We are lucky to have awesome wooden shelves in our apartment that we purchased from the last tenant. They are made from really beautiful wood and frame our (nonworking) fireplace and TV. They hold all of our books, treasures, and photographs. I’ve been in the market for a new book after reading Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. Lately I’ve shelled out a lot at the bookstore. In the interest of saving money, I’m picking up books on the shelf that I haven’t read. We all know what happens. You buy a ton of books and one goes by the wayside, pushed down on the “To Read” pile by other newer, more exciting books. Or your friend swaps you a few books. You’re excited to read what they’ve given you, but somehow you never pick them up. Or, and I’m guilty of this, you start a book and lose interest. Its sad fate seems to be it will never be read!
Now’s the time for a bookshelf cleaning: Read books you already have and never finished or never got around to. First up for me is The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. I bought the hardcover of this book when it first came out and started reading it, but didn’t get very far. Why? I felt a bit overwhelmed by all the literary and philosophical references. I wondered if I just wasn’t smart enough to read this book. I felt like I would miss all the references. But now, I’m feeling a bit more ambitious. I’m learning a lot from reading this book. And I’ve realized, if I don’t know a reference to an author or a theologian Eugenides mentions then I’ll just have to look it up or add another book to my “To Read” pile.
Another book I want to read that has been just waiting on my bookshelf is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. My copy of this book is pretty worn. It was my mom’s and I believe she had it in her classroom at school when she was a teacher. This is a highly acclaimed novel by an author who has won the Nobel Prize. Now that I’ve gotten past the beginning of the book where there are two deaths (Spoiler Alert) and the meat of the story really begins, I think I’ll really enjoy this book.
And the third book on my bookshelf cleaning list is After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman. I received this book from William Morrow to review when it first came out in hardcover, but I never got around to reading it. I’ve heard good things about Lippman’s writing. I really enjoy what I would consider “new” mystery and thrillers. They are less formulaic than mass-marketed mystery series and usually have richer characters and more diverse settings.
What books are on your shelf waiting to be read? It’s time to clean your bookshelf and read a forgotten book (and maybe dust around the piles, too!).