The Ink Penn

We bookaholics would say you can never have too many books, but I’m beginning to think I have too many on my TBR (to be read) list. I can’t help myself. I see book reviews in the paper and add books to the list; I get Amazon emails with book suggestions and add more to my list; I get BookBub emails and do the same; my friends make suggestions on GoodReads and many of those titles go on the list. Do you see my problem?

Never mind reading all these books; the way I keep my list is problematic too. I scribble titles and authors on scraps of paper by my easy chair or the glider on the screened porch. Eventually, those scraps make it to my office and then three different lists take shape.

First, I check the library online to see if they have the books either in hard copy or in ebook form. Reading two books a week means the library is always the first stop. If I’m lucky enough to find the titles there, I put them on my library wish lists so I can later place them on hold. Because the library system tracks ebooks separately from hard copies, I have two lists there.

If the books aren’t available at the library, the case for books early in a series or for many of the British mysteries I like, then I visit Amazon. There too, I can add books to my wishlist. This process means I’m constantly updating three different lists, and sooner or later I have to find time to order and read the darned things.

Don’t get me wrong, I live to read. I must read for at least 30 minutes before I turn out the lights at night. Often, the time stretches to two hours, yet I can’t even begin to get to all the books on my multiple lists. Perhaps if I hadn’t taken up writing, I could devote more time to reading, but that’s another story entirely.

Curious readers may wonder, “What books are on these lists?” Let’s start with a handful from the hard copy library list, and, omigosh, there are 55 books on that one: “Finding Atticus,” “My Sister’s Grave,” “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine,” “The Janus Stone,” “The Butterfly Garden,” “The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars,” “The Wife Between Us,” “Let the Devil Sleep.”

On the ebook list are those that aren’t available in paper or a few that I may want to take on a trip, where Kindle reading is preferable. Phew, there are only 15 there: “Body on Baker Street,” “Sweet Little Lies,” “Every Last Lie,” “Different Class,” “The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry,” “A Spool of Blue Thread.”

And then there’s the Amazon list: “Don’t Let Go,” “Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Globe Murders,” “Queen of Camelot,” “European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman,” “The Forever King.”

If you look these titles up, you’ll find mostly mysteries, many set in England or Europe. A few books dubbed literary fiction also show up, as do one or two about dogs or cats.

What, you may ask, is wrong with having long lists of books to read? Perhaps it’s realizing there’s no chance I’ll ever get to them all unless I cease adding new titles. Cease adding new titles? Not likely. I’ll have to resign myself to never reading all the books that interest me, and I’ll add to this problem by visiting the Dunwoody Library Sale Jan. 24 – 28. I guess there are worse problems for a gal to have.

P.S. Please join me Feb. 1, 7-9 p.m., in Woodstock at the FoxTales Book Shoppe where I and nine other authors will talk about our books. Lord Banjo will be there too.

Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest, Amy’s Hallmark at the Forum and Mansell Crossing, and on Amazon. Contact her at inkpenn119@gmail.com, and follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/KathyManosPennAuthor/.

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