I think just about every reader has a least one book that they’ve been meaning to read for awhile (months or even years) but, for one reason or another, they just haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe it’s a book a friend recommended last year, or a title you’ve flirted with in a bookstore on more than one occasion, or maybe it’s a book that’s sitting right there on your bookshelf, patiently waiting for you to pick it up — but the thought is always there, in the back of your mind: Why haven’t I read this yet?
This week, tell us about a book (or books) you have been meaning to read. What is it? How long have you wanted to read it? And, why haven’t you read it yet?
In my case, it’s any or all of the above. The 230 books in my “to-read” collection on LibraryThing are all in that last category – waiting patiently to be picked up. (I’m not even going to discuss the wish list right now.) Some have been waiting there a long, long time. And since I’ve done several reviews and purges of my shelves over the years – exercises that have forced me to admit that there were some books I was no longer sure I wanted to read after all – and these books have stayed, apparently I do still want to read them. But let me get back to those in a minute.
The first category includes a few books that are actually in my house, and have been read by my husband. In some cases, he’s read them more than once, while I still haven’t managed to get to them at all. The first item on that list is probably America (The Book), by Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show. I’ve owned a copy since it was first published in 2004, so parts are a bit dated now. My son read it during his Christmas visit that year, and told me I had to read it. During the first summer that Tall Paul and I were dating, he read a bit of it nearly every time he was at my apartment – and told me I had to read it. He read it again earlier this year – and again, told me I had to read it. My main excuse for not getting to it during the last couple of years has been having too much else to read, some of it with actual deadlines. Aside from that, I think part of my procrastination is due to aesthetics – it’s supposed to be a parody of a textbook, and it looks and feels like one. It’s bulky and hard to carry around, and the print is small. It will be hard to get comfortable to read this one. (I didn’t say my excuse was a good one.)
I think the oldest resident of TBR Purgatory at this point is Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, which I already owned in paperback when I moved out to Southern California in 2002. Ironically, I was very anxious to get my hands on it at the time, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to pick it up and read it – but I haven’t given up on the prospect, either. I think that at this point, I’m a bit intimidated by it; and as time goes by and critical opinions have suggested it may have been a bit overrated, I’m a little afraid of being disappointed by it.
“So many books, so little time” really is a big part of why I haven’t read a lot of the books hanging around my house. And honestly, sometimes it’s a case of “I’m just not that into you – at least not right now;” the timing just doesn’t seem right. Sadly, the reasons (excuses?) for my not having read a particular book yet are rarely more compelling than that. What are yours?