Hello lovelies! How are you? I was creeping on a friend’s bookshelf the other day and I noticed he had a lot of interesting books on European history. When I mentioned that to him he leaned in, like he was about to tell me a secret, and confessed “I haven’t actually read any of those yet, but I’m totally going to!” It made me laugh, cause I’ve been on the opposite end of that conversation so many times. I have tons of unread books on my shelf (we’re talking several hundred here) and most of those I simply haven’t gotten to yet. But others are part of a more distinct pattern. They’re the books I buy for the reader I wish I was.
Maybe you do this too. Maybe you have a stack of new cookbooks, but never try any of the recipes. Maybe you collect the classics, but only read contemporaries. Maybe you keep buying contemporaries, even though you only reach for SFF. Maybe you’re a reasonable person and only buy books you know you’ll read. Who knows. But since I find this wishful book buying interesting and enjoy exposing myself on the internet, I took a look at my shelf and found some books I’ve bought for the reader I wish I was.
MEMOIRS BY WOMEN IN ROCK
I blame Patti Smith and growing up in record stores for this. I have an intense nostalgic affection for the record store at the mall, where I used to hang out and listen to Pearl Jam as a kid. Now whenever I stop buy, I have to take a look at their book section (which is 80% non fiction about music and 20% classic SF by old, white men) I usually end up buying another memoir by a female rockstar, thinking it’s going to be the next Just Kids. The problem is that I never actually read these books, so even if they are the next Just Kids – it’s not like I’m gonna know about it. What’s worse is that even as I’m writing this, I’m thinking that it’d be cool if they had something about Stevie Nicks next time. I blame Taylor Jenkins Reid and Daisy Jones for that.
SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS
Listen, I love short stories. No really, I do. Some of my favorite books of all time, like all of Kelly Link’s books and The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night are short story collections. It’s just that I’ve developed this unfortunate habit of telling myself that I’m going to read one story a day, which usually works super well for about 1 day. Since most short story collections actually have more than one story in them, I’ve got a lot of unread collections on my shelf. I’ve been reading this one anthology (hint: it’s in my goodreads sidebar thingy) since March last year and I still got 4 stories left. I’m really trying.
Y’all knew this was coming, right? Cause if you were thinking that my little problem with reading sequels means that I have the good sense not to buy sequels, you’d be wrong. Clearly there’s a version of me that actually wants to finish series, too bad she only shows up at the bookstore. I honestly don’t know how many unread sequels I have on my shelves right now (and I don’t want to),
but I’d guess it’s around 30. I’ve actually finished a series this month though and I’m currently reading the last book in another – so progress is being made guys, just not very quickly.
Do you every buy books for the reader you wish you were?