How a stack of "To Be Read" books tastes remarkably like crow

Photo credit Wikipedia

Last weekend, I finally gave in and joined Goodreads, which, for those of you know in the know, is social media for book people.  You log your books, comment on them, and hook up with people you know from the real world or the great wide interwebs.  Err, wait, I mean connect, I guess.  That is, unless you’re either the protagonist in a film on the Lifetime Movie Network or a “real person” on an MTV reality show.  In either case, you probably are actually “hooking up”.

Ahem.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, so I signed up for Goodreads.  One might wonder what took me so long, considering that I do tend to kind of be “book people” and all.  But honestly, I’ve been so wrapped up in the finishing and ongoing processing of my own novel that I just didn’t give it much thought.  Plus, I’m lazy.

So what do I think about it?  Honestly, I don’t know yet.  I like the concept just fine.  It seems like it’s being in a book club that’s available 24/7.  I mean, who doesn’t like having an infinite number of people available who’ve read the same book as you? Opine away!  Also, there’s no dealing with that snotty Type-A Oprah-naut demanding you read some obscure 19th-century British lit nonsense to discuss over petit fours when what you really want to be reading is a page-turner with more explosions, cocktails, and scantily-clad people than high-minded concepts.

Like I said, though, I don’t know about it yet, because I’ve been stuck in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for a couple of weeks now.  At last count I’m about a quarter of the way through and I’m just not yet feeling compelled, if you know what I mean.  But it’s Gaiman, dammit.  Giving up on a Gaiman novel feels like walking out on a baseball game down by only a run with Ruth coming up in the bottom of the inning.  If anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, it’s him.

Regardless, there is one thing I’ve learned from Goodreads already.  At 38 years…wait, no, 39 years—dammit, and I’d just gotten used to 38!—old, I find myself in the unenviable position of having to apologize to my mom.  It probably comes as no great shock, but Grammy Puddin is “book people” too—it’s where I get it.  In fact, she’s easily more hardcore than I am.  And for the entirety of my life, Mom has been buying books (yes, plural) Every. Single. Month.  Now, obviously, I think that’s awesome.  But, back in the day of trying to raise four kids and work full-time, she tended to buy more books than she adequate hours to read on a given sheet of calendar.  So the books starting stacking up.  But that didn’t curtail the acquisitioning, though, no sir.  Every month, new books would come in and join the old books that still needed to be read.

The to-be-read stack grew and grew, eventually becoming the to-be-read bookcase.  And I smugly mocked her, with love, of course, about it at every available opportunity.

She would promptly stick her tongue out at me and tell me to be quiet, as is a mother’s prerogative.

Mom’s retired, now, though, and all us birds have flown the coup.  Finally, she has time to work down that bookcase (although I’m not going to venture any guesses if her reading has managed to finally outpace her acquiring—comments, Mom?).

On Saturday, though, as I compiled my own to-be-read list on Goodreads, I realized that I’ve become the full-time (plus some) worker with a four kids and little enough time to read.  As a result, guess who’s collecting books faster than he can power through them?

Yep, that’s right, this guy.  My to-be-read list is already 17 books deep, and is likely to grow before it begins to shrink.  Admittedly, I haven’t bought all of those books yet, mostly only those from authors I enjoy and respect and would like to see get paid regardless of whether or not my list of responsibilities is longer than War and Peace. Still, I’m  mentally committed to all of them, already in my grubby little mitts or not.

Which brings me to the obligatory apology.  Sorry, Mom, for making fun of you about buying all the books you didn’t have time to read.  Once again we learn that the galacticly smug punk teenager Puddin probably should have kept his damn mouth shut.

On the other hand, mmm, tasty, tasty, crow.  Who wants some?

Oh, so, hey, what are you reading?  Feel free to hook up…err, connect…with me on Goodreads, if you roll that way.  New friends are always welcome! 

I promise not to go Oprah on you.


4 thoughts on “How a stack of "To Be Read" books tastes remarkably like crow

  1. Thank you, Andrew! The only thing I know for sure is that we eat every word we’ve ever said before we die. Yes, I am still buying books (the REAL kind) and the only sad thing is that now I realize I won’t get them all read before the shelf!! I am on Goodreads, but started mid- 2011 and have not made a list for 2012. The big problem is that the book I FINALLY finished last month, TOO MUCH PRETTY was slow AND boring and didn’t have the excuse that it was at least a National Book Award Winner (I forget which one) like COLD MOUNTAIN. — that gave new meaning to the phrase Slow & Boring and was the one read book that I can honestly tell people the movie version was better! And as much as I hate to admit it, the little gadget I am using now has cut into my reading time; I know, EGADS!!! But I will be good and get back on track, I have a special Christmas present next on my “not made” list to read, and then a certain novel is sitting on my cyber bookcase that absolutely must come after that!! Needless to say, I am delighted that you have followed in my (and also your Grandmother’s) reading shoes! My life would be ever so less rich if it failed to include all those lovely written or printed words and it is a legacy that I hope I have successfully passed on to my children. Your younger brother asked me once if I had to give up one or the other would I give up TV or reading –w/o blinking an eye my very definite answer was TV — I can’t imagine my life without books in it — and yes, the day I die, there will probably be a book in my mailbox — books are a very large part of who I am!!!


  2. We should have put them on Ebay before the Age of Electronic Books arrived 🙂 Our course my supply is large but doesn’t touch your mother’s. Spoken by someone who has multiple filled bookcases but who has read what he has sans 2 new ones from Christmas. As for books vs. Electronic books, who wants to drag around a Nook worth a mint, when losing the book is much cheaper – lol Of course, I never lose anything 🙂


  3. I love the picture you included in this post — and it made me wonder — does anyone today (other than those with a Degree in Library Science) know what the Dewey Decimal System is?


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