Monday, May 22, 2017

Too Many Books Collecting Dust

This post originally ran here
I was driving home from a lunch date with friends, thinking about how I don’t read much anymore. Well, I was thinking about it again. I think about it quite a lot. During the 2016 US election cycle, my reading fell off almost completely, and in the months since, it’s come and gone, limped along, existed on life support. However, if I’m being honest with myself, this shift started much earlier.
As I’ve gotten older, taken on tons of responsibility, and as I’ve realized that my goal in life is not, in fact, to own a McMansion, books have felt like added weight. Like too much. Like too many things collecting dust.

No doubt, I still love a good story–I am a reader–but I find myself using services like Scribd or my library’s digital catalog where I can instantly download whatever strikes my fancy, rather than turning to my established stable of books.
Over the past few years, I’ve steadily whittled away at my TBR. 50 books sold to the used bookstore here. 75 books donated to Little Free Libraries there. 160 out the door. At one time, the number of unread books on my shelves would have exceeded 800, 600, 450, 260, now 100.
As of today, I own 100 unread, physical books. That still feels like too many.
In a stunning example of how our perspectives can change, I used to look at my mountains of unread books and think, “Look at all the good to come. Think of all the things to learn, experience, and feel. Those books are possibility.”
I’m sure it’s a combination of age, grumpiness, and an ever-more-prevalent minimalism that changed my attitude toward my TBR. These days, I feel guilty when I’m not reading the books on my shelves. I feel overwhelmed because there are so many. I feel silly for keeping the ones I’ve lost interest in or held onto just because they were gifts. I can’t always remember which ones I own and don’t.
They have to go.
I was listening to Amanda and Jenn on the Get Booked podcast on my drive when this latest urge hit me, and the book The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon came up. I thought, “I’d really like to read that book. I would read more impulsively if I didn’t own so many.”
When I got home and decided to do a major cull, I found a copy of The Winter People. I had no idea I owned it. I take this as a sign that I’m doing the right thing.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Personally: Sunday Funday!

Well, hi! I was in the mood to write, and even though I haven't done a lot of reading, it's been an eventful week.

I'm right in the middle of the transition from the regular semester to summer, so there's lots of grading to be done. One of my online classes completely finished up this week. I even turned in my grades early!

My on-ground classes are turning in big projects tomorrow: a research paper and a digital presentation, so there will be plenty to grade.

As if that wasn't enough, my other two online classes are at mid-term. I'm finishing up their midterm grades for submission today, and they have a paper due tomorrow. More to grade! Ack!

OH, and I had to cancel my Wednesday night class this past week because I was under the weather, so I get to meet with them TWICE this week. Half-hearted yayyyy. Womp. I love them, but I do not love the commute and the hours: 6-10pm.

This past week has been kind of a hoot, if I'm honest. Greyson had his very first school musical performance. He was so cute in the chorus, and he had a short solo singing part as well. He's been humming the songs all week long. Friday was a field trip to the movies with plenty of time to play at the park afterward, AND he got to stay out late playing with friends in the evening. He rounded the day out with some gaming on the Nintendo 2DS he got for his birthday. I've never seen a happier, sleepier kid.

Yesterday was Fox Fest in our little town. Downtown was closed off to make room for vendor tents, food trucks and stands, inflatable bounce houses, more food, a petting zoo and pony rides, and a main stage with music and whatnot. It's really not as big as it sounds, but it was plenty of excitement for kiddo. We bought an all day pass to the bounce houses, and he was good to go. We enjoyed fried catfish for lunch and bought some homemade baked goodies on the way out before we voted in our school district's school board election. Civic duty, done.

David is out getting groceries, and I'm finishing today's grading, cleaning the house, and doing all the miscellaneous stuff I need to finish up before a new week starts: floors, laundry, tidying, lesson planning, sticker printing, cutting, and packing, and finally picking G up from his dad's. And cooking! Ribs and dutch oven scalloped potatoes for dinner!

I have a little time to kill before I have to be anywhere, so I'm going to play a bit of Nintendo DS myself. After we got one for Greyson for his birthday, I kinda fell in love. David surprised me with an early Mother's Day gift...a DS of my own, along with some games: Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Tetris! Looooove. MarioKart is also pretty rad.

I'm tired just writing this. :)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Dewey's Mini Challenge: Six Word Story (CLOSED)

In the spirit of six-word memoirs or six-word stories, I thought Dewey's Read-a-Thon a perfect opportunity to offer a six-word celebration to show our appreciation to Dewey for starting this thing so many years ago and to our ongoing book community for making it such a monumental event and such a great time.

Your challenge is to create a six-word celebration of Dewey's Read-a-Thon. Go on, you know you want to!

And, I should mention that there is incentive. The winner of this mini-challenge: the most innovative, colorful, and celebratory in six words will win a book of his or her choice of up to $15 from the Book DepositoryI'll announce the winner here after Hour 8. Please leave me a way to contact you: Twitter handle, Instagram, whatever! 


Nushu from ...and I ramble

April 2017 Real Truth Readathon Post

The Beginning:

5:50 am - Up before the alarm. Whoa, is that a headache? Ugh. 

6:00 - Freak out with Heather that the website still isn't working right. 30 minute delay on anything we do, change, post, tweak, etc. Wordpress help is staffed with amoebas who can't help.

7:10 - Second run at a cup of coffee. No idea how all those grounds got in that first one. 

7:15 - Heather and I decide to drink our way through this thing. #boozeathon

Oh yeah, survey: 

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Northeast Texas. 
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Undertaker's Daughter, a morbid memoir, by Kate Mayfield3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Spicy Nacho Doritos and coffee in its many forms. 4) Tell us a little something about yourself! 12 year blogging veteran, Dewey's co-organizer, Book Riot writer when I can get my head out of my ass5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I'm doing less of the late night hosting and more of the Andi time/reading/enjoying/chatting on Twitter and Facebook.

1:00 - Lunch was sooooo gooood. Baked chicken, baked sweet potato, deviled eggs, and stuffing. 

2:00 - Attempted nap. Unfortunately, failed!

5:00 - Weather warnings begin: tornado watches and such. Arrgh! 

Books: Been listening to THE ART OF ASKING by Amanda Palmer all day. I like it a lot. It was a good audio choice for cleaning earlier. Now, I'm moving on to the couch, a blanket, and THE UNDERTAKER'S DAUGHTER: A MEMOIR by Kate Mayfield. 

Images by Freepik