Read Your Own Books

If it hadn’t started by the time I began working in libraries, it started then. Some of it was good: I realized if I had enjoyed a book but probably wouldn’t need it again, I could give it away rather than hoarding it and borrow it back if necessary. But along with this swing toward (comparative) book shelf minimalism came a new problem.

My book collection started shifting toward a higher concentration of unread books. I was getting rid of more books I had read, and at the same time neglecting unopened books on my shelves less often because I was tempted by all the new books passing my way at the circ desk.

J and I are trying to tamp down our Amazon habit (cutting down on cardboard to be hauled to the curb, if nothing else!) and it seems like a good time to focus on the good I’ve got, not the next thing down the Amazon rabbit hole.

So for 2018, I’m committing to reading my own books. I can buy books for my book clubs, and books for the kids, but otherwise I’ve got to work through my own shelves. Here are some I’m looking forward to:

  • Not God’s Type
  • a Rumer Godden biography I found in a box of free books last spring
  • Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food by Wendell Berry — started at least twice before I got distracted.
  • Shirt of Flame: A Year with St Therese of Liseux
  • The Catholic Church and Conversion by GK Chesterton
  • English Lessons — a loaner from Emily.
  • The Blythes Are Quoted — started and abandoned because it’s boring, but I NEED to know and if I could get through Go Set a Watchman I can do anything.
  • Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit — as I write this my children are playing with Legos and facetiming my parents…
  • Numbering My Days: How the Liturgical Calendar Rearranged My Life  — from my mother-in-law, and neglected for at least a year.
  • A Green and Pleasant Land: How England’s Gardeners Fought the Second World War

And…that’s probably only half of the neglected books lying around here, max. I don’t know that in December I’ll make myself get rid of all the ones I haven’t read, but I’d like at the end of the year to have things pared down and opinions to report back to you on most of the books above.

Do you do new years (or Advent) resolutions? What are yours?

10 thoughts on “Read Your Own Books

  1. I’ve wanted to do this one year! Not this year–this is the year of (among other things) really read some of those books that I only skimmed well enough to pass midterms during college 😉 Relatedly, one of my goals this year is to patronize local bookstores in favor of amazon.


  2. I have a sign in my office i think you’d like. I’ll post it for you. If yoy like it i’ll get one made for you!


  3. Last Child in the Woods was worth reading, for sure. I haven’t read Shirt of Flame, so put me on the borrow list for that one later, ok?

    Also- no Flannery on that list!


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