Friday, December 31, 2010

Epic FAIL!

Somehow I went on a mini book shopping splurge... dazed & confused as to how this happened.  Seriously, I guess I do know how that happened, but it was such a blur!!!  An out of control frenzy!!!  It all started when I went to drop off a donation at Goodwill, and I saw all the other people dropping off things at Goodwill and thought, "maybe, just maybe someone left a copy of Ford County that I need to complete my collection, or perhaps, by chance, there would be The Art of French Cooking, that I have no intention of really truly trying to prepare meals from I just want to check it out and consider such an option... and what could it hurt to check, just real quick???  I did have some time to kill..." 

And there you have it.  That's how I ended up with 8 titles of anything but those 2.  But in my defense, NONE of the 8 are novels (well, one is but it is based on an interpretation of a real life story and I didn't realize that until AFTER I got home so it doesn't count).  They are all titles (except the one) of things I want to learn more about and work on in 2011 so by that definition they were a necessity.

Monday, December 27, 2010

December BookPage

Such a busy month!  Holidays, birthdays, family visits...  I'm still chugging thru "Songs in Ordinary Time" so haven't started the 161 project yet, succumbed to temptation & downloaded a "I want to read this!" to Kindell, my Kindle, but have NOT, I, started reading it yet.  All this to say, I picked up the December issue of "BookPage" and went thru it but am just now getting around to listing out mynew adds to the reading wish list:

The Forest for the Trees
This Year You Write Your Novel
The Secret Miracle: the Novelist's Handbook
Blackpool Mysteries series (Jordan Gray)
Morning Show Murders (Al Roker!)
Midnight Show Murders (Al Roker!)
The Recipe Club (Israel & Garfinke)
The Hollow (Jessica Verday)
The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman!)
The Language of Interior Design (Alexa Hampton)
Minimalism & Fashion: Reduction in the Post Modern Era
These Hidden Things (Heather Gudenkauf)
Rescue by Anita Shreve
An Object of Beauty by Steven Martin
A Season of Darkness by Jones & Gobbell
I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Deck the Halls/Christmas Thief (Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark)
How Did I Get Here? (Tony Hawk)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hello, Darlin'!

WHAT do we have here???  Is that a Kindle?  Why, yes, YES it is!  I vowed I'd hold off on such a purchase until I was caught up with my reading (year 2016 was my best calculation...), and yet, here there is one... however can that be???

A gift!  Yes, a gift!  I promise I did NOT buy this myself.  A gift, a gift, a very generous gift for me, for me - I'm so very happy!!!  So happy I wrote a song.  Well, a chant.  A chant to Eddie Murphy's famous "You Ain't Got No Ice Cream":

I got a Kindle, I got a Kindle
I named it "Kindell"
But I can't use it
cuz I am on restriction
from buying any more books
until I read all the ones I already have,
that are on the shelves,
and the floor,
so my poor Kindell,
the Kindle,
will have to wait,
like forever,
but I don't care
cuz I got a Kindle, I got a Kindle,
yay, yay, yay

Monday, December 6, 2010

Well, THAT didn't last long!


Stopped by Books-A-Million for the December copy of "BookPage," and what greets me???  The Last Chance Library Carts!  My arms quickly became full, then I remembered...  the 161 Project pledge.  Oh, BUMMER!  So, I slowly, degrudgedly, put them back... one by one, until I had only 2 in my hand.  I did buy these 2, tho, because I decided (justified) they were not "leisure reading" books.  AND, neither fell into the categories I had established under my recent quest.  So.  WHEW.

As far as the recent quest, here is where things stand:
  • I wrote out every title of the 161 books onto strips of cardstock
  • I folded them in half & dropped them into the book box
  • Realized very quickly that the book box wasn't big enough so went in search of a bigger vessel
  • Found a bigger vessel & transferred the fold strips of paper
  • Half-way thru, realized the bigger vessel wasn't big enough
  • Had a lightbulb moment & unfolded the strips of paper
  • Aha!  They fit perfectly in the book box now
  • Closed said book box & put it on the nightstand - sooo much neater than a pile of books that had been there...

I did make a slight change...  the original plan was to have all 161 titles in the book box, then to draw out a title & make that my next read.  Well, as I was writing, I came across 3 titles that I set aside because I realized I want (need?) to read these titles sooner, rather than later (considering it just may take me 16 years to get thru them all).  So these 3 titles are my REQUIRED next reads:

I seriously want to live debt free so this is a MUST!  First on the "required reading list."

Promised a friend we'd do "The Artist's Way" together, starting in January, so there you go.
Frustrations at work abound!  Feeling kinda down because I haven't accomplished more... Recognizing my own mortality and pondering what legacy I'm leaving behind...  pretty standard stuff here at the end of one year & the beginning of the next, right?  Hope so!  What an epiphany to find this book on my bookshelf!  Remembering my motivation for buying it (the last time I was going thru this doom-&-gloom self-analysis, I'd bet), and not wanting it to get forgotten again, so here it is:  Priority Reading #3. 

Oh, look!  Another book with the same title & ALMOST the same concept.  I don't own this one, but I'm including it anyway because maybe I should???

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My name is Jae Halam and I'm a book-a-holic.

Seriously, I have a problem...  I collect books.  I can't resist.  I buy more than I can read.  I swear, promise, determine that I'll NOT buy another until I plow thru what I already have but that lasts as long as my next reading craving, which is pretty much a constant craving...  Yes, I actually get a craving to go to the bookstore!  Or to Goodwill where I peruse EVERY title along 3 rows of 4 5-tiered shelves filling up a cart to add to my ever-growing to-read pile (but at a mere $1.50 - $2.00 a pop so it is soooo worth it!).



I had decided my mantra this year would be "not again in 2010" and although I didn't specifically say "no more books," that was technically part of it because "curb frivolous spending" was actually part of it, and unfortunately, in my situation, "buying books" definitely qualifies as "frivolous spending."

~double sigh~

So.  As is true to my annual norm, December is my month of reflection upon the passing year and contemplation of the coming one.  And this day, December 1st, I am contemplating my out-of-control book collection, which has filled up the bookcase...

and spilled over onto the floor...

So I started to organize the masses...

And root out the "already reads"...

And organize the collections...

Then rearranged the bookcase...

But they didn't all fit so I took the leftovers to the other bookcase in the study...

And realized I had quite a mess on my hands.  Especially when it occured to me that this wasn't everything - I have more books upstairs and in boxes in the basement. 

~triple sigh~

But a thought began to form...  a project... a plan...  a plan to read these books, really read them.  Not just "think" about reading them, but actually pick them up, crack their spine, read their words, close them up then  blog about them.

So I started by making a list of all the books lying about that I intend to read (intend being a key word here).  Intend to read.  Someday.  Books on religion, health, finance, business, not just my favorite leisure read genre, the who-dun-it-murder-mystery-suspense-cops-and-robbers-good-vs-evil-legal-thriller...

By the time I finished, with just the 2 rooms noted here (saving the upstairs & the basement for another day - ~quadruple sigh~!), I came up with 161 titles.

Holy Moly Cheese & Baloney!  If I stay consistent with my average of 10 books a year, I'll get thru this pile in 16 years, so in 2027 when I'm 62 freakin' years old. 


I don't like that plan!

But I'm moving forward with it anyway...  To ensure I read a variety, not just my favorite genre (already noted above), I'm going to have each title identified on a card, placed in a box and when it's time to read a new book, I'm going to reach in the box and whatever title comes out is the one that is next on the list.

I'll document my progress under the "161 Project" tab. 

Ugh.  I've got alot of work to do...