I’ve not been buying many new books lately. It’s not because I’ve gone off them or anything, its because I thought it would be a good idea to work my way through the backlog of unread books lying around the house before I started adding to it. I had this idea that it would be really nice to have no unread books in the house at all, so that when I was out looking a new one I could buy it knowing that I would take it home and start reading it right away, rather than throwing it on the pile and maybe getting around to it in a few months, or maybe losing interest in it and never reading it at all.
It was going well too. I found some hidden treasures mixed up in the pile that I had forgotten I had. Slowly the towering mass of books began to dwindle. But then I panicked and bought a copy of The Art of Fielding well ahead of schedule.
You see, I tend to read several books at once. I like to have either a light paperback or something on kindle for taking to work and reading on the train. For books that I am more excited about or will want to keep a copy of on the shelf I tend to get a nice, big hardback, which is no good for taking on the train. Those big hardbacks become my at-home reading. My special treat for Saturday mornings. My current big hardback is 1Q84 (I have been reading it for ages, but I am enjoying it so much I have been trying to take my time with it, like chewing excellent food slowly between sips of water.) The Art of Fielding was another in the big hardback category. I was looking forward to it so I didn’t want a kindle version or a paperback, I wanted the big, delicious hardback that I had seen in the shop. But then I was worried the hardback might disappear before I was ready to buy it and be stuck with the paperback, so I bought it anyway, and shoved it to the bottom of my to-read list.
And then today I was in Smiths for no good reason at all and bought a copy of The Etymoligicon. I just can’t seem to help myself. I don’t think I will ever get to the point of having no reading backlog. Book buying will always be about planning ahead several months.