The Addiction of Acquisition

Is it more fun to buy books than to read them? The same amount? Sometimes when I’m too fatigued or muddled to read or do much of anything, I start looking through my TBR and often find myself adding to it.

I have more than one type of TBR list, too. I have a huge list of books that were given to me or bought from library sales. Over a period of years. My mother-in-law cleaned out her garage, so I have some of those that I haven’t read yet. I was given a treasure trove of lovelies for Christmas, and I haven’t read them yet. My father-in-law loves me and gave me a shiny box of science fiction and fantasy classics that holds pride of place safely out of toddler hands. The one I’ve probably made the biggest dent in is what I’ve bought from Better World Books, and even then I’m sure I have at least a hundred more to read.

And that isn’t even touching on my Goodreads TBR, which contains books I don’t even own. Or my Kindle Wishlist, which is obviously made up of only those kinds of books. Sometimes I’ll go through it and see if anything has been marked down.

Is it because the potential of a new book is so exciting? Particularly if there’s a sale (and there are always sales), you buy low-priced indie books, or of course my favourite: the library. It’s a low or no cost experience that gives you all the butterflies of starting something new.

Knitters like to acquire yarn. Apparently there’s a phenomenon wherein a knitter will have bought or been gifted more yarn than they could ever use in a lifetime. That’s me (and many many others) with books. I have this rosy ideal that there are people out there who reread and stay on top of TBRs under fifty and actually read new books the week they come out. Is this you? Can you teach me? I’m still trying to read stuff that came out before I was born. There are classics I still need and want to read.

Obviously this doesn’t apply to important priorities like ARCs that need reviews (my personal policy of never failing to review is going to kill me) and books that friends have asked me to vet for them. Vetting is one of my favourites. I do all the research–if it’s a retelling, I go back and reread the original. I look into the author and when I read the book, I do it in the mindset of the person for whom I’m vetting.

But when it comes to my own interests, I am a snail. I’ve had The Love Interest for a month, and it’s one I was dying to get. If it weren’t for NetGalley, future me would probably be reading Mask of Shadows while Christmas shopping. And adding more books to my list. If I had a superpower, it would be the supernatural ability to read seven books in two hours. …Originally, I was going to say, “stop time,” but then I’d never start it again. So there’s the world saved, I guess.

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