Welcome to the start of a year of actually reading my own books

Dear Reader:
I have an extensive hard copy and kindle electronic copy library.  I have a serious book-buying habit from which I want to take a break.  I turned 50 this year which is making me think a lot about how I want to spend the rest of my life (and I really like this).

Therefore, I am starting a year of focusing on reading (nearly) only the books I already own.

I’m giving myself a bit of an out – I can buy or borrow just 20 electronic or hard copy (non-work-related) books over the next year… but I have to report them in my blog.  I’m counting free public domain books toward this total.

So, this is day one.

What am I reading right now? Henning Mankell’s Sidetracked (I’m on a Scandinavian mystery series tear like half the world) and Chris Bach’s Comprehensive Reference book 2nd Edition (dog obedience training-related – this is my current hobby).

What do I plan to read?

In addition to the above genres, I like dog-related memoirs (unless narrated by the dog – I just can’t wrap my head around that), good contemporary fiction by women (Alice Munro and Sue Miller are favorites), and classics – especially Russians (Chekhov, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky),  Willa Cather and Elizabeth Bowen.  On my bucket list is reading a lot of classic authors – and reading them well.

I’m excellent at buying books, not so good at getting myself to read them at the speed that I acquire them.  I figured I’d be much more motivated to focus on reading my library, instead of adding to it, if I blogged about it for a year.

I expect my first blog entries will focus a lot on what I plan to read – perhaps focusing on specific authors and genres.

So, here I go…

Throughout, I’ll use K for my kindle copies and HC for hard (paperback or hardback) copies. I probably own a couple thousand hard copy books and I have around 500 books on my kindle – most public domain or other free books.  As I write posts about my plans and about what I’m reading, I will number the books I plan to read consecutively according to when they are mentioned in this blog.  Ultimately, I’d like to have a reading list to which I attempt to stick.  I think it will be helpful to see how long it is 🙂 (or maybe not!).

Yes, I love independent bookstores and yes, I recognize that a kindle (or nook) leads one to mostly buy from one very large bookseller/seller of nearly everything under the universe who shall remain nameless.  I’m torn about this, but, as a lifelong book fiend, the experience and convenience of a kindle is fantastic, and there is no going back.  At a later date I may talk more about having a kindle, but I definitely am not interested in turning this blog (and comments) into an ereader versus hard copy debate.

Thoughtful, well-mannered comments are highly welcome.  Maybe some of you book stash-builders will also get inspired to read your libraries and talk about what you are reading in your comments or own blogs…

Happy Reading!  Ruby



  1. What a great idea for a blog! I would love to do this more, but always seem to end up reading books for my book groups, or study.

    I know this is a very old post, but I make a habit of going and commenting on people’s inaugral posts!

  2. Hi Simon: Thanks for reading and writing! I am pleased you went back to my first post and thanks. I have found the blog and its readers very helpful and fun. And I have set specific goals for reading sets of my books and had a great time working toward them. I will come over and check out your blog today, thanks again, Ruby

  3. denice mills

    hi Ruby, i love this idea of yours. i too am a book hoarder and am forbidden to buy more books until i have read what i now have…life has lost its joy! anyway, if i possess any of the books you are reading i shall read the same and follow your comments on them. thanks for your time and thought provoking blog.

    happiest when reading,


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