Jan 21



I am thinking about books a lot recently. One of my favorite year-end pastimes is to check out those ubiquitous booklists that appear in newspapers and magazines. I especially like the online lists which invite comments from readers. It is great fun to have readers name their own favorites, and it is one way to discover little known gems. I have just ordered a copy of The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread – a book from the fifties that seems to have a cult following among those who first encountered it in their school days as it was read aloud by a parent or teacher. I also just placed an order for Eureka Street, a well reviewed book about working class neighborhoods of Belfast. Both of these books are sufficiently out of date that I would never have encountered them were it not for those end-of-the-year postings of favourite books.


Part of my process involves finding out about good things to read and adding to a list of books I will attempt to tackle in 2013. To be realistic, I will not get through even half of the things I would like to read. Even as a retiree, there is never enough time for reading.


Which brings me to another angst-producing activity. Our community has an annual used book sale in February I always go and pick up interesting books (bags and boxes full). This year I am constraining myself and will only allow myself to acquire 1/2 the number I am donating. (How else to whittle down shelves full of books? So far I have packed four boxes of discards.) I am currently in the process of weeding books – some quite wonderful books that I just know I will never get around to reading, so little point in continuing to hang on to them. My reading interests have shifted from popular fiction to non-fiction, historical fiction, and memoirs, but I am nevertheless reluctant to part with copies of works by Joyce Carol Oates, Jane Urquhart or Michael Cunningham, all of whom are wonderful writers. Sigh!


What are your reading preferences, and how do you set reading priorities? I am thinking that a good strategy might be to pick a single genre (e.g. Memoirs) and stick with that for the year. The reading would undoubtedly be interesting and I would not feel quite so overwhelmed.


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One Response to “Reading Priorities”

  1. jchahal says:

    My public library also carries reader comments that I find helpful.

    My priorities fall into several categories:
    – book club selections – always a good way to stretch my usual scope
    – recommendations from friends
    – preparing for trips – I like to find novels that take place where I will be going, as well as non-fiction dealing with history, politics, and tourism
    – fiction and non-fiction related to projects or current interests. I often search the library catalogue with related keywords.. I’ve discovered some gems this way.

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