Tuesday, October 9, 2007

So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson

So, lots of people have already blogged about this one - it makes sense that it would hold great appeal for book bloggers based on the title alone. :)

Here are a few of my bits and bobs about it, you can see more on
my blog, if you're interested:

- Overall, I liked the book well enough - I got through it quickly and was kept pretty interested. It was interesting to see how the books were affecting her, what thoughts they brought to her mind or how they related to what was happening in her life. But it didn't really seem like a chronicle of a "year of passionate reading." Several of our SAM'ers mentioned the passion in the "passionate reading" didn't come through and I agree. Becky summed it up really well: "...if it had been called "Thoughts on the Books I've Read This Year" instead I would have thought it delivered just fine."

- I also agree with Alisonwonderland who says she didn't feel very engaged with Nelson - "a couple of times i found myself thinking that many of the book bloggers i know could have written this book at least as well, if not better." (Note - I do not include myself in that category!)

- Quite a few times Nelson reminded me of that Booking Through Thursday question about being a "Goldilocks reader" - she couldn't get into the book if things weren't just right. For someone who is a "passionate" reader, she seemed awfully picky.

- Nelson claims (quite a few times) that she's not much of a re-reader: "And life is short, why waste time on something you already know, when you can discover something exciting and new?" This is how I feel; I have a few very beloved books and some that I've read a couple of times, but most of my books go right back to the library and that's the end of them, though I thank them for their company. But for someone who claims not to be much of a re-reader, she does it a lot in just one year of reading.

- She has her planned reading list for the year in one of the appendices and no wonder she barely read any of them (2, I think)! They were almost all things she clearly didn't enjoy reading - poetry, short stories, and nonfiction (all of which she admits to not particularly enjoying) and a bunch of classics she hadn't gotten to yet. I think we all have lists of "worthy" titles we'd like to get to, but to think you're going to do them all in a year seems like a lot of pressure.

- I was totally with her on this statement: "I have to read and read and read, all the while knowing that the more aggressively I pursue my passion, the sooner it will end and then I will be bereft." I've put off finishing books I'm loving so that I can keep that bereft feeling at bay a while longer.

- I do agree with her Rule #2 - timing. There are certainly books that you can't get into because you're too young, there's too much going on in your life and you're distracted, they're too close to something you can't face right now, or they're heavy and you need fluffy or they're fluffy and you want solid.

- I'm definitely a "double-booker," too. I pretty much always have one book in my bag for the commute and errands and one by my bed, and fairly often another one somewhere in the house.

- I agreed with her about not really liking "publishing phenomena" - the books that are currently the talk of the town. It's nicer to either discover them first before you hear too much about them or to read them many years after the hype has died down.


Madame Rubies said...

I noticed that some people didn't get the passion, but it came through loud and clear for me. The fact that she wanted to write a book about books showed passion, in and of itself. Anywho, I am with you on being a double-booker. How can anyone survive with just one. Hee hee.

alisonwonderland said...

great review, tiny little librarian!

it's a book worth reading, i think, but it's not necessarily all i had hoped it would be.