Today I did the unthinkable--the thing I have pondered and have never had the nerve to do. I separated the books on my shelves into two groups: read and unread.
Well, the results were more embarassing and enlightening than I had anticipated.
I have 140 books on my shelves (not including my summer reading challenge pile in my bedroom, which would bring the total up a little) that I have never read! And what is worse, several of those are volumes that contain the complete texts of several novels in one book! So, in all honesty, it is likely that I have 170 or so individual fictional works that I have yet to read that sit on my shelves.
At my present rate of reading it would take me more than THREE YEARS to read those books if I never bought another book!
As I've said before, there is a part of me that longs to weed out my bookshelves, but another part (stronger at this point) that yells "No, no, no!!!!" I have a vision in which I have grandchildren who come to stay with me in the summer when they are teenagers, and spend lazy afternoons messing with Mama's books and picking out something to lose themselves in.
On the other hand, the practical side of me kicks in and asks, "Just how many books do you ever reread, Miss Book Collector?" And I scuff my foot on the floor and mumble, "Not many. I'm too busy reading new stuff."
So what do you do? I'm at the place where shelf space is becoming limited--and I have nowhere near as many books as, say, Steven Riddle. Where do I put them? How do I decide what to keep? What's reasonable and healthy? And where does detachment come into all this?
It is, as they say, a puzzlement.