Wednesday, September 13, 2006

To read list

Since I have been so busy trying to identify what makes a good book, I should take stock of my to be read list. This person puts all of hers in one place where it might glare at her. I prefer to distribute them around the house. This has many advantages, the most important of which is to hide the sheer size from those who might criticize new book purchases. Books get categorized into the following groups:

On-deck books: Usually 10-15 books sitting on my dresser. These are theoretically the next books to be read, but they often get line jumped by library books. Among the lucky volumes are City of Falling Angels, White Apples and Perdido Street Station.

The Pile of Shame: Beside my dresser and in a small bookshelf made by my eldest lie the mass market paperbacks. These are the sorts of things I don't want to show in the downstairs shelves. It's nearly all genre stuff, with the high risk of being ungood. Still there are gems here like Peter Robinson mysteries, Robert Charles Wilson scifi and this LA Condidential-ish thriller.

Display books: We have a bunch of old leather or generally more expensive books in one corner of the living room, lots of unread there including a bunch of Folio Society and Library of America.

Dining Room books: Our largest collection of books are here. That way, with every meal, our kids get the subliminal message of "Books.Books.Books." Plus we like scanning the spines. Since the fiction is alphabetized, I stumble upon unread volumes every few days, and then forget again. The non-fiction is not organized and I still lose books in there.

Stored: Thanks to limited shelf space there are a number of unpacked book boxes. And yes I sold/donated seven book boxes before moving from DC.

The downside to my to read system is that the lowest quality books are physically closest to my on-deck pile. So when a coveted spot opens up, I often just grab a good looking pulp novel.

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