Please note: I created a page for this here. Because it is a thing. Please go to the page I created for updates.
I recently ran across a blog post in which a woman has begun to read a shelf of books in her home. She got the idea from a book called, The Shelf: From LEQ to LES: Adventures in Extreme Reading by Phyllis Rose.
I’m always saying I need to read the books I have in my house before buying another one. I took a sabbatical from my book group to do just that, but failed miserably.
We have at least 8 bookcases in the house, most filled with many unread books so I am going to see if I can read the books I have not already read that sit on the top shelf of one of my living room bookshelves. The only exceptions are books that I’d planned on throwing away, unread, anyway. Also I do not have to read non-fiction or scientific books that might have ended up on the shelves. One more exception — if a book is on the shelf and is part of a series and I have not read the book just before that book in a series, I get a pass on that one until I read the book before it. (Jasper Fforde’s Something Rotten, for instance. I read the first book in the series and thought this was the second, but it was the third. I never got around to reading the second).
The books are:
- Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons Lorna Landvik
- Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin (Good grief — this ought to be fun)
- The Book of Ruth Jane Hamilton
- The Bronte Myth Lucasta Miller
- Charlotte Gray Sebastian Faulks
- Come Along with Me Shirley Jackson
- A Death in the Family James Agee
- Dubliners James Joyce
- Essays of Elia Charles and Mary Lamb
- The Flanders Panel Arturo Perez-Reverte
- Herland Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- A High Wind in Jamaica Richard Hughes
- The Literary Legacy of C. S. Lewis Chad Walsh
- The Liars’ Club Mary Karr
- Love, Again? Doris Lessing
- My Brother Michael Mary Stewart (I think I read this when I was a teenager, but don’t remember much of it)
- No Country for Old Men Cormac McCarthy
- Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Famous and Obscure Writers Smith Magazine
- On Writers and Writing John Gardner
- Resistance Anita Shreve (I have many of this author’s books and have read none of them)
- Selected Poems Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Lord help me)
- Somehow Form a Family: Stories that are Mostly True Tony Earley (I bought this along with another book for an online memoir writing course. I didn’t get very far in the course and never read the book)
- The Tiger Rising Kate DiCammillo
- Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie Holly Black (I think I read Tithe, but maybe I didn’t finish it. I bought both for Clare, but she was over the whole fairy loving humans thing before it started.)
- What I Think I Did: What I Think I Did: A Season Of Survival In Two Acts Larry Woiwode
So, wish me luck — I will need it with Joyce, Franklin, the Lambs and Longfellow…
4 thoughts on “Read a Shelf”
Good luck. You’ll need it. That’s serious. I’ve read the Karr and I think the Gardner. Maybe one other. I’m about (I hope) to purge some books sometime in the next couple of months. I too have been avoiding my book group because of the tower of unread books by my bed. I’ve thought about blogging about it, listing them…but haven’t. Best wishes!
Thanks. I’m actually doing this for other reasons. I may or may not disclose them in future posts.
When I saw the titles, I was impressed you’d even do this! Now reading your comment to IB, I really really want to know why! I am though going to share this with a friend who is currently giving away books that she has bought over the years and never read. Argh. I can’t imagine doing that. She needs to take it shelf-by-shelf.
Nothing at all exciting about the “why”, Mali.