21 January 2012

Stacking logs

We have oil heating, which is horrendously expensive in a big draughty house.  (It's draughty  because it's not our house - or I'd have it insulated to the hilt).  However we do have an open fire, which we'd never used much till last year.  Since then, we've been turning the heating down and using the open fire more.  While we still have to buy the logs, I think we're spending less overall - and the fire is very cosy!

The connection with books is - obviously - that the fire makes reading those books of winter ghost stories even more atmospheric.

So that's why I was frantically stacking our new delivery of logs this lunchtime, before the rain came down.  I managed it very neatly, don't you think?

Job complete


20 January 2012

Book glut

I buy more books than I could ever read.   The evidence is a bookcase behind me, four 1 metre shelves of books I've recently - say within the past two years - bought and not (yet) read, plus a pile on the floor.  Older books have been mainstreamed alongside those I have read.

This has been true for years, probably since I seriously started reading adult fiction. I'd say I have read between two thirds and three quarters of the books I own.  This is part of the reason for my aversion to rereading books - with so much written already, and so much more coming out, it almost seems wasteful.

Two or three years ago, I tried to take control of the situation.  I began using Amazon as a catalogue, searching for future books by authors I already liked and putting them into a "future reads" list.  I would only buy books on that list, and as they would be books I knew I'd read, everything would be fine.  That's the origin of the list in my previous blog posts, and I am working through it:  I've read Paul Torday's "The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall", the MR Hall book is on order I don't have it yet because I've ordered a hardback from http://www.goldsborobooks.com and I bought John Meaney's latest today.

However, I don't think it's working.  This month I have also bought "Diving Belles" by Lucy Wood, "Something of the Night" by Ian Marchant (I love literary nightiness), Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (missed it when it first came out) and have also acquired Alison Littlewood's "A Cold Season" - I've just dived into Twitter, and the publisher was offering some free copies.  Until last week, I never knew that happened to real people, rather than to high powered book bloggers... though I have had books from both Waterstones and Amazon to review, in fact I have the next Graham Joyce book coming from Amazon.

So that's five off list books to two on list.  Not really good enough.