1 August 2008

Can you browse?

My topic today has almost nothing to do with the wonderful image to the right of a Portland Art cow, the epitome of a browser.

I think I am almost incapable of browsing. I can't be trusted to browse!!
Last night I went to the bookshop with the purpose of buying a copy of Peter Robinson's ALL THE COLOURS OF DARKNESS. What happened?
I came away with 4 books, even if one of them is a copy of the Books Alive freebie, Michael Robotham's mini-book BOMBPROOF. I wanted the Peter Robinson so I could enter the Hachette Livre competition.

So $100 lighter, I have copies of
IN THE DARK, Mark Billingham
and the mini-book BOMBPROOF, Michael Robotham

But you know, I can't browse in the library either. Books leap off the shelves into my arms I swear. I am constantly battling the book-bulge. Mountains of books everywhere. List and lists to read. So my strategy in the library is to deal only with the online catalogue, and confine my browsing to the lists of recommendations that flow in from all the groups I belong to and the blogs I read.
That helps a bit but just at the moment I have
  • 13 library books at home
  • 14 library books requested
  • 82 library books on my wish list - a place the library calls "my list" where I can park the titles of books I want to read sometime
  • 20 books sent to me for review
  • at least 30 other books I have bought or been lent to read
  • and then there are the ones I bought last night
I tell you what - does anybody have a desert island on offer?
I have enough books to last me for at least a year.
I read 9-10 books a month.. so I have about 15 months supply without thinking about the big box of second hand ones I bought at the last library sale.

Next week I'm off to Darwin for a few days for work. The best part is that means a 4 hour or so flight each way - enough for 2 books!! Isn't sad when you worry not about what clothes to take, but what books!

So are you like me, unable to walk into a book store or library without carrying at least one out with a sense of triumph that Julius Caesar would envy? So what have you acquired most recently?


Bernadette said...

I can't browse either Kerrie. The other day I went to buy Voodoo Doll so I could get my freebie Bombproof and intended to be in and out in 30 seconds. Alas no - I bought two others at the same time and ordered one more.

I currently have 46 books in my owned TBR pile, another 3 borrowed from friends, 5 books on order from Amazon, 1 from Dymocks, 6 books coming via bookmooch, 61 books on my bookmooch wishlist and another 30 on my "to buy wishlist".

I have declared August a bookshop free month simply because I have to reduce these numbers a bit but I'm not sure I will last because I have a Dymocks and a Borders within a 2 minute walk of my office and pass an A&R on my daily walk. How will I walk past without going in? And if I do go in the battle is lost, I can't come out without something :)

Jaime said...

I can browse only if you take my wallet away from me! I have about 4 years worth of reading material sitting around my house right now, and I take in an average of 1 book a week, usually from PaperbackSwap. And I can't go into the library for 1 book without coming out with 5!

Most recently I got The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler, who is better known as Lemony Snicket.

Kerrie said...

I've got a copy of Voodoo Doll somewhere in the TBR I think Bernadette. A bookshop free month sounds a good idea. Perhaps a moratorium on library visiting too.

I didn't know Lemony Snicket's "real name" Jaime. I read an account of a book reading held back in the days when his first book had come out. Lots of children turned up at the bookshop to meet the author and he didn't show. But this middle aged man who had been waiting with them eventually confessed, to the children's great disappointment, that he was LS and began reading the book to them. I'm not sure whether the story is true though.

Marg said...

I can't browse, but not in the same way as you. I don't browse in book stores anymore, and I don't browse at the library, and to be honest I blame blogging and the internet for that because whenever I see a book that I might be interested in reading I add it to my list, and then I check the library website and if it is there I will request it. If it isn't I will possibly buy it from a bookstore, but I do tend to go into a bookstore knowing exactly what it is that I am going to buy. Similarly, I go to the library to pick up things that are on hold and don't really look through the shelves very much.

In July I managed to not buy any books, and only acquired two which means my TBR list went down a little. It's not a record that I think I will be able to maintain for very long though!

Kerrie said...

That's what I try to do too Marg. The library's online catalogue has been an absolute winner for me. I use it all the time and felt bereft when it went down earlier this year (or rather was unavailable from the front page of the library site) until I worked out an alternative method for finding it. Browsing the "latest addition" shelves in the library is fatal.

I've almost got to the stage where I don't need to buy books, except for the face to face group read, but even so, book stores are fatal.
By the way will you be at the Ned Kelly night of MWF?

Marg said...

You know, I hadn't thought about it, but I just might go.

Marg said...

Are you coming over for the Festival? I just sat down and went through the program and found a few things that I was interested in but I ended up only buying one session for me and one for my child to go to one of the Word Play sessions.

sally906 said...

I bought ALL THE COLOURS OF DARKNESS, Peter Robinson and IN THE DARK, Mark Billingham the other day too - I have THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN by Kate Morton as a review book :)

Kerrie said...

Marg, there will be a contingent of us from all over Australia at the Ned Kelly awards on the Friday night - I'll probably be reasonably conspicuous in my arrival because ut will be closer to 8.30 pm when I arrive.

Other than that I am not going to be able to go to anything until Saturday - an even then probably just the Kate Atkinson.

A couple of things on Sunday 31st probably.

Sally - we have to stop mindreading each other!


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