Sunday, February 21, 2010

On My Mind, or Oh Look, a Contest!

I don't buy books. That's the reason I don't have a Kindle; if I can't check books out of the library, what's the point? I don't want to be confined to reading books that I'm sure I'm going to like. Also, I'm cheap. It causes me guilt, since I'm part of the demise of publishing, but there it is.

So I only buy about five books a year, and they're almost always books that I've read before. With the very occasional exception, the rule is this: if I read a book--from the library or borrowed from a friend--and enjoyed it, and then find myself, weeks or months later, thinking about it, wanting to read it again, wanting to lend it to people, that's when I buy it.

I wish I had more time to reread. But just knowing it's on the shelf and I can pick it up when I want to is a pretty big deal.

Lately, there are a couple of books I've been thinking about. One was Chalice, by Robin McKinley. I really can't say that there's anything about it that stands out--in a lot of ways, it's a pretty standard fantasy novel. But it captured a mood, a quietness, that really drew me in. The world-building is really excellent. There are some details of the backstory that are left mysterious, which works really nicely. Plus there's beekeeping, which I rather liked as well.

Besides rereading, I like to lend out books. That's why I think I might have to buy Fool, by Christopher Moore. It's such a clever book--in plot, in language, even in pacing--that I can't be sure that it'll be as great to reread as it was the first time. But I do know that I'm going to shove it into the hands of almost everyone (Kris, I'm looking at you), and that the only way to do that is to own a copy.

And then there's The Family Man, by Elinor Lipman. I'm sure I've said this before, but Linden and I used to say that it was too bad that, when you come to love the characters in the books you're reading, you always have to read about the trials and tribulations they go through, and that you can't just read about good times. Sometimes people write books like that, and they're mostly bad. But this one--The Family Man is about a staid life getting shaken up, but not in an upsetting-but-ultimately-for-the-best way. Really, it's just all kind of startling, funny adventures.

How, though, am I ever going to get a chance to reread one of these books? I have no idea.

Hey, I know! A contest. Readers ahoy: leave a comment on this post. In a week (because I'm a slow poster and I assume I have slow readers), I'll pick a random number and that commenter will get the book of their choice, of the three listed above. I don't promise it will be brand new, but it will be in excellent condition. People I'm married to are excluded from the contest, even if they comment. First time readers welcome, so feel free to (ahem) tell your friends. One comment per poster, please!

It won't help me reread them, but it will spread the joy. And here at LibraryHungry, we're all about spreading the joy.


Laurie K said...

I also never ever buy books unless it is one I am totally dying to read and the wait at the library is too long, or unless it is going to be a big re-read. The last two books I bought were The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood and Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver because I loooove those authors so much.

I am totally going to read Chalice -- I used to read a lot of Robin McKinley in high school, but haven't revisited her in a long time.

JMLC said...

Due to finances, I have had to stop buying books- having your husband suddenly become a full-time student will do that to you. I do still buy the books that go with the series I like- Spenser, Percy Jackson, Mysterious Benedict Society, etc.- but other than that, nada.

I've been thinking about the concept of re-reading lately because it's what I've been doing- my brain hasn't wanted to read anything new for a month or two- and how often I re-read. It may turn into a post for my own blog but I can tell you that I have a few select books I re-read almost every year and then a handful that I re-read when I'm sad/lonely/looking for a good distraction.

And I love EL- I have bought The Inn At Lake Devine at least twice because each time I lend it out? It doesn't come back...

Brenda Pike said...

I rarely actually reread, but I buy books a lot because I want to support other writers. (Same reason I buy music.) There are so many worse ways I could be wasting my money.

That said, I wouldn't be adverse to getting a free book... Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel was hilarious. If I get Jason to enter, too, does that mean I get two chances to win? :)

LibraryHungry said...

If Jason comments, JASON gets a chance to win. And if he wants his prize in audiobook format, he's welcome to it.

Actually, anyone who wants an audiobook can have it if they have an Audible account.

And no, I can't win my own prize with this comment. My "randomization" will consist of numbers drawn out of a hat, which will make it easy to skip myself.

Linden said...

Thanks for the shout out! I used to buy lots of books, and our bookshelves were overflowing. In the past few years, I've become a big user of the public library. And recently, while preparing for our new baby, I came to the realization that I DON"T need to own a book just because I might want to reread it someday. The library has a copy that they would be happy to let me reread. So we've sold/donated about a third of our books in the past few months, and hopefully will not be buying too many more in the future...

Anonymous said...

I love Audible, but any of those books sound fine so given that, pick me, pick me!

Unknown said...

I've never commented on anything on any blog before. I think it's because I'm a lawyer and you never know when something you said on the internet will come to bite you. Also--I am trying to leave myself open to a political career (and ill-advised comments from my past could hinder that) in case I ever need that awesome no co-pay no deductible sky's the limit free forever congressional healthcare. ;-)

I still buy way too many books. I love the feeling of buying books and I know one day I will make a dent in reading what I've bought. Having a 1 year old is not helping me with that though. And besides, there are too many good shows (and shows that are so bad, they're good--ahhhh, Gossip Girl) on DVD to distract me from reading.

But I guess I should learn at least one lesson from Glenn Beck and educate myself at the public library. And, if I follow in his footsteps, I will be able to do this without realizing that the progressive movement made this education possible.

Did I win the book?

Hey Sharon and Linden! So much beguiling love to you!

Kris said...

Late to the party, but did already read "Fool" and loved it! May actually buy it in the future!