Reading Lists

For some reason, every time I make a list of books I want to read or that people recommend to me, I can never stick with what’s on the list. I always end up wandering around the library or the bookstore and picking random books off the shelf that I had never had the intention of reading before.

The current list of books I want to read goes all the way back to 2007. I have books on that list that I have wanted to read for five years, but have not gotten around to reading for one of three reasons:

1. The book was never returned to the library. (This gets on my nerves so much it warrants a blog post by itself. People, return your library books! I hate looking on the library’s computer catalog and finding out a book I want was due back to the library three years ago and was never returned.)

2. I can’t find the book in the library, and I don’t want to spend the money to buy it because it’s something I’d only read once and wouldn’t want to own.

3. I lost interest in the book, or I picked it up in the library, flipped through it, and decided it wasn’t really something I’d be that interested in after all. (Yet I still kept it on my reading list in case I change my mind.)

So after I heard about Lie Down in Darkness (William Styron) being made into a movie (unfortunately it might star Kristen Stewart), I read a synopsis of the book and wanted to read it. But based on my track record with reading lists, it might very well be three years from now before I read it.

Do you ever have trouble sticking to your reading list? Do you bother making one or do you just read whatever you happen to pull off the shelf?

15 thoughts on “Reading Lists

  1. Hello there Maggie. First of all, congrats on being a dedicated reader, and if I may say so, a pleasantly skilled wordsmith as well.

    I’m also a writer, but not of the traditional printed word. Instead I went the digital route and am up to 16 ebook titles so far. I couldn’t help but think that some of your reading list troubles would be solved by an eReader. Though I’ll be honest, while I’ve written tons for them, I’ve never owned one myself. I prefer reading paper books haha.

    Unfortunately, I write far too much to read for leisure or pleasure these days. I do dream of relishing in lazy moments with the smell of printed pages in my hands again someday though.

    Cheers and all the best,

    Damien

    • At least an e-reader would help with the tons of books in my room… I’d put them all on the e-reader and get rid of the physical copies to free up a lot of space! Thanks, Damien!

  2. Hoo boy, I’m glad I’m not the only one. Every year I make up a list that I wish to finish that summer, etc. And every year I start off well before getting sidetracked. This year I tried to shorten the list but I still wandered off into the weeds. Well, not really, because I found some good stuff out there in the weeds, but in the meantime my list seems to make one step forward and two steps back.

  3. I don’t usually have a list. If someone recommends a book, I request it from the library as soon as possible. If the library doesn’t have it, I’ll either find it used on Amazon, or, if I still care at that point, I’ll buy it new.

    At the moment I have a list because my friend and I picked our top ten YA reads for that NPR thing last week (here’s the link to the winners http://www.npr.org/2012/08/07/157795366/your-favorites-100-best-ever-teen-novels ). And I promised her I’d read any of her top ten I hadn’t already read, and she promised to read mine.

  4. I have a list somewhere on my blog but i don’t exactly pay attention to it! It’s more a physical list: a pile of books waiting to be read on my shelf, but end up staying there for ages because i keep finding something else to read first!

  5. I always put off my reading list!! Sometimes it’s because I “don’t think there’s time to ENJOY it” but usually there is…I think maybe I’m scared I won’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would!

  6. 1) Yes, people should return their library books. On time. In the same condition in which they received them. Or else! (I was raised by librarians. :-) )

    2) I never make reading lists. I’m very much a creature of impulse as far as that goes, so why pretend otherwise?

  7. For me part of the thrill of finishing a book is choosing the next one. With over 100 unread books in my possession, it’s like having over a hundred doors to choose from, each one promising an adventure.

    • Sometimes, I’ll just sit and flip through books I haven’t read yet, imagining how they’re going to be once I start reading them.

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