So much to read, so little time.

My home is full of books, some having been with me since my university days and some having been shipped across the ocean in an aluminum trunk when I moved back to Canada from England after attending theatre school. These, along with many more recently acquired volumes,  all  hold a memories.  Although over the years I have told myself that I hang onto them in case they are ever needed, I know it’s the memories that keep their yellowing pages on my shelves.

Since I became a writer (I still pause before claiming that title.), I have felt a responsibility to read not only for pleasure, but also in order to stay current with what is being published in my country, in my genre and by the many other writers I am meeting in person and through social media. In an ideal world this would not be a problem, but in my world, which is far from ideal, other things often take precedence.

It seems as if every day I am notified through one avenue or another about scores of books that have just been published. With the recent self-publishing  tidal wave, new titles appear on the market like never before, and with the growing popularity of e-readers, access to books is easier than ever before. From what I’ve seen over the last year, a person could keep reading non-stop just by downloading ebooks that are free on promotion.

My present ‘to read’ pile.

Recently I considered buying an e-reader. I got as far as deciding on which one I wanted. Then I realized what a disaster that would be. Not only would I have shelves of books waiting in line for my attention, but I would also have hoards of unseen volumes filed neatly away out of sight on an ebook. I decided to save myself a whole bundle of guilt and remain with printed books for now.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is, I am having to learn how to prioritize. Although there are thousands of books I would like to read some day, they will have to wait. For the moment I am being very strict with myself. In order to make it onto my ‘to read’ pile a book must fulfil one or more of the following criteria: written by someone I know, purchased at a book launch, chosen by my book club, won from a giveaway and requiring a comment, or pertaining to my own work. If I can even partially adhere to my own limitations, I will be satisfied. Luckily my arm doesn’t have to be twisted to read the books on my present pile. Now if I only had a few more hours in the day.

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