The Back Of Logs
"Who wants a library full of books you've already read?"--Harlan Ellison
It's true. I've got a lot of books. Not only that, but I've got a lot of books I haven't read yet. I like to think of this as an occupational hazard for librarians (probably publishers too). Most readers have a To Read pile, books they haven't gotten around to reading yet. More dedicated folk have a To Read shelf. I actually have a To Read bookcase. No, really:
And there it is, in all it's glory. If you're wondering what the blank space is for, that's so the cats have a space to hang out. And it's also a place to (ahem) add more books if necessary. It's probably enough to keep me busy for a year or two, what with my relatively limited free time.
How did it come to this? Well, I blame Iowa. No, really. For a couple years we lived in a fairly small town that didn't have a decent bookstore. A few small used places with really limited selection, a Waldenbooks at the mall, and that was it. The nearest good-sized bookstore was a Barnes & Noble seventy miles away. So what we would do was, every few weeks, we'd saddle up and ride south. When we left the place, we'd have a dozen new purchases to read. Did that for two years, and managed to keep up with them. My To Read pile stayed of reasonable size.
Then we moved back to the Atlanta area, where the nearest bookstore was a Borders about two miles away, where it was easy to go every couple nights. There were also three or four good used places within a reasonable distance. And like an athlete who stops competing but keeps eating, my To Read pile grew and grew. And then grew some more. I had so many books I hadn't read yet, I had to put little pieces of paper in them to remind myself I hadn't read them yet. When we recently moved our library to give Ian a playroom, I pulled them all together. The top two shelves are double-stacked paperbacks, and even most of the hardbacks have a row of paperbacks squeezed in front. Best estimate, it's a few hundred books sitting right my bedside. If I say, I need something to read, all I have to do is reach out a hand and grab a book.
So now that I've so thoroughly impressed upon you that I've got a lot to read, what am I actually reading?
Blood Engines, by T. A. Pratt. That's right, a brand new book, one that I couldn't wait to buy later on. Furthermore, this fresh upstart skipped the line past all those others. And well it should. It's got just what you need: strong central female character, magic, wit, and general badassery. Pratt is a good, fun writer who knows his way around the English language and knows how to entertain the reader. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Now go forth and procure yourself a copy, already. But not mine.