Just a few years ago this would have been inconceivable. But if you look at my Reading List, you will be looking near the bottom of my personal library. Yeah.
How does that even happen? A purge (The Purge), that's how. Two years ago I was forced to undertake a massive reduction of my personal property, including thinning my music, movie, and yes, book collections. I had one of those book collections that sprawled throughout my entire available living space. Naturally, most of it I hadn't read. That was the whole point of the Reading List originally, to give some semblance of order to all the books I had waiting for me. And because there was so much of it, and not only The Purge was necessitated, but I would soon move as well. I've moved before. This time I'd been living in the same place for six years, all the while amassing as many books as possible, especially while I was working at Borders, and buying a bunch of cheap books when it went out of business.
Maybe the worst part of The Purge was foolishly thinking if I could just sell as many as possible to area used book stores, the hardcovers would fetch the most money. Learned differently very quickly, by the way. But among other things, that meant the loss of several Stephen King books I hadn't read yet. There's some King I think is really good, and coincidentally I followed in a lot of his footsteps growing up and in school, so I've developed a reasonable interest in his work. After getting rid of most of my collection, he was the single greatest victim.
All of which means, two years after The Purge, I'm suddenly looking at a reader's nightmare scenario. This weekend I started to panic and went to buy more books. It's sad, because out of all the places I've lived Lewiston, Maine, is perhaps most deprived of bookstores. It's gotten so bad that I've even seriously considered buying a Kindle. I've got a bunch of books downloaded to a Kindle PC app, but other than a lot of L. Frank Baum material, I can't begin to vouch for the quality of the stuff in that collection, and I've learned over the years that I am definitely the kind of reader who greatly values the quality of the material. The thought of reading just for the sake of reading...That way lies madness.
Because I currently have a poor ability to access all of my books, there are a bunch still in plastic crates, so I may have a few more than I'm currently thinking. I've still got a bunch of classics, which will represent the next batch of material I'll read (including the complete Shakespeare), and books I bought at the 2014 Moxie Day festival over in Lisbon (it doesn't look like I'll be attending this year's), but after that...
It's an astonishing development, it really is. Part of the problem is that I've been pretty heavily chronicling my reading experience at Goodreads for a few years now (which is what Hub City was originally meant to do), including setting yearly goals. Combined with graphic novels, the stuff from my Reading List so far this year has reached nearly three-fourths of a one-hundred-and-one goal. Next year I don't think I'll try and be as lofty. Maybe I've just been spoiling myself, right?