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The Guilty Pleasure of Books Not Yet Read

31 August 2012

From author Loyal Miles via BookRiot:

We’ve all been there. Face to face with books we’ve held, that we’ve brought home from the store or ordered online, that we’ve let linger for weeks on the coffee table, that we’ve reluctantly slid onto the shelf, that we’ve watched descend the queue of our Kindle or iPad. Books we know we eventually must read. When the time is right. When things slow down. When we get to it. An experience meant to be a part of our lives. A burden and pleasure we won’t bypass. A journey we’re destined to make.

. . . .

Someday I’ll tackle Underworld like I tackled Ulysses. I’ll finish A Visit from the Goon Squad and surrender months to Tolstoy. But some nights, I just want to be home, dinner on a plate in my lap, instant Netflix streaming. The homebound commute, the last thing I want is to find myself face-to-face with one more New Yorker, likely another Brooklynite headed home, a serious reader, a pair of hands holding that big white book, the king of clubs collaged with IRS codes, the digital signature of David Foster Wallace. The last, unfinished novel. Another book I haven’t read. Stalking me. I don’t deserve this. A dog-eared Netherland waits half-read inside my shoulder bag. I swear I’ll finish it.

Link to the rest at BookRiot

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6 Comments to “The Guilty Pleasure of Books Not Yet Read”

  1. Weeks? Try years.

  2. Guilty pleasure? I have so many books that I meant to read that I just feel plain guilty.

  3. I love my books, but none of them makes me feel guilty – that’s what I have parents for! 😀

  4. I just tossed several books from my meant-to-read category!


    I did a household pruning. Looked at a pile of books with no home. They were all keepers – I’d re-read them many times and planned to do so again.

    Then I looked at my shelves. Saw at least 6 unread books that were 15+ years in my library. Skimmed the first few pages. NOPE! Out they went! (And my keepers got a home.)

    (Used book store for the tossed, not landfill. Be reassured!)

    It felt great!

  5. For years I have tried to make my To Be Read (TBR) pile smaller. But there’s always something else…something catches my eye and I either buy it or check it out from the library and the pile might drop by a few books but then it rises again.

    And used bookstores are my downfall. I see a book and think, “I’ve always wanted to read that! And it’s only three dollars!”

  6. If you have to use the word “tackle” when it comes to reading certain books, then maybe those books aren’t the right ones for you to read.

    Anyway, I believe each book has its own time to be read by its owner. Sometimes its the day it’s been bought, other times its years. I didn’t read The Once and Future King by TH White until three years after I bought it (loved every bit of the book, by the way). Took me a year to get around to reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. One of the best fantasies I’ve ever read.

    Still haven’t read Moby Dick or Tale of Two Cities. Not sure I ever will. Feel guilty? Nah. Not really. There’s enough in my life to make me feel guilty; I don’t need my books shaking their heads at me with accusing glares. If they ever try, they’re going right into the box in the attic for a slow dusty death. I’ll have none of that nonesense, thank you very much.

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