Saturday, December 11, 2010

A New Era

I am now blogging, after almost a year, on my new Sony Vaio EA36G, my very first laptop (happy birthday to me!)

Here's to the start of a new relationship. May it be free from hitch, kinks and defects.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Remaining Unread: Every booklovers' lament

Inspired by Remaining Unread: The Top Ten Reasons We Don’t Get to Certain Books

Beth Carswell from thinks these are the reasons why some books in our collection just don't get read.

1. It's a book I feel like I should read
Agatha Christie comes to mind. I bought 4 of her books way back when (at least 3 years ago) and so far I've read only one (1). I bought it when Popular was selling all these paperbacks at a cheap price. I think I got it for 2 for RM5.90 or something. I just couldn't resist. (See also point No. 7).

2. It's part of a series, and I haven't read the earlier ones, yet.
Tales of the Otori series. This one is the call of the warehouse sale. I was working at a children's section of a bookstore and I feel like I should expand my knowledge in the said genre. Lo and behold, 2 1/2 years after my resignation, I still haven't started on the trilogy. The books are now inside the "to give away" bin.

3. Everyone I know is recommending it.
I'm not much to listening to recommendations or looking at bestseller's list. So I'm quite safe in this area.

4. It's intimidatingly enormous.
Don Quixote.

5. It's a classic.
All Dickens. After reading The Pickwick Papers, I just fell in love. After that I've been buying all the titles that I could find. Again, courtesy of the warehouse sales. I have almost all of his books, including the obscure titles, about 7 titles I think and so far I think I've read 2. (See also point no. 9.)

6. My reading stacks get wildly out of control.
It used to be out of control. But I like to think that I have it under control even if just a tad since a got a bookshelf. Now, all my "too read" stacks are put on the shelf. While the rest (read and those that didn't quite make it on the list yet) are neatly packed inside boxes.

Some of the books on the "to read" shelf:
First row:
Kinfolk (Pearl S. Buck)
The World of Jeeves (PG Wodehouse)
The House of the Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey)
Second row:
1001 Books to Read Before You Die (Note the irony. Talk about pressure.)
Collapse (Jared Diamond)
Banker to the Poor (Muhammad Yunus) - this book is still plastic wrapped.
Reading Lolita in Tehran (Azar Nafisi)
Third row:
Dictionaries and Thesaurus (doesn't count)
Cartoon History of the Modern World
Complete Collection of Winnie the Pooh
100 Most Influential Persons in History

When I say just a little bit, sometimes it happens that books that I've always wanted to read will be taken out and then for various reasons that heaven only knows, it's put back on the shelf again. Good examples are Bruce Courtenay's The Power of One and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel.

7. The siren call of the bargain bin.
See point 1, 2, 4, 5.

8. The author wrote something else we like.
Amy Tan's something about drowning fish, saving a fish from drowning. God, I can't even remember the freakin' title, that's how bad I am. I've read all of her books. She's the only modern asian author that still interests me. (I know she would have to something to say about me calling her "asian author" but I don't know how else to categorize her unless I say "author that writes about chinese people" but that doesn't sound too intellectual now, does it?)

9. It's a textbook or an assignment.
The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby. Didn't finish when I took the class, still haven't finish now. To make matter's worse, I sold the copy that I used for class and a few years later, I bought another copy, thinking that I should read it till the end, them being classics and all. Well, no prizes to guess what happens next.

10. We have a friend/crush who works at the bookshop, or in my case…
"books ordered as a direct result of work-related book exposure."
Lots of children and young adult books. But I've read almost all of it by the way so it's not much of a problem. But thank God for public libraries. They do have some nice young adult titles. So I don't have to buy much.

I should say that most of the book that has been piling into my collection came from my bookstore career age (4 years). Staff discount and looking at books everyday helped fuel that itchiness to buy something. Most of my coffee table books came from this era. But then coffee table books are not meant to be read, right?

I think this list can be a 'meme'. Remember those? But I won't tag anybody. Maybe Eyeris if he's still reading this. But anyone who likes to give their take on this topic, do so and post me the link. I'm interested to know what titles that's been the bane of their existence as a booklover.