HUGE THANKS to Allan Hudson for hosting me once again on his blog, South Branch Scribbler!
Following is much of that original post. Please visit Allan’s link to read in its entirety.
I am a reader and I read a lot of books! No matter how many I read however I never seem to catch up with my ginormous to-be-read stack/list of books. Even though I try to follow Dr. Seuss’s advice:
I never manage to come even close to catching up.
But then that’s part of the fun in reading, isn’t it? The search for new books to read, test-driving new authors’ writing, the joy in “discovering” a new-to-you book or even a genre that you’ve never read before. I’ve spent my entire life reading and working with books and authors and am an author now myself, yet I never tire of reading, thinking about, discussing, recommending and discovering new books!
I know there are many others out there just like me, too, so that’s why I say to you now – Make it your New Year’s resolution to read even more in 2019! You don’t need to count the books you do read, or compare numbers you’ve read with others. We are all different, we readers, not only in how fast we can read, but also in when and where we like to read, how we approach our reading, and even why or what we read in the first place. So no judgement calls here at all, folks! Just the suggestion that if you enjoy reading, you might want to make it a priority in your life to read even more. I won’t go into the many ways that you can make more time to read. I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.
To help other readers along a little bit with suggestions as to what they might consider reading, I recently created a Facebook Group Your next great read … suggestions for readers and authors that I hope will not only generate lists of books and authors for other readers to enjoy reading, but also some discussion about books and reading in general. It’s an open group and anyone may join – authors too, because authors are (or should be!!) readers themselves. Self-promotion is allowed, but authors are requested to contribute information on other books and authors, as well. I would love to see – eventually – a large membership of readers from all around the world (and we already have the beginnings of an international group) who benefit from the reading experience of everyone. I’m particularly interested in world literature (although only what is available in English, in my case) so I would love to hear about authors in other countries, especially non-English-speaking, who are publishing books that are available in English translation. I know other members already contributing to the site are also interested in particular genres or types of writing. Why not join us and see if you find something new-to-you that becomes Your Next Great Read!
So, Readers, are you ready to resolve to read more in 2019? I hope so, and that you will consider joining us. And, if you’re not on Facebook but are still looking for ways to encourage yourself to stick with this resolution of reading more, I suggest you consider following these blogs …
(This one, of course!) Allan Hudson’s South Branch Scribbler
And my own blog, Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing (I’m planning on writing a series, actually, about all the How, When, Why, Where, What, and Who on reading – subscribe to my blog and Stay Tuned!)
I mention these blogs primarily because we three authors make a habit of promoting other authors and their books. We also all write or have written about writing and publishing as self-published authors and we reblog interesting articles and blog posts written by other authors as well. As my personal interest has swayed from selling books to finding more readers for writing in general, I’ve written a number of posts aimed at readers (as well as addressing directly authors who continue to promote their own work too much!). You might find something interesting in one of these articles:
So good to see you again! To dust off our friendship, rearrange, put you back into order, reminisce …
I decided that, since it’s raining this morning and looks as though it’s likely not to stop anytime soon, today is a good day to begin the arduous task of cleaning the bookshelves in the living room. Arduous, I say, because there are one hell-of-a-lot of books in this house – approximately 1500-2000 in the living room and 500 in the kitchen – so it’s not an easy task to get around to doing this on a regular basis.
The problem, or actually PROBLEMS, with keeping print books in the tropics is/are: sea spray, sun, wind, humidity, rain, dust, leaves, lizards, spiders, bookworms, and other kinds of insects and rodents you don’t want to know about. (Not to mention well-meaning housekeepers who remove the books to dust, but don’t realize they are all placed on the shelves in a strict genre-and-alphabetical order … ) It means that those shelves end up looking like this:
(Trust me, much more gross in real life than the few cobwebs/insect bodies shown here … but I didn’t want to show you the truth and have you thinking I’m a total slob. )
And the books, generally look like this, requiring that EACH ONE be vacuumed, pages fanned to release critters (both dead and still crawling), wiped clean with a damp cloth, some disintegrating dust covers thrown out altogether:
In other words, time-consuming, so the job only gets completely done (by me) every year or three.
But, really, the time-consuming part is in handling each book separately, lovingly – okay, fondling the books! – remembering why I’ve kept each one all these years, what I loved about the authors and their writing, visitng again with those authors I’ve met during my bookish life, those who became, and have remained, my friends … It’s really more than just an accounting and listing of the books I own; more an assessment of what’s there, what I’ve kept by me throughout my life, and why. Aside from all the dust, dirt, grime, and lizard guano (or skeletons) involved in the job, it’s the most pleasurable thing I can think of to do on this rainy day on Bequia. (And it’s also a good excuse to avoid writing novel #2, now that I think of it!)
Here are some further thoughts on specific books (from the first shelf only – mostly fiction) that are in my possession, just in case you’re at all interested:
And a picture of Mr. Griz, when he was just a wee mite, and loved hanging out behind us on the shelves just above our heads whenever we sat on the couch watching TV. What better place for a kitten to hide than behind all those books! And see what good taste in books he has – he’s perched on top of my Cormac McCarthy collection. Smart cat!