Jan 6, 2013

New books to start the year with

With my birthday being right after Christmas, December and early January are always my two big book acquisition periods. Usually I get a bunch of books I’m really excited about and then get to them slowly but surely throughout the year. The other day I showed you my Christmas loot, so now it’s time for part two:

Birthday loot! Titles listed below
Yep, that’s a Buffy box set next to the book pile – I’ll hold it and feed it and love it foreeever :D (Okay maybe not so much feed it.)
  • The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban – A children’s classic I’ve been meaning to read for ages.
  • Twilight Robbery by Frances Hardingeyay!
  • Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacreyay again!
  • The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell – I’ve also been meaning to read Mitchell for a long time.
  • The Blind Giant by Nick Harkaway – Sold by the subtitle “On being human in a digital world”.
  • The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins and Dave McKean – Thank you, dear Chris!
I’m very pleased with my gifts, but something almost alarmingly unusual happened the other day: on my birthday M took me to a large bookshop and told me to pick up to three books as part of my gift. Usually the sense of possibility involved in something like this delights me, but this time I chose the Frances Hardinge and after that couldn’t for the life of me decide on anything else. It’s not that there weren’t any books I wanted – I looked at How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer by Sarah Bakewell and These Wonderful Rumours! by May Smith, for example, both of which seem excellent – but for once the part of me that knows I already have plenty of books I really want to read and that news ones would be a distraction actually won.

 

It could be that I know I’m moving again in just a month or two (just within the city, but still) and that books are an absolute pain to carry; or it could be that working at a library is driving home the point that I don’t need to own everything, or even most of what I read. Whatever the reason, could it be that I’m finally – gasp – becoming sensible about book acquisitions? I wonder how long this will last.

32 comments:

Sarah Reid said...

I found the exact same thing happening to me after starting my job; I ended up with a huge pile of "to read" library books behind the issue desk, which I found almost satisfied any book excitement that could have ordinarily resulted in bookshop visits. Even though the library I work in is relatively small, this situation persists!

Sarah Reid said...

P.S. Happy Birthday! x

Meghan said...

First of all, happy birthday to another January baby! It's a great time to have a birthday, isn't it? :)

I actually experience a similar reluctance to keep getting books when I feel I've received plenty recently. There are a few books I want for my own birthday, but I've actually gotten so many books between the recent Kindle sale, going to the US and Christmas that it will be a while before I actively buy anything else.

Good luck with your upcoming move, too - it's always a pain!

Debi said...

Okay, I'm very sad to see the book we ordered you did not arrive in time for birthday. :( I hope it will make a happy addition when it does.

I've reached that point, too. It's a very odd feeling at first, isn't it? I think it occurred when we were packing to move, but I can't say for sure if it was solely that that brought it on. But I'm sooooo much better about not acquiring books than I used to be. Of course, that's not to say I don't still have an occasional splurge or anything. I have a book gift card from my parents and don't even have any real desire to go spend it. The only book I really really want to get my hands on right now is Delusions of Gender...but I think that Rich might have already bought it for me because it has mysteriously disappeared from the Amazon wish list. There was a time not all that long ago where I definitely could not have let this gift card sit around gathering dust, but now I'm perfectly content doing so.

bermudaonion said...

Happy birthday! My mom says all the best people were born in January. (Her birthday is the 28th.) I've been the same way in bookstores lately - I think I'm coming to realize I can't read all the books I own.

Beth F said...

Yay for another January baby! I love having a January birthday. I know. Owning books is fantastic . . . until you have to move. Then it's UGH. I am due for another huge culling. I need to get sensible. No matter how much I *want* to read certain book, I know it's just not going to happen. If I worked at a library, I'd be so less inclined to want to own.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Happy birthday you! My husband's is next weekend so we have this double-whammy shopping thing going on for him as well. I totally understand where you are coming from on the book buying. I DO go shopping for books, but am very selective. As in...should I instead buy it on my Kindle? I have much less guilt over that. I will never read everything I have at this point.

Renay said...

My mother got me a gift card, too. I do have a few things I want, but otherwise I decided to save most of it and use it for new releases I really want in 2013...which means it will get me to March. :D

Tiina said...

Happy birthday! The Buffy box set cought my eye immediately. :) As a proud owner of all the seasons on dvd I totally understand your sentiments! :D

C.B. James said...

I think we spend the first part of our lives acquiring things and the second part giving them away. Long before you start giving them away, you begin to slow the pace of acquisition.

Amy said...

CB James comment makes so much sense it's something I've thought about a lot since helping my grandmother get rid of her stuff last year, like what's the point of all this acquisition...you can't take it with you.

having said that my book acquisition slows around times of moving and getting rid of books as well. And it's definitely not what it used to be.

Amy said...

oh I forgot to say, yay! buffy set!

Mumsy said...

OH,The Mouse and His Child! Lovely, lovely book. Happy Birthday to you! You are such a gift to the reading community!

Quirky BookandFilmBuff said...

M is definitely a keeper! :-) Congratulations on the new books. The Magic of Reality looks interesting. Enjoy!

Kailana said...

Enjoy your books! I could use some restraint on my buying, too. But then no matter how many I read I am not really reading many...

Chris Howard said...

If you have learned the secret to being sensible about book acquisitions PLEASE pass it on to the rest of us :p I haven't learned that lesson yet :p Hope your bday was great Ana!!

Tasha B. said...

Happy birthday!

Jeanne said...

Yay for acquiring something by Nick Harkaway!
Boo for being sensible. I'll bet it's a temporary aberration in a life-long love of book acquisition.

Charlie said...

On the few occasions someone has told me to pick a book in a shop I've been at a loss for what to do, the possibilities become too much. I wouldn't mind that feeling changing to being sensible! Happy birthday and hope you enjoy the books!

Bina said...

Haha wow, that's unusual. I blame the moving ;) Or it was just a case of over-indulgence from Christmas, I'm always too full of good things after that. But it's great for the amazing books you already have and that are waiting to be read.

Bina said...

And a happy belated birthday to you! :)

jessicabookworm said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you had a great day. Looks like you got a lovely collections of gifts. Just over a week to my birthday too! Well done on your restraint in the bookshop. Not sure I could do that, on the whole I just avoid bookshops when I know I'm not allow to buy more.

Alice Teh said...

Ana! Love that display of books there. I wish I could buy more books but I really put a stop to it. Hmmm... really? You're really going to do it? To be sensible about book acquisition. Hehehe...

Becca Lostinbooks said...

I hope you had a good birthday, Ana! I can't imagine being sensible about book acquisitions. I don't even understand that phrase. ;)

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Ana!

Stefanie said...

Yay for Buffy and all the bookish goodness! Happy birthday!

valentina said...

awww *looks longingly at the Buffy boxset*
I feel the same about buying books now that I work in a library. Mind you, most of the books I want to read from the library I bought myself, but I don't feel the need to own them even after reading them. I haven't bought a book for myself in ages!

Jenna said...

That kitty-cat mug is adorable!

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, everyone!

I think Jeanne might be on to something about the temporary aberration, but time will tell :P

Debi, your book has now arrived and I love it! Thank you again <3

Jenna, I agree. I have Debi to thank for that also :D

Jenny said...

I know that I'm much more sensible about book acquisitions when there's a move in the offing. Moving is awful. Moving books is almost nonstop awful; the only non-awful thing about moving books is when you unpack them and there they are like neatly packed old friends.

Melody said...

Happy belated birthday, Ana! I was late to the party, didn't I? :P

It always makes us booklovers happy to receive books as gifts, eh? Enjoy those books and I look forward to your thoughts on them! :)

Kathleen said...

Happy Belated Birthday Ana! Becoming sensible about book acquisitions??? I hope not! :)