Sunday, 8 May 2011
Eyes Bigger Than......
No, I haven't had a brainstorm, nor have I taken leave of my senses. What I am trying to do is curb the habit I have of ordering far more books through the library system than I could ever hope to read in the time I'm allowed to keep them. Actually, I shouldn't call it a habit, it's far worse than that; it's an addiction. Not only do said books weigh down my book shelves until they are at breaking point, but while those books are sitting on my shelves they're not on the library's shelves available for other people who do have the time and the desire to read them. It has to stop.
Because of the way our library system works I have three different tickets which in total allow me to borrow forty books, most of them for up to three months at a time. Forty books, and that's not counting the ones that I can have on reserve. You can see the problem, can't you? The Booker long list comes out - I order the lot. One of the papers does a 'books of the year' or 'summer reading' article - another dozen or so join the list. And blogging! Oh don't get me onto the effects blogging has on this. Oh yes, you're the ones who are really to blame. None of this is my fault. It's you lot out there, leading me into bad habits, that are at the root of the problem. You're a bad influence, that's what you are. I should have known better than to keep company with any of you.
There is another side to this as well. I'm not really being discriminating enough in what I reserve. Instead of taking the time to browse through a book or really read the reviews thoroughly I'm ordering things on a whim and then finding that I've spent time trying to get into a book that was never going to appeal to me in the first place, time that could have been better spent with books I had taken the trouble to find out more about. Of course, some times there is a wonderful, serendipitous find, but not often enough to justify the continuation of my present approach.
So, I'm clearing the decks. The ticket and the books associated with it go back to the library tomorrow. I won't need more than one journey provided I pack the car boot carefully. And the new policy of keeping a wish list and only reserving book from it as I finish one in the pile begins. One book finished, one book ordered and no more than a dozen in the house at anyone time. I have the will power, I can do this. If I repeat that often enough I might even begin to believe it.