Books are a joy.
And I find them in so many places: on my own shelves; in bookshops; in the library; on blogs and on other bookish websites; in charity shops; in the library’s reserve stock …
It’s wonderful, and please don’t think I’m complaining, but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming.
I waste far too much time deciding what to read next. The book that I just had to buy? The lost gem that I ordered up? The new library book that I know someone else is waiting for? The book I just read that I know is her somewhere?
There’s nothing at all I want to stop. Booksellers really need to be supported. Library visits are so therapeutic. Book bloggers make wonderful recommendations. I just need to streamline things a little.
And here’s how I’m going to do it:
I order lots of books from the library. New books that I don’t expect to see on the shelves. Old books tucked away in reserve stock. Books that I’d be inclined to buy, but I check the library for first …
None of those are bad things, but often I find I don’t have space on my card when a stack of books arrive at the same time, or that I don’t have space left on my ticket for anything I might spot on the shelves. Which is a very bad thing. Because often the best books are the ones you haven’t heard about, that you just spot, and you can tell other people about.
And so this year I am going to restrict my library reservations. I couldn’t give up completely – I wouldn’t even try – but I am allowing myself just twenty-four for the year. My thinking is that way I can order one shiny new book and one lost gem a month, and anything else can go on my ‘one day list’ – until a copy turns up, until I have a spot to fill, or until I change my mind.
It’s one small, but significant change, to get myself back on track.
And, because I want to support the library, I am going to shout about my reservations.
Look at this lovely new book I got from the library!
Look at this wonderful old book the library hung on to!
Look at this book I’d forgotten all about, that isn’t in the shops any more, but the library had!
Watch this space!