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  • Confessions of the great unread

    6th June, 2016

    Reading pressure! My Mum quails at the thought that I am a Librarian Who Hasn’t Read the Classics (yes, that’s me! – in stark contrast to Ceridwyn’s love of Austen).

    I’m following the lead of Fiona, Rachel and Kate in considering the topic of #iconfessineverread

    …I guess I feel that I don’t always read the right things, which could also be why I try to restrict watching my movie consumption, to span only those that are critically panned. I guess I am trying to be “better”! (more healthy? More wholesome?) At the same time, I share Connie and Hannah’s feelings around not engaging in reading as much as is possible – but I also want to read for pleasure, not just reading something that is good for me?

    Books on my shelf

    A portion of my books

    This is a tiny section of our (also small) bookshelves at home – I don’t actually own many books (multiple reasons, including working in interlibrary loans for a long time, having expensive books damaged in a flood, etc.).

    Like Maya, I have some books just for the tactility and memories they offer – touchstones to a different time.

    In blogjune 2014, my collection was in a different cabinet – since that time, I’ve bought a few YA series I’ve kept, some books I’ve forwarded on, and received some lovely vegan cookbooks. There are some long-held Christian Boltanski ones that I love dearly, but try not to read/manhandle because I have that hangup of not destroying the pages. I used to work with a curator who purchased photography books as an investment, it seems rewarding – but I think she now buys in multiples (too hard to part with them).

    Some of the books you see are Norwegian ones – many years ago I thought I would read things in Norsk and at some point my brain would suddenly “click” and just get it. Obvious naivety there. So I really enjoy looking at ideas for becoming bilingual, such as a vocabulary wall. I did a Wiradjuri course last year, which really helped me to understand the mechanics of how I learn, as well as wishing that local languages and culture were embedded in school (but this is changing for the better now). Other books shown are about gardening, art and cooking. I feel like it’s a good topic overview shelf, but it also has other people’s books, so I feel like it also speaks to the work I need to do around boundaries.

    Achievement unlocked!

    Refresh, refresh.

    To balance concerns about not reading, I’ve included a screenshot of a mini-accomplishment – catching up on all the posts in my feedly blogjune category. Yay!

    Confession time:

    I would rather re-read Margaret Atwood’s novels and poetry, than try something super-new. Mr Sonja would say that this also reflects my attitude to “known” foods.

    There was a well-read books list in blogjune 2014 – I’m afraid I haven’t augmented my score much (read this as: at all) in the intervening 2 years.

    #iconfessineverread (classics, and then some non-classics so that I might actually remedy the situation!)

    • Same as Rachel and some of Kate’s: The Catcher in the Rye, War and peace, Catch-22, Lord of the Rings, Wuthering Heights, Huckleberry Finn, Lolita, Anna Karenina, Ulysses, and Frankenstein (however, I have read To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, Little Women, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
    • Before going through the list of 100 must-read books about books, I’m betting that I haven’t read any of them. Aim low! (3 minutes later: A feeling of success! I have read “The Eyre Affair” and loved it, even though I didn’t get the references in it given that I don’ t know the classics, i.e. this post, comment and reading experience is the ouroboros. Also Matilda, Possession, and 84 Charing Cross Road. A 4% success rate! Best navel-gazing librarian badge awarded to me!)
    • 96 books about books (see above for individual list)
    • I’m also excited by the 100 wonderful, strange and unusual novels (okay, yes, it includes an Atwood book I haven’t read yet)
    • 10 must-read books recommended by Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose (6-year-old post, but I like the way that the video starts with potplants – even though I can’t quite make out what they’re saying)

    At the same time of having a guilt trip about what I don’t read, there are some things that are going to be on my “to don’t” list forever. Like Dickens.

    There are 2 comments - Add yours?

    1. Kate

      I am not going to get on a guilt trip about books unread…life is too short!
      That list of 100 wonderful, strange and unusual novels is …interesting!!

      Love this!- I guess I feel that I don’t always read the right things, which could also be why I try to restrict watching my movie consumption, to span only those that are critically panned.

      I don’t think we have ever even talked movies…another day!

    2. Ceridwyn

      Hi Sonja!
      Yes, I noticed the #blogjune meme – and must admit, I felt quite ‘out of it’, having decided to spend the month blogging about my favourite books! But no biggie. I’ll leave the meme for my first post in July, I think. It’ll be a satisfactory way to wrap up the challenge, perhaps 🙂
      Because yes, Dickens is one of those on my ‘to don’t’ list too!

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