Weeding out, reorganizing and looking back (TSS)

The Sunday Salon.com

The above photo is of part of the bookcase in our living room. On the bottom left is books that my wife is planning to read; on the bottom right, books that I’m planning to read. Yesterday, I organized the shelf because we have friends visiting Tuesday for a Catholic couples meeting at our house, and, in the process, took out about 50 to 75 books that either we had read or never will get to read, despite our best intentions. For example, I took out Dante’s Inferno and James Joyce’s Ulysses. I’ve never read War and Peace either, and I don’t think it’s going to happen now.

The books on the left might look familiar to you, if you’ve been following along at home. Many of them have appeared in previous posts: here and here, with links galore about the books, so I won’t bore you again with the details. However, I will add one book (and a link, of course) that I didn’t mention previously: Eye of the Red Tsar by Sam Eastland. I actually finished it last week and forgot to mention it in last week’s Sunday Salon post. I haven’t gotten around to reviewing it, but will say that it is worth picking up at your local library.

I also will let you know that I had a review earlier this week: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, which also is included in this month’s Agatha Christie Reading Challenge Carnival, sponsored each month by Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise. If you’ve read and reviewed the book, please leave a link to your review on that post and I will include it at the bottom of the post under “Other reviews.”

Today, I’ll continue reading Donald E. Westlake’s Don’t Ask, another Dortmunder novel, which will be my 12th book this month. For the others I’ve read so far this month, please refer to my listography list of 2010 books read, No. 28 through No. 38 or my Goodreads 2010 read list. I would like to read at least one more book this month to bring my total count for the year to 40. I’m guessing it will either be River of Gods by Ian McDonald or Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith, the third in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series –or who knows maybe it will be both, so I don’t end the month with reading 13 books.

Today’s questions: Do you have books on your bookshelves that you know you’ll never get around to reading? What are they? And, of course, what are you reading today? Plans for reading this week?

20 responses to “Weeding out, reorganizing and looking back (TSS)

  1. Hello! I was so busy in January (being pregnant) and the ensuing months (having a baby) that I somehow missed the post in which you shut down Just a (Reading) Fool! I’ve missed your posts and just now hunted you down. I now have the correct feed in my reader and will be tuning in from now on.

    • I really do live in a bubble. I didn’t even know you were pregnant and had a baby (congratulations). But I knew you were gone; I just didn’t know the why.

      I did recently catch up with your brother, Blake, and his film review blog, and now I’m glad to be catching up with you too — and glad that you are back, at least, I hope, on a more regular (or even semi-regular) basis.

      I’ll be doing another book-related post probably tomorrow, looking back on what I’ve read this month, with perhaps a few mini-reviews.

  2. Do I see a set of Sherlock Holmes on your bottom shelf???

    • Yep. Still working on them…slowly but surely. I’m also cheating and reading the Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King too. But I do need to finish the originals first, I’m thinking. šŸ™‚

  3. Ha! I recently got rid of my copy of Ulysses too. I am soooo not ever going to read this. At one time (in my University days long ago) I felt compelled to read this one. But now I’m older. I no longer have these compulsions. I mean, I’ve got some serious fantasy reading to do! And I need to catch up on the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series! And drink some rooibos tea :o)

    • I think we’ve all felt compelled to read Ulysses and War and Peace, but for most of us, we just have to accept the fact that we’re not going to get them and that’s all right.

  4. What a fun picture! Like Diane, I weed regularly and try my best to be honest with myself. However, I do have a bunch of books that I fully intend to read one day but am saving for when I don’t have access to such an awesome library system. lol

    I’m jealous you have space on your shelves for library books: I need one more case to be able to do that. Or to weed even more thoroughly! šŸ˜‰

  5. I try to weed my shelves every 4-6 months and donate books that I know I’ll never read.

    • Oh, I should have added the ones I weeded out are going to our local library book sale. I should have taken some of them to our local bookstore for credits, but I didn’t think of it until too late. Oh, well…live and learn.

  6. I have books on my shelf that I know I won’t read, but most of them are my husband’s lit books from college (like the Norton Anthologies) that we’re not willing to part with yet. I am not a packrat in other areas of my life, but somewhere in my mind I have this horror of life without books in the case of some natural disaster or economic crisis and it freaks me out. Because of that I like to have reserves on hand – and I figure that if there’s nothing else to read then maybe I’ll get to them.

  7. I’m terrible. My reading’s really slipped. Spending too much time on the computer, I guess. My “to read” list of books on my shelves that I haven’t got to yet includes:
    – Standard of Honor Pt 2 by Jack White
    – Duma Key by Stephen King
    – A Wolf At My Door by Augusten Burroughs
    – The Harry Bosch Novels by Michael Connelly
    – Rebus: Capital Crimes by Ian Rankin
    – The Complaints by Ian Rankin
    – The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
    – The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

    Don’t get me started on books I’ve kept. My library includes stuff I read in high school. I can’t bring myself to get rid of them, even though my wife says I should. They’re a part of me.

    Geez, I’d better get reading.

    • I like what I see here on your list, Mr. Dufus (as I scan down through the list): Yes, yes, yes, uh huh, yep, yep, yep, maybe not (to the Rushdie, just because the length of his books scare me). I’ve meant to get to reading Rankin and the Rebus series. I started the series, but haven’t returned yet. My problem is that I’m a stickler for reading in order and our library usually has all but one in such series…and usually, it’s like the second or third one, which throws the whole reading process off.

      As for having books read in high school (and college), don’t get me started. I could go on for days…well, hours anyway.

  8. I don’t have any books on my shelves that I know I’m not going to read. I gave away all of those books back in January and it ended up totaling 80 books! Today I’m not reading anything since I have a paper that’s due tomorrow for school. Have a great week!

    • Well, aren’t you Little Miss Efficient there, huh? šŸ˜‰ Most of the books right ow on our shelves that aren’t on the niddle shelves, either she or I have read but are classics or are worth rereading some day. Plus not going to lie, we — well, I– like to have books on the shelves that I’ve read so when friends do come over, I can show off what I’ve read. Only real exception to case of books I’ve read are at the top: the Harry Potter series, which my wife has read, but I have not (shock, gasp :).

  9. I try not to buy anything I “think” I should read when there is so much I want to read. Yet, this has happened. However, I am not ready yet to purge. If anything, I think I have more books that I tried to read, couldn’t finish, but want to give it another go before donating them.

    Ay, yi, yi. Decisions, decisions.

    I am currently reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin and plan on reading two ARC’s this next week. They look promising, but time, and reading, will tell.

    • I hear ya on the not buying anything I “think” I should read when there is so much I want to read front. Actually, wait a minute, there’s nothing right now I think I “should” read. It’s all what I want to read. And if I’ve tried a book and couldn’t finish it, I’m probably not going to try it again: too many fish in the sea, I mean, books in the world, you know what I mean. šŸ™‚

      I’ve never read any Le Guin, but I know she’s a classic sci fi writer. I guess some day. Is The Left Hand of Darkness a good place to start?

  10. The Brothers Karamazov. I’ve had it since I was a teenager, so it’s been in my collection for years. I’ve read nearly half of it, but just couldn’t go on. I couldn’t even tell you anything about the book now. It’s survived numerous weedings, but I don’t think I’ll ever read it. I did actually like Crime and Punishment, but I think that’s enough Dostoevsky for me.

    • Funny you should mention that book as I still have a copy of it (yep, it has survived this weeding; it’s at my left elbow as I type this) and I think I’ve read about half too. I also liked Crime and Punishment too, but like you, I think that will be my fill of Dostoevsky too. I have another Russian tome too: The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr L. Solzhenistyn, to which I’ll probably never get either, sitting right beside The Brothers Karamazov.