Sunday, 13 February 2011

I think it's an illness...

My name is Peta and I am a bibliophilic.

Recently, in comments, Jodie from Book Gazing assured me that if my TBR pile was not falling over then it was not too big. Erm. I don't think I could actually carry all the books I own but have not read towards a pile without putting my back out! My addiction is such that, off the top of my head, and yes just for this month so far, I've bought at least 13 books. So that's an average of one a day... Gulp.

It's time to face an unpalatable home truth. I honestly can not keep buying/receiving books at the rate I have been over the last few months and a) hope to find space to home them or b) actually ever read them all! Oh - and c) remain solvent!

When we moved house in May last year my TBR shelf (so more like twoish shelves...) got muddled up with the rest of my books so it's been relatively easy to hide the growing scale of the "problem" from myself. And, more importantly, my husband! Last night I went through my books and pulled all the TBRs into one area. This area is five shelves of books. Yes. Five shelves, each 80cm long, packed with books. Right. So I have four metres of books that I own and have not read. And that excludes oversize books like reference (e.g. I just had to buy a copy of Brewster's Dictionary in January) and graphic novels!

Yep. It's time to go cold turkey. I officially declare that from henceforward No More Books* will enter this house until at least my birthday - which is in June. No more reading a book review and moments later buying the damn thing. No more falling for tempting 2 for £7 deals at the supermarket. No more "just quickly looking" in charity shops then walking out with a bag I can barely carry. No more "reference books" that I neeeeeeeeded for the garden/veg patch.

In a heroic demonstration of my commitment to change, I have even managed to resist the lure of purchasing books for next month's "Women Of" reading clubs and actually been organised enough to place reservations for both Prospero Lost & Darkship Thieves with my library**. What heroic fortitude I am displaying and I am sure that they could do with the additional income of £1.10!

On a more serious note, and I think it's worth the digression, I do realise just how lucky I am to live in Norfolk, where the council is not closing a single one of our 47 libraries which serve around 250,000 active members. Just to our south, Suffolk council hopes to shut at least 20 of its 44 branches. Whilst I am very aware that the cuts have to come from somewhere, I hope that the government do step in to stop at least some of the cuts as once closed I can't imagine they'd re-open in the future.

So to summarise. No more book buying and reduce the TBRs by at least a metre by the end of the year!

* OK so I can't bring myself to cancel my pre-order for The Wise Man's Fear in March, the sequel to the fabulously awesome The Name of the Wind, and the two books already in transit to me don't count either...

** Although if I really enjoy them I reserve the right to add them to my wish list! :)


Jodie said...

Existing pre-orders are fine! I have to believe this, because I have 3 coming to me despite being on a ban for the past two months and like you I can't possibly cancel them. And books for others don't count either (as long as you don't read them before handing them over).

Huzzah you can do it I know you can. I will even extend my ban form March until June in solidarity if you like (really could do with making it longer). We will escape the fear of falling piles crushing us!

Peta said...

Yay for solidarity! Huzzah indeed and I am sure that together we can be stronger. Really should have joined in with your efforts two months ago but I just couldn't bring myself to! So weak. To clarify:

- legitimately already placed pre-orders don't count (and I am very glad that they don't)
- Books bought as genuine gifts are OK - as long as we don't read them first!
- Is using the library for "in an emergency" borrowing also acceptable? I know it doesn't reduce the stack but at least it's not adding...?
- How do you feel about books received as gifts? And I define "gifts" as not books that I have made my husband buy me from our joint account...

I feel like I should make a set of achievement badges saying "It's been one month since I bought a book", etc! :)

Ana S. said...

I'm coming to the same conclusion re: my own acquisitions habit. I'm lucky to live somewhere where the library doesn't even charge for holds, so I have no excuse really! Although I'm currently divided between supporting the library and concentrating on my tbr pile a little more.

Jodie said...

Oh good, because the past almost two months have been ok, but I feel myself weakening as some of the YA book prizes are getting announced.

I think the library is fine, maybe for readalongs you've planned to join in with (that is my plan anyway)but things like Bookmooch aren't. Presents are totally fine in my view and it is rude to turn them down (ahhh justifications), but forced presents make St Valentine cry, probably and so are forbidden as you've rightly said.

Peta said...

I think that as long as I do get the TBR shelves down (erm - by half?!) that'll be pretty good progress this year. My library will happily buy books that I want if not in stock so in theory I should not have to buy a single book this year.

I would have to make Sta Valentine cry and will keep that in mind when emailing "I have thought of a wonderful present for me" type messages to Mr B! :)

ErinPaperbackstash said...

I know what you mean about an ever growing TBR list. Addicting arent they? :)