Reading

Book (Particularly Library) Confessions

I loved Victoria’s post so well, I had to do my version, especially since we have a lot of similarities.

I almost never buy books that I haven’t read. And they are usually ones I’ve started or am positive I will like. I can only think of two off the top of my head and they are nonfiction. I’m also chary of spoiling my precious new or newish books yet I hate old ones, and I’m terrible to library books! Its awful.

I also rarely try books that I don’t have some trust in, rarely, almost never pull books off the shelf. Especially since I’m rarely into browsing, I usually just order and pick up (often losing feeling in my arms with my excessive loads, see below).

I used to have perfect fine record, now it seems I’m rarely without them. This month I had multiple books 2 weeks too late. Oops.

I borrow too many books, often to the 50 limit in the city library, so when I picked up I had to ask them to check some of my books in, before I could check others out. This leads to the aforementioned fines. I’ve several times (like now) have books from two libraries (the county, my current work county, my previous university, and my normal library in the city). This lead to my returning a university library book to the city library which I’m sure they were used to, it got back to the right place.

Most of my books are apparently not super popular, so I can renew and renew, meaning I’ll have the same books for months. And yet I’ll still be requesting new books. I’m not sure I’ve ever been without any library books for the last oh, 8 years!

But because the books I like or want to try aren’t always super trendy or very basic classics, I was quite at a loss when our city (we live in a commuter county) library closed during covid and then opened up with minimal hours for pickup (hours I worked). So, I got a library card to my work county (so I have library cards in 3 counties now) thinking that because the building was larger the selection would be larger than my home county. I was flabbergasted when I went in side, but couldn’t think of a non-rude/non-snobby way, to ask, “are these all your books.” And when trying to find books from my list, it did seem like my home county library had more. I feel guilty about these smaller libraries, but it is hard to manage two libraries.

I also have a book I borrowed from my grandfather years ago that I’ve not read as well as 3 more recently, a book from my dad (yes, we live in same house, but every person in this house has their own book collection, so I’m counting it), and now, my brother (well, my sister is reading it currently) who doesn’t live in the same house. I have a borrowing hoarding problem I’m trying to tackle. For all that (or maybe because of all that), I don’t read hundreds of new books. This year I’ve only read around 50, and I don’t know that even 10 or only around that are new to me.

I’ve spilled water on multiple library books making them swell, and I think I need to donate because I don’t think my fines would really cover that. I’ve also dog-eared books, and I lay them open face downward. I’m terrible.

I usually also read mostly British classics, I struggle with American classics as well as world. However, I’m not sure what the breakdown of books overall is.

My TBR is more of a suggestion list, its every book I’ve seen/heard about that I want to possibly try. I have it in categories in my city library as well as a copy in Excel (in case I lose access) which also has tabs for interlibrary loans, rereads, and most recently, fairytale retellings culled from The Fairy Tale Central’s lists. I try to not use Goodreads for TBR, but I’ve let some build up that I need to transfer, and I’ve also let a more current, smaller list build up in

I too rarely cry when reading, actually, I’m not sure if I’ve ever cried, I’m more likely (still unlikely) to cry in movies. Part of this is I usually cry when angry.

I think I’ve read in the shower, but not often (yes, that is terrible), and I’ve also read on the beach

I want to mark out bad words in all my books, I’ve torn out a page, but then felt terrible because I did it in a panic instead of thinking and marking out, and I’m afraid of putting books into the little free library without doing that although for some reason I don’t feel the same compunction towards good will. There are also some actions in books that I want to mark out. I can feel that words and sections “taint” the very pages and/or my mind. When I read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince I was so horrified of the Inferi that I didn’t want to touch the words, I was holding the pages open by the tips (I’ve always had a phobia about bones and dead bodies). There are some books I don’t ever want to return to for things that other people might have forgotten.

I am on Goodreads but not satisfied because the exporting of the Excel data doesn’t properly or all export the dates read. And 5 stars isn’t enough nuance. I rarely give 5 stars because I am so picky. And I rarely give 1 star because most 1 stars I don’t bother wasting my time finishing. Quite frankly, I’d like to get to the point that I don’t read 2 starts either. Life is too short to waste time on worthless books. I’ve been leaving books right in the middle more and more. I think it is fairly easy to tell for me when I’m being lazy (a classic for example) vs when the book just isn’t that great or when I’ve gotten all I need from in (nonfiction).

12 Comments

    • Livia Rose

      No library access, wow! I’m not sure I would be a reader in that case, I’m so reliant on circumstantial stuff to be a reader I think.

      • Davida Chazan

        Well, we used to have libraries here, but one by one they closed down. The British Council Library was the best. Having a British husband, combined with that, really opened my literary world up. But being a blogger and having access to ARCs had meant that there are plenty of books available that don’t put me into financial troubles. Plus, when we visit London, we always pick up a few books.

        • Livia Rose

          I guess I really should work on my lackadaisical attitude toward libraries, I take too much for granted, I assumed most places in the world had libraries where they could have libraries. Our “big” city library and one of the county libraries are Andrew Carnegie libraries, Carnegie did have a huge place in starting or helping the US library system, funding over 1,000 of them (not all are still used as libraries now). And apparently other places including his land of birth per https://dp.la/exhibitions/history-us-public-libraries/carnegie-libraries/

          • Davida Chazan

            Ah… well we do have libraries here, but no dedicated English language ones, and the English sections of the libraries here have very poor selections. Mostly American “best seller” books and non-fiction that don’t interest me. Very sad. My sister-in-law lives in The Netherlands and the English section to her local library is MUCH better than what I can get here in Israel.

            As for your library… I know about Andrew Carnegie. By the way, did you ever read the book Carnegie’s Maid? I reviewed it on my blog. Quite good, actually.

          • Livia Rose

            Oh, I see, yeah, best-sellers aren’t usually something that interests me either.

            I knew about Andrew Carnegie and libraries vaguely up until recently, I just thought he only gave to big libraries and big name states like New York, I didn’t know about how much he did, like I didn’t know about our state until recently, and I just literally when looking him up just now learned about all over the world, its hard to grasp the scope of that kind of wealth and philanthropy, I don’t think I really “got” it.

            I think I may have heard of that book? I’ll have to go look at your post.

  • Elizabeth

    This sounds so similar to my own struggle with books! I love them, but I’m terrible to them too.
    I eat a lot of food when I read and I always get food on them. It’s a problem.

    When I first got my library card I told myself I will try never get a fine (that didn’t last long at all)

    That’s interesting. I generally don’t cry while reading a book either but there’s been exceptions. I cry more for movies than books too.

    So true. Sometimes I have a hard time not continuing to read a terrible book just to finish it and then other times I leave it in the dust.

    Anyway, I loved this!

  • Catherine

    Reading in the shower is another level! Although I do read in the bath… That’s crazy you can take out 50 books at a time, we have a max 16 rule, haha. Best thing about working in a library is no fines. I very rarely buy new books either unless I’ve already read them or I know I like the author.

    • Livia Rose

      I have access to our state’s largest city’s library system, that is the one with 50 max. The county libraries I have access to have 10 max. Huge difference. Also huge renewal difference too.

    • Livia Rose

      I’ve tried to be better, my purse now fits books, I was putting books in a bag/box with my water bottles which would spill and drench them. I’ve got so many lovely bookmarks, but they are scattered all over them place even when I tried to sort of keep them in one place, so I’ve often grabbed whatever I could find for a bookmark or laid in face down or even occasionally dog-eared.

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