Some Books Call Me a Heartbreaker…

Readers, I have a confession to make.

I’m a bad reader.

I read a lot.

I love books. I love the way they smell, the way they feel in my hands, the feeling the words leave behind on my soul.

But sometimes, I’m a tease with my books.

I buy them. I pick them up and caress them. I even take them to bed with me. It’s okay; be scandalized.

And then, I get distracted. There’s another shiny book on that table at the bookstore downtown. I get completely addicted to a really quality television show and I end up having marathon after marathon after marathon.

My book, it languishes on my nightstand or bookshelf or, if it’s been a particularly lazy month for me, on the floor with a stack of other discards.

This happens every year. I’m fairly predictable that way. I come home from my parents’ every January with a stack or, in this year’s case, a bag, of new books. It usually takes me the entire year to get through them. Mostly because I get so damn distracted. I do eventually make it. I eventually reach that last page of them all.

I may be a tease but when I commit, I really commit. I always get all the way through the book.

And every year, I make it all the way through that stack of books and many more. It’s not just the Christmas bag. It’s the shiny books on the table at the bookstore downtown, the paperbacks my father wraps in his handwritten note and stuffs in an “If it fits, it ships” envelope a couple times a year, and the endless novels that pass from hand to hand among my siblings.

Right now, I’m cheating on many books.

I’m slowly but surely making my way through Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. It’s a monster of a book. I just can’t handle too much at one sitting. I find myself only able to tolerate the occasional make-out session on the couch: a chapter or two each time I pick it up. But I’m really loving it. If you love dense prose, out-there story lines disguised in the mundane. I like it. I’m going to keep making out with it until I get through the nearly 1000 pages between its covers.

I’m also reading my way through the collections of Fables which is awesome. If you’re watching Once Upon a Time and you like fairy tales, you should really read it. Let’s just say that Snow White is bad ass and has a bad ass sister, Beauty & the Beast frequently have marital problems and the Big Bad Wolf is pretty cool too. I mean, I’m only through a couple volumes, but I’m looking forward to reading the rest of them.

For my education, I’m reading the Likeable Social Media book. It’s about social media. It’s kind of odd, right? That I’m reading a book of paper and ink to learn more about something that exists completely without them?

And…in addition to all these…I have a load of other books I brought home with me after Christmas. Everything from a couple of used novels by Gregory Maguire to some Absalom, Absalom line my shelves, like shy wallflowers just waiting to be asked to the dance. And the time will come. I’ll dance with them all. It’ll just take me a while.

Photo is my own

  • Kellie Koutoullas

    I do exactly the SAME thing. It’s like shinny things those new books. I buy and buy and get pile and pile and I get to them eventually. But I too get distracted. I have 21 new books ready to be read!!!

    • Rachael Berkey

      I have so many. It’s sad.

  • Felicia Quesada

    Yeah, my book buying rate is definitely faster than my reading rate. My To Read shelf accidentally expanded to TWO To Read shelves after I lived out of boxes for the summer and apparently forgot I already had tons of unread books waiting for attention. The whole situation is made worse by my love of libraries – I am incapable of walking out with less than five books, and those have due dates, so I have to read them! Poor neglected books.

    • Rachael Berkey

      Libraries actually help me read faster which is cool. :)

  • Lindsay Bradleigh Shank

    Absolutely the story of my life. And can I just say that having an e-reader makes is 1,000 times worse.

    • Rachael Berkey

      I feel like things might get lost in the shuffle if I had an ereader…like I’d buy and then never ever read.

  • Elisabeth Miller

    I so understand. I have a bookcase stuffed with books that are unread. They were bought at library book sales, bookstores, stolen from my parents, etc. Some are the most random things ever – a collection of poems by the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova (what? it was on a cart at the library that said ‘free’), a non-fiction book about the search for the cause of an unidentified febrile virus written in 1969, books by Chaim Potok and books by Elizabeth Strout. I just came back from my dad’s where I borrowed another 10 books. Not to mention the library books, the book club books… It’s overwhelming, but in the most wonderful of ways.

    • Rachael Berkey

      I love the randomness of your collection! As a writer, I’ve acquired quite a few random things myself that I’ve bought for research…and then just can’t part with.

  • Kimberly Nappi

    I do the same thing! I’m also trying to get through 1Q84 without cheating on it with another book, but that’s not working out!

    • Rachael Berkey

      I think my books have just accepted that I’m not monogamous.

  • Cristina Moreno

    Same. It’s my goal for 2012 to read (completely, all the way through) one book per month.

    • Rachael Berkey

      That’s a great goal!

  • Kaitlyn McKeon

    love love love haruki murakami! i have yet to check out 1Q84, but if it’s anything like his other books i’m looking forward to it!

    • Rachael Berkey

      I’m loving it. It’s beautiful. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Angel Fernandez

    I am the same way. My bookshelves are currently overflowing right now but I just keep on buying. I am an episode of Hoarders waiting to happen, really.

    • Rachael Berkey

      I’m always an episode of Hoarders waiting to happen! It’s crazy!

  • Katy Cavanaugh

    Once you get past page 300 of 1Q84 you won’t be able to put it down.

    • Rachael Berkey

      That’s so good to hear! I’m almost there!

  • Jena Evans-Turnbull

    I am happy to hear that I am not the only person that does this, my book guilt is weighting less heavily on me now, so for that I thank you! I hope that if you ever manage to get through 1Q84, you do a review on it! It is a book that has been suggested to me, but the reviews I have read, made it seem a little out there and a little disturbing in some instances. It would be great to hear what you think when you are done.

  • Liz Gillis

    Fables is fantastic!

  • Elena Quintanilla

    omg I thought I was the only one. I would probably get through them faster if I read multiple books at the same time.

    It’s really crazy how the amount of books I buy exceed the books I’ve read.

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