The Precious Shows Restraint

As most bibliophiles are incapable of entering bookstores without exiting at least a book or five in tow, I find this weekend to be nothing short of miraculous. I have been in three places that sell books, two bookshops and Wal-Mart, and I walk away with nothing. No new books to add to my ever growing TBR pile, which resembles more of a mountain.

I took a small tote bag full of books to exchange at a new and used bookstore for store credit that could be used toward the purchase of secondhand books. All those books to choose from, some of them I do wish to read, and I couldn’t bring myself to add to my problem because even though I’d come home with new books to read, I would find myself lamenting that I shall never read all the unfinished books on my shelves. Oh, the temptation to have a hardcover of Stephen King’s Rose Madder was strong. Technically that would have been a purchase I already own and have read, but the principle of the matter is that I don’t have room for the books I own right now. I need to slim down those shelves and the only way to do that is to read the new books I have and see what makes the cut and what can be given away.

I have started reading Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. It was a whim purchase from the public library’s booksale and I confess I’ve never read her work before so this is a new experience for me and I rather like what I’ve read so far. This weekend I happened to notice a secondhand hardcover edition of this novel available for purchase. I wonder, if I really like this book should I get something nice looking to have on my shelves instead of a mere mass market paperback? That particular edition isn’t something I would automatically seek out to own though because I fancy leatherbound volumes. It reminds me how many classics that I have yet to actually read.

Of course, it wasn’t just old books that I was having trouble resisting. The Night Circus has been making the circuits of the blogsphere and I want to read it. Still what if I buy it and find out that I don’t love it? So it’s still on my list of books ready to request from the library along with several others, most of which seem to be the first in a series or trilogy.

So I feel kind of good about proving that I possess a shred of willpower. More time to read my owned books, and if the urge for something not on my shelves overwhelms me then I can resort to the library, right?

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6 thoughts on “The Precious Shows Restraint

  1. Well done! I haven’t been as successful as you this weekend, but the only books I acquired were from the library, which isn’t as bad as actually buying more! But still, I have hundreds of unread books at home, I don’t know why I keep acquiring more.

    • I had a couple of books that came in for me at the library, one of them I have been waiting several weeks to get my hands on, but I figure I will wait and pick them up next weekend. I should be done with my current book by then and they won’t be adding to the distraction.

      I know, it’s not as bad but still we have so many that we could be reading, hehe!

  2. Go you! I’m so proud of your mental strength to resist the lure of books. 🙂 I, sadly, fell off the wagon today and requested a bunch. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on The House of Mirth. I read, oh what was it…Ethan Frome. Edith Wharton wrote that one too, right? I didn’t like it AT ALL, but I think it’s supposed to be very different from her “high society” books like House of Mirth.

    • Yes, she wrote that one too. I have enjoyed House of Mirth so far… but I’m not entirely sure why. I think part of the reason is the way she crafts her prose. We’ll see. I hope to have it finished by the end of the week if I can.

  3. Nice one! It’s so hard to control yourself sometimes. I’ve been having a surprising book year when it comes to going into book stores. I think I’ve only bought three and that’s when it was closing down so I didn’t end up spending much and three is acceptable. Otherwise I find myself not wanting to buy as much and I think a lot of that has to do with knowing I have roughly 8 years worth of reading material at home, receiving a ridiculous amount of freebies this year, and still not being caught up with all the series I’ve been following. It just doesn’t feel worth buying more.

    Mind you, I still have to avoid the library and have cut myself off from NetGalley because can’t seem to say no to those either!

    The Night Circus one is definitely a temptation.

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