Monday, July 9, 2018

The Cityscape that is my TBR list

Heh heh heh

So this week's topic is "how big is your To Be read list?"

I don't know that words can properly express, really. Still, as a writer, I must try.

Okay, so let's go with a little history. Long before I was a writer I was a voracious reader. Back in the day I could knock out  book a day on top of after school jobs and school itself Not homework, let's not be crazy here). I mean I read a LOT. And somehow, deep in the recesses of my brain, my mind kept up with the assumption that as soon as I got a hang of the writing thing I could do it again.

When I started writing I did interviews for White Wolf Magazine (now long gone, sadly) and one of the people I interviewed was best selling author Rick Hautala. Rick was a very well read and very talented man and one of the questions that I normally asked was "What do you like best and east about being a writer?" His response was, to paraphrase, "I Like being my own boss. I also hate that, because I'm a dick when it comes to being an employer and I make a lot of demands of myself." He paused fro a moment and said, "Really, what I hate the most is I never have time to read anymore."

I thought that was the silliest thing I'd ever heard, and more than a little sad. i mean, how could anyone not have time to read? Am I right? What a tragic concept!


So I've moved many, many times in my life. For the longest time I moved at least once a year. I went to seventeen schools before I graduated high school and after that my family moved a few more times before I went my own way and had my own life. I stayed stationary for most of twenty years and then, after my wife passed and my world changed again, I moved on.

I rented a four bedroom house in Georgia to accommodate my books. Most of them had either been read before or were waiting their turn. Okay, at some point the house also took in two family members and one of the rooms became my office. Eventually my landlord wanter the place back for personal reasons and I decided to move on. When I chose to move to New England I had a lot of furniture and a ton of books.  I gave away a lot of the books I'd read before, when I finally decided that, after a decade of not even being removed from their boxes, I had to accept I wasn't likely to get around to reading them.

Next house? Four bedrooms over two stories. The second story was supposed to eventually become my library. I never got around to buying bookshelves, so, that didn't work. Landlord decides to sell and I move again. The Salvation Army got more books. Enter the new place: Lots of storage room and a whack-job of a landlord.  Four months later Im moving again, and still more books are carved away. It hurt, because some of them I had only recently acquired. Now I'm in two bedrooms and I have a wonderful lady as  roommate.

And so I tightened the book belt again. But, hey, I bought bookshelves!

y current  To Be Read pile is only around 600 physical books. That's down almost three hundred. They are stacked in front of my printer stand, in front of my bookshelves on my bookshelves and in my car. My office overflows with books.

My Kindle has around 400 more books.

I lament that there is never enough time to read these days. Rick nailed it on the head, as it were. The busier I am as a writer (and working thirty or so hours a week), the less time I have for the simple, joyous, act of reading.

I remain an optimist. They stay until I read them.

Even if I die first.

What I really need is a vast, sprawling mansion. Most if it would be converted into a library, just as soon as I got around to buying shelves.