much looking forward to it.
  • Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. My kids have read all the books in this trilogy (along with her earlier Gregor the Overlander series) and loved them, and I want to read them too, but I'll be darned if I'm going to go digging around through all the crap in their rooms looking for them.
  • Ransom Riggs's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. It looked interesting.
  • Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. Because Michael Cunningham's The Hours made me want to read it.
So that's not too bad, right? A book I'm reading now, a book I've recently finished, and a few new books on deck to keep me busy.

Oh, but people. It gets so much worse. I also have all of THESE books on my Kindle. Because they were free! If cheap books are my crack, free books are my crystal meth, or something! I don't know! Stay off drugs, kids!
  • Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  • Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey
  • L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
  • Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White
  • Charles Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment
  • George Elliot's Middlemarch
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher's Understood Betsy
  • Jack London's The Call of the Wild
  • Jack London's White Fang
  • Mary Roberts Rinehart's The Circular Staircase
  • Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island
  • Elinor Pruitt Stewart's Letters of a Woman Homesteader
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula
  • Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace
And to top it off? I have sample chapters from all of THESE books loaded onto my Kindle. So I can decide whether I like them enough to buy and read the whole book(s):
  • Sarah Bird's The Gap Year
  • Emma Donoghue's Room
  • Barry Estabrook's Tomtatoland
  • Tina Fey's Bossypants
  • Tana French's Faithful Place
  • Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones & Butter
  • Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches
  • Eleanor Henderson's Ten Thousand Saints
  • Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts
  • Paul Murray's Skippy Dies
  • Carolyn Parkhurst's The Nobodies Album
  • Ann Patchett's State of Wonder
  • Donald Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time
  • Mary Doria Russell's Doc
  • Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Patti Smith's Just Kids
  • John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley
  • S.J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep
Um, so yeah. You can take the girl out of the library sale, but you can't take the entire freaking library out of the girl's e-book reader, apparently. Heh.

Can I get a 12-step program up in here?


  1. I have finished 30+ books since summer started. I haven't even put a dent in the Nook books or the ones I keep on my Droid II. We went to the thrift book store and came back with over 50 books between the 6 of us. How needs a 12 step program? Wanna be buddies?

  2. You don't need a 12 step program, or if you do, then I should be the book equivalent of the drunk dude in the back who has no intention of changing but comes for the cookies, LOL. I have over 1900 titles on my Sony Reader.

  3. You could become a librarian (like me!). But the ugly truth is that we don't have time to read all those books either...though no one thinks we are as crazy as the average human to have them all stacked up in our homes, desks and extra lists in notebooks (paper and online).

  4. So much better to be addicted to collecting books than...tiny angel figurines?...salt & pepper shakers?...porcelain tea cups?...hypodermic needles?

    See? Now don't you feel better. It's a noble addiction.


  5. I love you, you crazy bunch of enablers. But remind me not to call you if I ever end up addicted to ACTUAL crack and/or crystal meth, m'kay?

  6. For those of us who hoard books? There is no cure.

  7. Sorry to be the Debbie Downer here but there is a cure. I've given away hundreds of books and after watching enough episodes of shows like Hoarders, I am ready to give away more. I'm a former high school English teacher with two English degrees and I'm an avid reader. I can't read as much as I want to buy so I have seriously limited myself to no more than 3-4 unread on my Kindle and when I go to a bookstore, I'll buy no more than two or three at the most. I've given away too many I've bought but never read. I just finished the third book in the Hunger Games, and now I'm reading A Dog's Purpose by W. James Cameron. The Hunger Games were on the Kindle and current bok was from Costco. Next is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, which I bought at City Lights in SF. Keeping the books in control just brings order to my life. After all, a book for the kindle is seconds away.

  8. Loved the Hunger Games trilogy, I think you'll like it too. Also, do you know about Kindle loaning books? The whole family has Kindles, but we have the kids on one account and ourselves on another to try to monitor their reading (not everything I read is appropriate for them), so we just Kindle loan from one account to the other. Google it, it's super easy. From one former paper-book-diehard to another, Enjoy!!

  9. Even after weeding my Unread books in my Kindle down (knowing, of course, that I can re-load them whenever I want) I still have 250+ on there. What can I say? When I finish one book, I want to have another to go to right away, and since I don't know what kind of mood I'll be in, I need VARIETY.


  10. Exactly why I refuse to get a Kindle/Nook/etc!!!

  11. Wow. I am seriously impressed. Not just by the number of books you are reading but by the tidiness of your nightstand. I would have bumped into that tower months ago.

  12. I must be missing something here because I don't see the problem. :)

  13. I am all envy, though. I want a big pile. I want a fat Kindle.