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Reading Life: 27th November 2019

A photograph of a field at Hever Castle with autumn colours on the trees

I’ve been reading almost every evening for the past few weeks. It’s been wonderful, both in general and in terms of adding to my list, but I’m currently taking a couple of days out, hoping to see off any burnout before it happens. I noticed yesterday the words just weren’t going in so I took myself off to a digital medieval world; I got fined for accidentally starting a fist fight with a city guard – the keyboard controls to fight and to talk are next to each other – but regardless it was a lot of fun. I plan one more evening of it and then it’s back to the books. I reckon two days away from reading should work – either way, it’ll be interesting to see if this amount of time (albeit that I’m still blogging about books during it) works to freshen up the reading and reset any tendency to burnout.

The book I completed most recently was the Riverton I reviewed on Monday. My current reads are Nancy Bilyeau’s The Blue and Sherry Thomas’ Delicious, both historicals but set a century apart and in different genres. They’re my fourth and third read by the two authors respectively. I’m about a quarter of the way through the Bilyeau and so far so good – it’s obviously very different to the author’s Tudor period books but the sense of evident research that pervaded those books is in The Blue as well, which is lovely. I’m about a fifth of the way through the Thomas, and it’s going okay – this is a longer-term read that I should technically have finished a while back, as I started it a couple of months ago.

On that note of books still to be finished, I started looking at mine last month and have divided them into two categories (they’re not quite lists, thankfully). There are some that I barely started and really should be removed if I’m to be honest about time limitations and how much I’m actually reading: Susanna Kearsley’s Season Of Storms (begun just after the New Year, and never returned to – wrong time); Elizabeth Chadwick’s The Love Knot (begun in earnest but never returned to as I already had two current reads at the time); and Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth which I struggled with upon beginning, got past that, but then faltered. Then there’s Lillian Li’s Number One Chinese Restaurant (started in September, still in mind, and just not managed to get back to properly yet), and the Sherry Thomas which as noted above is a current read again. Along with the Thomas, I’m going to see if I can complete the Li and the others I’ll probably remove from the list for now. I once carried over three ‘old’ reads from one year to another. It didn’t go well.

In book-related life, I’m looking to sort one of my shelves out. A couple of my bookcases are properly organised but I have another that I’ve just been adding newly acquired books to without standing them on the shelves – I’ve been piling them up instead, partly due to time but mostly because I’m aware it’s my last bookcase and at the moment I can pretend that the books not yet properly shelved don’t equate to one and a half shelves of properly placed books which would lead to only one and a half shelves remaining. This said, I really enjoy organising my shelves so there’s a tug of war going on between the part of me who doesn’t want to admit I’m running out of space and the part that wants it all looking nice and tidy and done.

There’s at least one book on my Christmas list this year, first time in a while. I’d probably better get on with it…

Have you (ever) run out of shelf space? What did you do? And what does the last month of this year look like for you in books?



November 27, 2019, 4:23 pm

I’m still smiling about your interaction with the city guard…

Normally the last couple of months are really slow for me book-wise, but I seem to be on a roll this year. We won’t discuss the overflowing, double stacked books on my many shelves.

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