Resolution for the New Year

No new arrivals this week, folks, but I do have a New Year resolution.

I make one or two of these every year, and last year I had mixed success, not walking more or losing weight, those two seem to be ongoing goals. There are also things that are so obvious they aren’t resolutions, just Things That Need Doing, such as getting bookshelves and CD/DVD storage in the house, keeping up with clutter, getting the garage organized, now that I have storage in it.

So here’s my resolution for 2011: read what I have.

That may not be entirely clear, so let me elaborate somewhat. I have a lot of books here, right now mostly in boxes but they will get out onto shelves in time. A heck of a lot of them have been here a long time and are still unread. I continue to buy books, sometimes only a few, sometimes many, while what’s here occupies shelf space. While I go through periods of keep them all — no, get rid of some of them — no keep them all, the main thing is I want to read the books I have. Once they have been read, I can decide if I’ll keep them, which means I think I’ll want them to reread, or for reference, or something, or if I’ll dispose of them (book swap, donate, gift, etc.).

So for 2011, my resolution is that 3 out of every 4 books I read will be ones I have in my possession right now – on January 1, 2011.

Shouldn’t be too hard, there are a lot to choose from.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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22 Responses to Resolution for the New Year

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Good one, but I’d never be able to keep it.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Ditto, Bill, on both points.

    Any New Arrivals this week, Rick?

  3. Richard says:

    It’s not that I won’t buy new books, Bill, just that I’ll try to make 3/4 of my reading books I have.

    Jeff – nope, nothing new.

  4. Joachim Boaz says:

    Sounds like a doable and super worthwhile resolution!!!

  5. Drongo says:

    I’m curious Rick, how many books do you have?

  6. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I did get two paperbacks in this week: Ross Macdonald’s The Wycherly Woman and (after waiting four years for the Exchange to turn up a copy, surprisingly) Evan Hunter’s Last Summer.

    I’m waiting on five more Macdonald books.

  7. Chris says:

    I made a similar resolution, only I set the bar at 5 read for every one new one. That won’t include any I trade for by exchanging those I read for credit at the local used bookstore. I’m hoping I can stick to that. It should still mean 15 – 20 new books this year, which should be plenty. I probably have close to two years worth of unread books, each one that I can’t wait to read, waiting on my shelf. It’s madness!

  8. Richard says:

    Drongo, at last count, and that was early in 2010, it was something over 5800, but I was estimating the count in some boxes of paperbacks in the garage and it may be higher or lower.

  9. Richard says:

    Chris, I figure I can read two books a week for the rest of my life expectancy and not read all my unread books. That’s pretty darn scary.

  10. Add a zero to Rick’s estimate and divide by 2, Drongo. That’s about how many books I have in my home. I plan to make another donation of a few thousand books to SUNY at Buffalo this summer.

  11. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Face it, George – you’re keeping the economy going almost single-handed with a little help from the rest of us.

  12. 2010 might have been my best year for library sales, Jeff. I must have bought a couple thousand books for pennies on the dollar. I just couldn’t pass up such great books!

  13. Patti Abbott says:

    I am going to try and join you in that. I have hundreds of books I have not read and yet I still take out more from the library and buy more every week. It is some sort of sweet sickness. Love Last Summer, Jeff. Hope you do too. And the movie was good too.

  14. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve been a fan of the movie for years but despite reading dozens of his books (actually 91) I somehow missed LAST SUMMER.

  15. Todd Mason says:

    I didn’t like LAST SUMMER that much (film or novel), but I’ve never read a Lombino/Hunter/McBain/et al. I’ve been completely happy with…and LAST SUMMER was the first, when I was about 12.

    But…not continue to amass huge piles of literature that completely rules one’s life? But…but…(I take [scant] refuge in Harlan Ellison’s plaint of some decades back–who wants a personal library made entirely of books one’s already read?)

  16. Todd Mason says:

    Barbara Hershey was good in the film.

  17. Richard says:

    Jeff – 91? Wow, that must be every Precinct novel plus a bunch. I didn’t even know there were that many, but then I’ve not read any of them.

    Patti – I was doing that too, but I’m going to try to turn it around. No, wait. “There is no try. Do, or do not“. So I will. Anyway, I’ll get the books out, some of them anyway, pretty soon I hope and then I’ll have tons to read. I have the first of several carpenters coming tomorrow to give me an estimate.

  18. Drongo says:

    I’m not sure how large my collection is, but I’ve pretty much lost control of my apartment. Large boxes of books seem to have mostly take it over.

    Chris is right–it is madness. Book lovers should have gotten their own chapter in DSM-IV.

  19. Richard says:

    Of all the addictions out there, an abiding love of reading, having books, enjoying books, collecting together masses of books seems the most harmless. Some would say nature photography, birding, gardening, also things I enjoy a lot, are equally benign, but they don’t fire my enthusiasm quite as much.

  20. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Barbara Hershey was extremely HOT in the film, Todd.

    Rick, yes – all the Precincts, all the Matthew Hopes, plus a bunch of other stuff, some as by Richard Marsten or Curt Cannon, and some non mysteries including short story collections. It’s added up over the years I guess.

  21. Todd Mason says:

    She was good at being Eeevul (the lack of subtlety is part of what I don’t like about the Hunter I’ve read, the improbability of the characters’ actions another…albeit that wouldn’t be a fair criticism of the Curt Cannon stories, which are meant to be over the top near-parodies of Mike Hammer–both signed by and about Curt Cannon), and she certainly is quite/white/hot in LAST SUMMER. Hershey still good (and gorgeous) in, say, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and A WORLD APART, where I first really caught up with her. She’s good and intentionally showing at least her current set of years in BLACK SWAN, again evull.

  22. Todd Mason says:

    What’s the best of Hunter, Jeff?

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