Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Difficulties of Reading New Books

I had a goal this year to read at least five books published within this calendar year.  A pretty simple goal; five isn't much by anyone's standards.  There were a few I was eagerly anticipating, and I figured there would be a few that would pop up and excite me.  Halfway through November and this goal has been accomplished.

A few other books have recently caught my attention; books that have been published in the past few months and I've decided to double-up on my reading goal of new books read in a year.  What I've come to find is if you want to read new fiction and talk about it with the 'in' crowd (which is basically anyone who received an ARC) you have to buy the book, join the cool kids in the in crowd, or win the lottery.  The lottery would be your local library.

My library system is great.  I have no complaints, but if I want to read The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright, or The Folded World by Catherynne Valente and get the book through my library, I'll be waiting for a couple months.  I'm glad there is demand (such demand is reassurance of my interest in a book) but jumping in the queue at number two hundred forty-three to read A Sense of the Ending by Julian Barnes feels a bit like joining the rat race of bloggers who eagerly try to post their thoughts first on the latest received ARC that the industry is raving about: it doesn't make me lose interest in the book, but my sense of urgency and desire to read such a book is stymied by the wait, or the threat of having to spend fifteen bucks.  That, and I presently own fifty books I haven't read...

So in an effort to double-up on my reading of books published this year by the end of this year and my dislike of the freebie handouts, I am enabling myself to do something I haven't done in a very long time: buy a handful of books from Amazon.  (And no I'm no excited about spending the money, but I'm calling it an early Christmas gift.)  So, I'm about to order an armful of books; everyone wins, right?

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