Reading overload

breatheI blame the people who run our public library service. They’ve made it too darn easy to reserve books on line. Don’t they know there are members like me who just can’t stop themselves acquiring books? It’s really not my fault that I am faced with a glut of books and only a few weeks in which to read them because we go on holiday in three weeks and I don’t want to lug hard cover books around with me in Germany.  It surely couldn’t have been me that went into the reservation system the day the Man Booker Prize longlist was announced on Wednesday and clicked on three titles that were already available. Just as it wasn’t me a few weeks ago who did something similar on the night the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize was announced.

Sometime you can wait months for a reserved book to become available (I often forget I’ve even requested some of the books) but yesterday I dropped into the local branch to say farewell to one of the librarians. When she handed me three books that had just arrived, she burst into giggles at the horrified look on my face. I left, trying to work out how I was going to get through them and concluding one of them would probably have to be returned unopened. Just as I was getting into the car she came running up to me; she’d found another one that I’d reserved.

So now I have on my bedside table three Booker prize candidates:

The Illuminations by Andrew O’Hagan
The Green Road by Anne Enright
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

And a fourth is a novel that I requested about two months ago The Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw.

All of these are calling out to me but I had to make a start somewhere. Since O’Hagan was on the top that became the one I started yesterday. It’s such a well written novel about two characters; one an elderly lady who is trying to remember her life when she was a photographer of note and her grandson who is trying to forget his time as a soldier in Afghanistan. O’Hagan is as insightful when he is portraying life in a care home and the onset of dementia as when he is portraying life on the front line in Helmand province and the mental disintegration of a career solider. It’s one of those novels that you just have to keep reading, reading, reading. If you want go get a taste of this novel there is an extract in The Daily Telegraph from one of the Afghanistan sections.

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on August 2, 2015, in Man Booker Prize, Scottish authors, Sunday Salon and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I know, it’s just not fair! This always happens to me too and whether I am 143, 50, or 6 when I place a hold on a number of books, they all arrive at the same time. I think it is some kind of universal law. That or a big joke. 🙂

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  2. Heheh. Obviously I meant the librarian, but now I am getting a giggle out of the building chasing after you, which, given the question of volume, might not SEEM far off at times!

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  3. I especially like the bit about the library chasing after you with a fourth: how courteous (and devliish)!

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  4. Ha! I love it! Sounds so much like me. This is one reason I try to stay away from the library as far as checking out books. I get carried away and then…I think to myself…but I DO want to read them…all of them! Then I keep renewing, etc. Being a member of our local Library Board doesn’t help, because I am exempt from fines/overdue fees. I still don’t check out books much though…’cause I know I would abuse that policy like crazy!! 🙂 Actually, I have such a stock of owned books in my home I could probably read for years without borrowing a book! 🙂

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    • well yes I do have a few hundred books already I could choose from in my own home but then along comes something new and I can’t resist. if I worked in or was associated with a library I swear it would get seriously worse

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  5. This makes me so happy! I agree with you though that it’s too easy. I have three windows open of books to put reservations on at my local library when I’m done catching up on blogging.

    The WORST though are those you reserve and then you get the notification and you have to then shuffle your reading plans to read it before it’s due again because you know you can’t check it out again 😦

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  6. I do this all the time. I request a bunch of books or audiobooks on-line from the public library and then it always seems to happen that they come in at the same time. Sigh.

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  7. I can so relate to this addiction. I finally decided to use GoodReads to help me manage a TBR pile rather than immediately reserving them at the library. Old habits die hard though…

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  8. It is difficult waiting.

    ENJOY all of your books…nice post.

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog

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