Sunday, April 6, 2008

Taking stock and getting a good laugh

It is a beautiful sunny Spring day in Chicago. The kind of day that puts a smile on my face and energy in my attitude. Oddly, these are the days I tend to find motivation to do some cleaning... an indoor activity. Go figure. Today I attacked my front bedroom. Well, calling it a bedroom might be a bit misleading. The entire room is about the size of a queen bed and there is no closet. I suppose it is more of an office that has morphed into a large storage closet. I shall put on my rose colored glasses and call it my library. While still in need of a number of hours of elbow grease, the room is starting to resemble that romanticised description. It sure is full of books. Books, a desk, more books, a comfy arm chair, additional books, Christmas decorations that I am too lazy to carry up to the attic, and (of course) books.

I did not realize just how many books there were. You see, I have this coworker. About a year and a half ago we discovered that we shared a love of trashy romance. I wasn't alone! We began passing along the books we were reading. What a great way to read new books without having to buy all of them. There is one small issue: our ideas of quality romance are not the same. I think I may have gotten the short end of the stick. While I was passing along my Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, and Julia Quinn, she was giving me Diana Palmer, Leigh Greenwood, and category romances. I know, I know. There are good category romances out there. Just... not most of these. (It should be mentioned that she buys most of her books at a used book store. Most of the wonderful titles don't find their way to those shops. On occasion yes, but not as often.) Ah well, what we lack in quality is made up for in quantity. I have a ton of books that she has passed my way. How many? Take a look!

The problem is, I have little to no desire to read most of these books. Some look good. (The Nora Roberts and some Catherine Coulter.) Some are books I purchased. (Kim Harrison and Teresa Medieros) Most are from her. How do I motivate myself to read them? How can I justify additional book purchases when I have so many waiting to be read? Now, don't think those are my only books. I have a pile from the library. A pile I want to reread. A bookshelf full of titles I have previously read and refuse to pass along (I just LOVE them!)

How do you justify a new book purchase? How do you find the motivation to pick up a book that does not excite you?

I am about to start a new book. Time is a consideration right now. My book club deadline is in two weeks and I need to reread Enchanted Inc. I have grades due on Thursday for nearly 700 students. There are other real life responsibilities looming. BUT I WANT TO READ!!! And that pile of books is mocking me. Therefore, I shall snag one of the category romances. It is short and, good lord!, the title is just so horrifying! How could I not read it?

So what do you think? Horrible? Horribly good? What do you think it will be about? Will I need to scrub my brain with a Q-tip afterwards? Am I completely crazy?


Sarai said...

Okay this is my 2 cents and only 2 cents so no one throw anything at me! I do not like these kind of books. Very rarely will I even give them a second glance and I have to say anything that includes blackmail and preganice (did I even spell that right) in the same title would make me put the brakes on.
Some thing just ain't right when those two words come together in a title... I think you should move on and grab another. But that is just my two cents and I honestly haven't read it.

Jill D. said...

Well, I myself am not a big fan of the category romance. Suprisingly, not because of the God awful titles, but because of their short length. I like my stories with a little more meat on their bones.

As far as the books that were given to you, I say turn them in for credit at a used book store and pick up some titles you want to read. Don't feel like you have to read books you don't want to read. Life is too short. If your TBR list is as long as mine is, don't bother trying to read books you aren't interested in. When you read them it will only feel like homework.

That's my five cents, for what it's worth.

Shannon said...

wow, first I get 2 cents, then I get another 5 cents. Keep this up and I'll be a rich woman! ;)

sarai- You're right, the words blackmail and pregnancy should not be connected in any way. Surprisingly, the book was not as wretched as I anticipated. I should post a review of sorts soon.

jill d.- I tend to agree with you. I often feel that there is so much missing in a category romance due to the short length. I think I am going to go with your suggestion about the used book store. I was looking on web tonight to find a good one to go to. Most bookstores in the Chicago area will not buy or trade romance novels. They only stick to "high quality literature." What a boring, snobby idea. I did find one that sells/trades romance, and will let me bring in 15 books each visit for trading. They will be seeing me quite often!

and, please excuse me if this was all incoherent. sleep deprivation + working on grades + one very strong cocktail = Shannon not being particularly sharp right now...

Kristie (J) said...

LOL - you do seem to be getting the short end of the stick. You give a Kleypas to read and get back a Palmer?? Not exactly equal are they?

This brings me in mind of a post I should do - yes it does!

Carolyn Jean said...

I say, good for you. You should read whatever you feel like reading at the moment. I mean, there are so many obligations in life, and reading should be reserved as pure pleasure. So what if you have a pile of books waiting? If you want to buy or borrow a new one, I say, go for it.

Also, I would be curious about that title, and I hope you give us a little review!!!

Shannon said...

Oh fear not carolyn jean, I have a review percolating in my mind right now. I just need to find the time to write it out.

Nicola O. said...

Hi Shannon-- check out Sandpiper Books in.. hmm, I think Bolingbrook? They're a pretty traditional paperback exchange. I know they deal romance and I'm pretty sure they do category, if they're still in business.