This is the daily prompt from the wordpress’s Off The Shelf, and this is the first time I’m participating, because I honestly have never looked at it before. However, this is a question I think about quite a bit because I wish I had the time to reread some of my favorite books. However, I have over five hundred unread book in my possession (it took me like three hours to count them, if you’re wondering) and it’s hard for me to take the time to reread a book without feeling a little guilty. This post might get a little long and go off-topic a little (read: a lot), so I’m going to answer the question right now: Heist Society by Ally Carter because it has the perfect balance of dramatic flair that makes the book memorable, makes all the character likable, and is one of the few books to successfully play out like a movie in my head and it doesn’t make me roll my eyes even though it’s about teenagers breaking into a high security museum, and I have suspension of disbelief problems. Also, it’s been three years since I’ve read it the first time and I still remember it and I still want to reread it.
In case you think that’s an exaggeration, let me tell you how, exactly, I got over five hundred books. First of all, books don’t leave my list if I outgrow them, or if I have heard reports of them being terrible. Even if I think they’re terrible, I still finish them. And it’s also very, very hard for me to pass up free books. The one book I have ever truly passed up without feeling guilty about it was a two hundred page description of a (very impressive) garden. Believe me, I spent about twenty minutes looking for some sort of plot.
Okay, so the epic number of books. It all started back when I was in fourth grade or so when my sister, who is also an avid reader, gave me all of the books she outgrew (or at least granted me permission to read them). Her friend, then, also had a bunch of books that she needed to get rid of, and I was all too happy to take them on. That, along with my Christmas presents, which had six books in them, gave me a pretty good supply of adventures that would last for a year if I read obsessively and a couple if I just read leisurely. It was already probably over a hundred books at that point.
However, I wasn’t very smart about it. Books might as well be crack to me. On my birthday and Christmas wish lists, books were always the top thing on them, and I can be hard to shop for sometimes. As I grew up I was allowed to read more of my sisters’ books (or at least I could borrow them without permission because they were in college) and I frequently bought more books at used bookstores, Borders, Borders’s closing sale, yardsales, second-hand shops, library sales, etc. I have always been a big fan of slightly to well-loved books for a quarter to a dollar each. If I had money it was hard for me to pass them up, a lot of the time until my money ran out (like I said, crack). Also, I was reading my own books at a slightly slower rate because I was checking out a lot of books from my school library because I was required to read a certain number of Reading Counts books so I could take tests on them on the Reading Counts program. (Even though I always read twice the required number, I always came up short in the grade books because the students weren’t allowed to know the password for some godforsaken, highly classified reason and the teachers were always busy when I asked them to sign me in. I’m not bitter at all about that.) Now, I’m able to save my money better, and I’m able to suppress the urge to buy books, no matter how low the price is. But then there are the Free For the Taking boxes, the Two Free Books With Every Purchase deal at one of my favorite second-hand stores, and a twenty dollar Kindle gift card will last you a very long time and go a very long way. Then there is Swoonreads, Netgalley, the awesome authors out there who give me copies of their books to review, and the many free ebook deals that you can find without digging online too hard. So, this all piles up and now I have over five hundred books. Will I ever run out of books? Probably not. Do I want to? I’m not sure. It would be an interesting and new experience for me to have to go to the library for my next read, and I would be able to reread and buy books without feeling incredibly guilty. However, I’m not going to work too hard at reading all of my books because I love the thought of hundreds of adventures waiting to happen at my fingertips, and I’m always going to get more books. After all, who in their right mind would pass up a free book? 😉