It’s a semi-peaceful, boring Sunday. I’m inundated by work but thought to take a break to do something fun hence this post on books! I recently started doing posts called Wishes for My TBR Pile in which I share the top books I’ve discovered and added to my Goodreads “to be read” list. I frequently add books to my TBR list so “top” here refers to those I’m most likely to purchase and read.
While working, I realized that I’ve never shared whether I’ve actually gotten any of the books I wished for so I thought it would be a great idea to take a break and do a post on the ones I received. Here they are:
The first TBR pile book I bought is The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones. It’s from my October TBR pile round-up. I’ve already started reading it, but am doing so at a leisurely pace. To me it is written like an history book, which makes sense (duh!) but the pacing bores me a bit so I allow myself to be easily interrupted while reading. But so far I enjoy the back story it provides on the Targaryens and how they came to be in Westeros. The artwork is great as well.
Next I got an audiobook of Marlon James’ recent story on the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel, from Goodreads. This one is from the October TBR pile round-up as well. I would have started it already if it was a novel. I have to work myself up to listen to an audiobook since I don’t retain much when I simply listen. My mind tends to drift. I’ll have to work out a routine for this one: either drawing while listening or purchasing the book and reading along while I listen.
So I’m sitting in my room lost in a daydream when I see an insect scamper across the wall. Shocked, I immediately jump out of bed and hunt him down. I had never seen an insect like that before and it prompted me to run a Google search. The more I discovered, the more pissed I became which led me to do this post on my bookish pet peeves.
Bending the pages
I HATE when people do this to my books. I can hardly tolerate it when they do it to their own or to library books. Treat the books with some respect! Though, there is something charming about a well-worn book that is all bended, folded, scraped, and torn. A book that has been held in many hands and read in myriad places.
Asking to borrow my books
Yes, I am one of those snobbish bibliophiles who hate to loan a book. I’ll even go so far as to purchase the book for you so you’ll leave mine alone (family members and close friends only). It’s selfish and silly but loaning books lead to bended covers, torn pages, and possible loss of the book since borrowers never seem to remember to RETURN what they borrow….speaking from experience on that last one. I refrain from borrowing books. I have a library card. I hardly use it. I’m one of those people who usually have an unnecessarily high library debt. Why? Because I forget. I can’t help it. It’s not intentional, I just do.
Silverfish….and other book-eating bugs
The reason for this post. Unfortunately in this world there are insects who love to eat books and even more unfortunate is that my house is plagued with them. Where are they coming from? I don’t know. We recently moved and I guess they were here awaiting our arrival. I’ve seen them a few times at night, lurking in corners, crawling on walls, waiting for me to turn off the lights and go to sleep so they can attack my precious. These bugs are quick, little scampers. They are silvery-grey and have too many legs. They like warm, humid climes and love to feed on starch. They do not bite or spread any diseases and it seems that one could live peaceably with them if one does not mind many-legged insects crawling about the house but I’m not such a person. The mere sight of them is enough to rile me and have me running for the insect spray. So I’ve declared war on them. Prepare to be eliminated little fuckers!
I had the misfortune of being caught in a deluge the other day. I was returning from a trip to New York and the sky was bright and sunny. No need to worry about a thunderstorm, I thought. A few minutes walking down the road proved me wrong. The sky quickly grayed and it suddenly began to rain as if the clouds were unable to hold their water once they appeared. Luckily, I had an umbrella but it was of little use! I was soaked within minutes. My suitcase was as well. I was dragging it behind me and it was filled with paperbacks given to me by my aunt. Once I got home and started to unpack, I saw that my books were all crinkled and soggy, the pages sticking together. I almost cried. They were new books. I just hate it when my books are ruined before I’ve had the chance to read them.
I’m thinking of Robert Jordan’s 13-book series (which I am nowhere near finishing). It’s too damn long for no good reason. I am on book five of the Wheel of Time series and I wonder if I will ever finish the books in this lifetime. I am not daunted by large books or long series. What turns me off is when a book is large because the author is stalling, or when chapters are filled with pointless internal dialogue or an overkill on landscape descriptions (all of which Jordan does). I am sure the books could have been condensed to a series that is half of its current amount.
Well, that’s it for my tirade. What are your bookish pet peeves?
Note on the featured image because it’s so cool. It’s a photograph taken by Cara Barer, a photographer based in Houston, Tex. She transforms damaged books into art and also does book-sculpting. I’m in love with her work. I guess it’s the only way I can tolerate a damaged book.
I’m such a book whore! Seriously, why can’t I just stick to one? No, instead I start reading one and then another catches my eye and then I’m off with that one too, reading them both at once. Sometimes I feel guilty because I tend to give more attention to one than the other – most times, to the second than the first. I wish I could settle down with just one book but whenever I try to do so, my mind wanders and I begin to wonder if there’s something better out there that I’m missing out on.
For the New Year, I decided to read 30 books. It’s a doable goal. Last year’s 60 books didn’t work out well and I only read 45 by pushing myself hard. “30 books” is more relaxed. So far I’ve read 5 books, which has surprised me because I didn’t expect to read that much in just a month. The month isn’t even over yet.
The first book read was The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I was so captivated by this book that it didn’t even cross my mind to consider running off with another. This book lassoed me and held fast. Most times I couldn’t even tear my eyes from the pages. Everything was done one-handed and with a quarter of my attention while I read, which caused many accidents to happen—especially in the kitchen—and shoddy clean-up jobs.
After completing The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I jumped into The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan. This one is a bore. I’m still trying to make my way through it. The chemistry is simply not there and I kept wandering off so I began reading The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. Although Dillard’s book kept me interested, it was not enough to turn me from my whorish ways so I began reading A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin.
I ran off with A Wizard of Earthsea and had a blissful affair. We were involved once when I was a teenager but then I forgot about it—it’s hard to keep up when you’ve been involved with so many books. But it was great hooking up again and rediscovering what we once had. I promise this time I will not forget. It was a good lay.