So Many Books, So Little Time!

I’m sharing an article from the archives today, updated from its original posting in 2008.

But FIRST… I have to share my daughter’s exciting news! Her first publishing contract! Head over to Shari’s blog and read about it, then come back here to continue. :)

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“So many books, so little time.”  If you Google this phrase you’ll come up with about 563,000,000 results — everything from a link to the quote attributed to Frank Zappa, to Sara Nelson’s book documenting a year of her passionate reading, assorted articles on the subject, even a forum of the same name on the Indigo/Chapters site debating about what ten books you might take if you knew you were going to be stranded on a desert island.

Summer Reading GraphicFor me, the words stand alone, not as a title for anything. They emerge from my mouth sounding more like a moan, even a wail, expressing my frustration that there are more books that I want to read than there are hours left in my life. (And I’m planning for a lot of those!)

Selecting what to read — what’s worthy of my time — is always a dilemma. So I could relate to a  blog entry written some years ago by literary agent Jessica Faust.  Here’s an excerpt:

“I somehow had the impression that as a recent college grad, or just an intelligent woman, I should be reading more intelligent books (whatever that means). In other words, I should be catching up on the classics I missed out on as a journalism major or reading only books that incited great philosophical discussions… It took me a long time to accept and advertise the fact that I was a commercial fiction girl… I think all readers evolve and grow over time and eventually find their niche. I hear often from those who read only fantasy as young people and now have grown to read different kinds of fiction, and I hear from others who still can’t stomach commercial fiction but love nothing more than to cuddle into a long classic. Some typically enjoy longer literary works, but when life is tough or getting them down, they will pull out a favorite romance or thriller. What we read and when we’re reading it can say a lot about who we are in that time of our life, just like the music we listen to and the movies we watch.”

I wonder what my reading choices say about me. I’m definitely not scholarly. Today’s post is a re-run from my archives, but at the time it was first posted, my virtual coffee table held the following: Fiction — “Leota’s Garden” by Francine Rivers, “Carlyle’s House” by Virginia Woolf, “Light on Snow” by Anita Shreve and Kirsty Scott’s “Between You & Me”. Non-fiction: Julia Cameron’s “The Sound of Paper”, Des Kennedy’s “Crazy About Gardening”, and John Fischer’s “Be Thou My Vision” (daily meditation).

Reading vies with writing for possession of my time. No matter how much I spend on either, it’s never enough! I need to live to be 120!

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QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

  • Are your reading choices eclectic, or do you have favourite authors or themes that govern what you read?
  • Are your summer book choices lighter reading than what you choose during the rest of the year?
  • What’s on your coffee table (or bedside table) right now?
  • What’s on your summer reading list … anything you’d like to recommend?

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10 thoughts on “So Many Books, So Little Time!

  1. elderfox says:

    Books books & more books…I need a room for them. Right now I’m rereading pages I’ve torn from WRITERS MAGAZINES, and previous things I’ve written (but as you know, not published, not even close) :( I Released a big box of paperback Westerns to a Facebook friend and sold a lot of novels to a local bookstore. J J has finished the OUTLANDER series so I’m starting it for my summer/fall reading.

    • Carol says:

      The temptation for me is to read constantly, but then I’d never get anything else done, including any writing. If only I could find that “balance” that everyone keeps talking about. ;)

  2. Eclectic, definitely. I finally read War and Peace and I’m so glad I did. It’s #1 on my list of great reads. I tend to read anything that moves me these days. It can be Alex Sokoloff’s thriller or Waubgeshig Rice’s memoirs. Or a writing book. Doesn’t seem to matter. One thing though, I have to tell you, Carol, that your blog is on my year long reading list. Your subjects are always fascinating and relatable. You touch on something relevant to my life. Never fails.

  3. Judith Robl says:

    Woo-hoo for Shari! It’s a real thrill to get a contract. And you are right about the time being short. I have enough on my to do/to read list that if I lived to 140, I’d not accomplish half of it.

    • Carol says:

      Thanks, Judith. I know she’s thrilled… still probably a little in shock, too. I’m looking forward to seeing how she balances the reading-writing-revising when deadlines start coming into play. She’s pretty good at organizing, though, so I’m sure she’ll *still* get more accomplished than I will.

  4. Congrats to your daughter!

    I just finished Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke. Fabulous!

    • Carol says:

      Thanks, Susan. And thanks for the recommendation. I haven’t read ‘Saving Amelie’, so that’s yet another title to add to my teetering TBR stack! ;)

  5. Congratulations to your daughter!! Exciting and encouraging news. I jump all over in my reading…just finished The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith. Streets of Laredo by Larry McMurtry is sitting on my coffee table…got it out for my Dad to read while he was visiting and it’s calling my name. Although I’m not sure I can focus enough to read the whole thing.

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