Monday, 6 September 2010

The First Step admitting that you have a problem:

Hi, my name is Ted and I'm a biblioholic. I'm utterly addicted to the increase of my library, by any means necessary. It's been 2 days since my last bookshop splurge, when the friendly but concerned clerk, recognising me and the considerable amount I seem to spend on a regular basis at the Angus & Robertson in James Place, asked "How many of the books you own have you actually read?". He has a point. Maybe I just buy books to impress my local bookstoe clerk, for the smell of fresh paper and the softness of an uncreased trade paperback, or to look intelligent but not actually to read.

When I went home and looked at my collection, and what I saw disgusted me. I don't have a problem, I have seventy-four problems. Some of them partially solved, some of them new and exciting, right across the spectrum from historical fiction pulp to classic SF, biographies and non-fiction, and it's about time that I did something about it. These seventy-four are a not inconsiderable percentage of my entire library, and while I didn't buy them all I've let them get a little out of hand. So...

No more buying books until I've finished the ones I have now.
(This doesn't exclude me picking up free books or books or really, really good sale, but I won't go looking for them).

Some of you are aware that I've tried this before, but it failed the next time I went into a bookstore with money in my pocket (I managed a few times by making myself poor before entry), but this time it's in writing, and as I am a man of my word, I'm just going to have to knuckle down and deal with my problems, all 74 of them. Then maybe I can start on the other bad habits, like picking things up off of the street and putting them in my mouth.

Just on the off chance that you're interested, the list is:
Aitken, Johnathan. John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace (birthday present 2010)
Asimov, Isaac. Robot Stories. (bought this weekend)
Austen, Jane. Emma (deceased estate 2008, deceased smoked
a lot)
Blainey, Geoffrey. A Shorter History of Australia (free box at work)
Bryson, Bill. A Short History of Nearly Everything (bought early 2010)
Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress (inherited)
Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange (bought 2009)
Chaucer, Geoffrey. Canterbury Tales (2009)
Christie, Agatha. 4.50 From Paddington (inherited)
Christie, Agatha. Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (inherited)
Christie, Agatha. The Mousetrap (free box)
Christie, Agatha. They Came to Baghdad (inherited)
Christie, Agatha. They Do It with Mirrors (inherited)
Clarke, Susanna. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (bought this weekend)
Cornwell, Bernard. Sharpe’s Revenge (op-shop 2010)
Courtenay, Bryce. The Persimmon Tree (early 2010)
Cupp, Bob. The Edict (early 2010)
Currie, Ron. God is Dead (A&R crazy sale 2010)
Dahl, Roald. Going Solo (2009)
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities (birthday present 2010)
Dickens, Charles. Hard Times (deceased estate 2008)
Dickens, Charles. Nicholas Nickleby (deceased estate 2008)
Donaldson, Stephen. The One Tree (free box)
Donaldson, Stephen. The Wounded Land (inherited)
Donaldson, Stephen. White Gold Wielder (inherited)
Durrell, Gerald. My Family and Other Animals (2009)
Eliot, George. Middlemarch (deceased estate 2008)
Flanagan, Richard. Wanting (A&R crazy sale 2010)
Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book (early 2010)
Gibson, William. Burning Chrome (free box)
Gibson, William. Mona Lisa Overdrive (free box)
Gibson, William. Neuromancer (free box)
Hoban, Russell. Riddley Walker (inherited)
Homer. The Iliad (op-shop 2010)
Homer. The Odyssey (gift)
Joachimsthaler, Anton. The Last Days of Hitler (mid 2010)
Keneally, Tom. Australians – Origins to Eureka (last weekend)
Kennedy, GA Studdert. The Unutterable Beauty (op shop 2010)
Kipling, Rudyard. Limits and Renewals (inherited)
Lehmann, Darren. Worth the Wait (2009) - Read September 2010
Lewis, CS. Out of the Silent Planet (deceased estate 2008)
Lewis, CS. Perelandra (deceased estate 2008)
Lewis, CS. That Hideous Strength (deceased estate 2008)
Martin, GRR et al. Songs of a Dying Earth (last weekend) - Read October 2010

Milton, John. Dramatic Poems (op shop 2010)
Mitford, Nancy. Love in a Cold Climate (inherited)
Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita (2008)
Orwell, George. Animal Farm (deceased estate 2008)
Owen, Wilfred. Poems (op shop 2010)
Peake, Mervyn. Gormenghast (free box)
Peake, Mervyn. Titus Groan (stolen from co-worker 2009)
Robertson, Geoffrey. Crimes Against Humanity (early 2010)
Salinger, JD. The Catcher in the Rye (inherited)
Selby-Montefiore, Hugh. Enigma (early 2010)
Shatner, William. Tek Lab (free box)
Shatner, William. Tek Vengeance (free box)
Shaw, George Bernard. Three Plays For Puritans (free box)
Stow, Randolph. The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea (early 2010)
Sutherland, John. Curiosities of Literature (birthday present 2009)
Swift, Jonathan. Gullivers Travels and Other Writings (free box)
Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair (deceased estate 2008)
Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace (2009)
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (2009)
Waugh, Evelyn. A Handful of Dust (2009)
Wilde, Oscar. A Picture of Dorian Grey (2008)
Wilde, Oscar. Complete Short Fiction (2009)
Winton, Tim. Breath (2009)
Wodehouse, PG. A Pelican at Blandings (free box)
Wodehouse, PG. Jeeves in the Offing (free box)
Wodehouse, PG. Much Obliged, Jeeves (free box)
Wodehouse, PG. P. Smith in the City (free box)
Wodehouse, PG. Ring for Jeeves (free box)
Wyss, Johann. Swiss Family Robinson (deceased esate)

Now I've got to read the suckers.

The next step is coming to believe that a higher power can restore me to sanity. I have a feeling that that one might take a while.


Michael5000 said...

1. Where's the part about how you do a little write-up here every time you read one?

2. You've got bits and pieces of the Thomas Covenant series; you'll have to add, um, "Lord Foul's Bane" I think to the list at a minimum.

3. Shocking neglect of Stralian Lit.

UnwiseOwl said...

1. Absolutely I'll do a little write-up. I can't promise it'll be up to the M5000 standard, but I'll see what I can do.

2. I've already read the first series of the Thomas Covenants, much to my disgust...I'll go into it when I do that write-up, if you like.

3. I know, I know, and I'm ashamed about it. There's a bit of Aussie stuff there, but nowhere near as much as I'd like. This is because Australian literature pretty much sucks.

Sylvia said...

I can recommend Emma, let you know that I never bothered finishing Jonathan Strange because it bored me to tears, note that I've read Out of The Silent Planet and can't even recall what it was about.

How have you not read Animal Farm?
Catcher in the Rye & Swiss Family Robinson, eh.
War and Peace <3.

UnwiseOwl said...

Animal Farm is one of those curiosities and contradictions in my life, I'm afraid. It was just never in the right place at the right time. I've seen the film too many times, and can quote sections of the text, but just never got around to actually reading it. This seems odd to me too, considering how much I like 1984, but there you go.