Tales of the Unread

While clearing out some unused stuff from the various storage areas in my home I began to eye the many books in my bookcases.  I started buying (collecting) books with earnest in junior high through that book buying program that schools offer (I’ve forgotten the name).  At the time, I would purchase 3-4 books with every order.  I remember my English teacher reviewing my choices – giving nods of approval at the “classics” and a quizzical expression at some of the other selections.  When I received my driver’s license, I would haunt the Walden bookstore at the nearby mall, always coming home with a small stack.   Sure, I knew about libraries, but there’s something about owning a book and inhaling that “new” smell and fingering the crisp feel of untouched pages, not to mention I could take as long as I wanted to in reading each book.  But, as the years went by, I read less and purchased even fewer, leaving some that I had purchased, unread.

At one point, early on, I recognized this as a problem and made a stack of them on the floor next to my bookcase, which was overflowing with books anyway.  When the tower of books threatened to fall over, and I realized the daunting task ahead of me, I put them back in the bookcase.  Eventually, I inherited a large, glass-door bookcase from my grandma, which gave me room to spread out.  And the unread began to collect dust all over again.

Flash forward to now, and some of the unread date back to adolescence (which was decades ago) and no longer even interest me in terms of reading.  Additionally, I have books that I have read that I didn’t care for and will never read again.  So, I pulled out the “didn’t like” ones along with probably 80% of the teen angst ones filling up a computer paper box (a big one) with all of them.  I also packed away some juvenile/middle school aged ones, which I obviously wasn’t going to be rereading anytime soon.  In the end, I created room on one bookshelf for others – those that had stacked up in my glass-door bookcase because of lack of room.  Collections of fairy tales and folklore moved appropriately enough, next to the Oz series.  Bible study/Christian living books found a place together (for the first time) in another open spot.  And, books on writing finally found a spot together as well.

As for the unread, that’s a new goal for me – to finally read them and determine if they’re keepers or not.  First up, Isaac Asimov’s Nemesis.  This is my one and only Asimov book, so the fate of whether I become a fan of his hangs in the balance on just this one book.  My impression of his writing is that it is focused more on science than literary, which is what I prefer as both a reader and writer.  I’ve reviewed the other unread books waiting in the wings, it’s quite an eclectic collection – sci/fi, fiction, mysteries, essays, short story collections and of course … numerous classics because as “important” as it was to own them, it was never much fun to read them..