I love libraries, and I particularly love my library system. I’ve found that I can get any book, essentially. The one I wanted to read this month that they didn’t have in the huge system (Abraham Lincoln), I requested, free of charge, via Inter-Library Loan. It came within a week.
I’ve found that since I started “reporting” to you what I read each week, I’m being less irresponsible with my library requests. I used to just put a hold request anytime I wanted a book, and then I’d pick it up, change my mind and return it. Now I’m thinking more carefully about what I’ll actually get done before I have to return it to the library. I’m being more responsible. I’m not starting (or even requesting) books that I don’t intend to finish.
I’m checking out fewer books as a result, but I feel good because I know I’ll get to them. I even went to the library today and didn’t get any new books for myself! Of course, I also go through 5-10 picture books for my son every week!
What’s your library loot plan?
Do you just get whatever you want on a whim, do you browse at the library, or do you plan and structure your library pick-ups to only get what you are planning on reading that week?
How many books do you normally have checked out at a time? How many of them do you read?
See my notes by each book below.
- Twenty Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams (290 pages; nonfiction). FINISHED! I read this because of my interest in turn-of-the-century Chicago, and I’m glad I did. (reviewed here)
- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (375 pages; fiction). FINISHED! I read this for fun, and it sure was fun!
- Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson (95 pages; children’s nonfiction/cookbook). FINISHED! For The Spice of Life Challenge. I really enjoyed this, and I look forward to making some of the recipes with my son in the coming weeks.
- Abraham Lincoln: A Man of Faith and Courage by Joe Wheeler (280 pages; nonfiction/biography). FINISHED! For the U.S. Presidential Reading project.
See notes by each book below.
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (librivox.org audiobook, on 22 of 38 segments, 25.5 hours total; fiction) My current audiobook; downloaded via Librivox.org. I love how the volunteer narrators really try to read in character for this book! Mr. Fairlie was hilarious! The only down side of audio is that I’m dying to know what happens next, and the audio takes a long time.
- The Stories of John Cheever (20 of 61 stories, 820 pages total; fiction/short stories). Part of my Pulitzer Challenge. My goal is five to ten stories a week.
- The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne (75 read of 180 pages; children’s fiction). I’m reading this aloud to my son, a little bit every day.
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift (30 read of 355 pages; fiction). I started this in a random moment. For My Children’s Literature Project. I’ll aim for a little progress each week.
- The [Barnes and Noble] Poetry Library: John Donne (42 of 98 pages; poetry). My current poet. I’m going to read some criticism and commentary in the coming weeks. It’s harder to read than the modern poetry I’ve read lately, but that’s not a bad thing. It just means I need to slow down.
- Beloved by Toni Morrison (275 pages; fiction). For the Beowulf on the Beach Challenge. This is one of my favorite books. I haven’t read it in five years, though, so I guess I’ll see if it still has the position.
Old Library Loot
- The Arabian Nights II, translated by Husain Haddawy (23 read of 270 pages; fiction). I’m once again enjoying the stories, but I miss Scheherazade. Now I know why the other volume’s translation was best.
- The Chicago School of Architecture: A History of Commercial and Public Building in the Chicago Area, 1875-1925 by Carl W. Condit (220 pages; nonfiction). Not yet begun. I should make good progress during this week.
- An Edge in the Kitchen by Chad Ward (45 read of 210 pages; nonfiction/reference). For The Spice of Life Challenge. I didn’t make much progress, but I’m still enjoying it whenever I read it!
New Library Loot
I got one new book this week.
- Castle Waiting by Linda Medley (455 page; fiction/graphic novel). I got this on a whim, just because I haven’t read a graphic novel since last October; the three I read last year were nonfiction. This one is fiction. Not yet begun.
I added a lot to my TBR this week, thanks to all your great input. I tried to make an effort to comment more frequently, and as a result, more got added to this list! Oops. This is dangerous.
- The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. Nymeth at Things Mean A Lot says in her review that the novel moves backwards in time and that “it’s all so perfect you feel you’re there.”
- Uncle Tom’s Children by Richard Wright. Lou at Lous_Pages says “Read it right now!” I didn’t know Wright wrote short stories.
- The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Myrthe at The Armenian Odar Reads says this is her favorite reread. I haven’t ever reread it, but I loved it when I read it as a kid. Time for a reread myself!
- The Other Hand/Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Jackie at Farm Lane Books says it’s going straight to her top books of all time list.
- Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart. Amy @ My Friend Amy recommended this YA novel, as did Kathy from Bermuda Onion, in comment to my post asking about non-stereotyped YA novels. Kathy reviewed it here.
- Deb Caletti, Scott Westerfeld, Maureen Johnson, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Amanda from The Zen Leaf recommended these books/authors in a comment to my post asking about non-stereotyped YA novels.
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Yule Time Reading says it’s an “eloquently told tale.” Plus, I love that cover! One of my IRL friends just mentioned it to me yesterday too.
- The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt. Nymeth at things mean a lot says in her review that it may be her new favorite Byatt book, after Possession. I liked Possession so I should give this a try.
- The Trail by Franz Kafka. Amanda at the Zen Leaf also read the Graphic Novel and liked that take on it.
- Flush by Virginia Woolf. On Oprah’s Mood Boosting Books list (found via Book Club Classics), this book is a biography narrated by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s dog. Sounds hilarious!
- The Looming Tour: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright. Books ‘N Border Collies says this is a very accessible history of pre-9/11 issues.
- The People’s Choice by Herbert Agar. A 1934 nonfiction Pulitzer winner; AK at Pulitzer Palaver was surprised by the interesting insights into the first 29 presidents.
- The Book of William: How Shakespeare’s First Folio Captured the World by Paul Collins. Teresa at Shelf Love reviews this short popular nonfiction book about the influence of Shakespeare’s folios. Sounds great!
- Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. Chris at book-a-rama said she read this because she’s always been too intimidated to read Darwin himself, although she wanted to. I too want to read Darwin, so maybe this would be a better place to start.
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. Amanda at the Zen Leaf found a lot of interesting issues were addressed in this book.
- American Lion by Jon Meacham. BermudaOnion is giving away a copy of this Pulitzer Prize winner (in biography). I really hope I win!
- 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deeby. Maw Books says this picture book about an African community after 9/11 is just stunning!