The books are finally off the floor.
The bookshelves went in the week before Christmas. This large wall unit is in the living room and there are more shelves in a small bedroom that has now become a library/office. A significant portion of my time during Christmas week, and up to New Years Eve, was spent shelving and cataloging books. When this picture was taken the Baylor Bears, my great-nephew's team, were about to play in the Fiesta Bowl and I was ready to unwind and cheer them on.
There are 2000 books shelved in this house. As I put away the books and catalogued them, I found about 50 books I am no longer interested in reading, and they have been sold. I also found 3 books (out of another 2000 or so) that I donated before moving that I should have kept, that I regret not having now. I think this is pretty good.
Of these 2000 books, I have read 1700 of them and I am interested in reading all of them again at some time in my life. I accept that I may not reread them all, but I recognize that libraries are as much about promise, about hopes and dreams, as they are about actual accomplishments. If I have kept a book it means that the conversation that was begun when I read the book is something I consider worth continuing. I do expect to make headway on the "to read" list now that it has been indexed but don't expect me to limit myself.
Reading fell off a bit in 2013. This is not surprising really. I read 48 books, 30 of which reside in my library. Because I like lists (and anyone who majored in medeival and renaissance literature probably likes lists), they are listed below in alphabetical order. I don't really care about the order in which they were read, and an alphabetical list is more tidy. I can state that April - June were particularly heavy in terms of light reading.
1. Ahab's Wife, Sena Jeter Naslund.
2. Around the House and in the Garden, Dominique Browning.
3. The basic Laws of Human Stupidity, Carlo M. Cipolla.
4. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter.
5. Believing the Lie, Elizabeth George.
6. Between Heaven and Texas, Marie Bostwick.
7. Deep Nutrition, Catherine Shanahan.
8. Eleven Days, Leah Carpenter.
9. Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark, Bill Dedman.
10. A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Ruby Payne.
11. Friends Forever, Danielle Steele.
12. The Ghost Map, Steven Johnson.
13. The Great Cholesterol Myth, Johnny Bowden.
14. Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger.
15. Hornet Flight, Ken Follet.
16. House: A Memoir, Michael Ruhlman.
17. Intelligence Reframed, Howard Gardner.
18. The Marriage of Sense and Soul, Ken Wilber.
19. The Millionaire Mind, Thomas J. Stanley.
20. The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley.
21. The Minotaur, Barbara Vine.
22. Never Go Back, Lee Child.
23. The Night Bookmobile, Audrey Niffeneggar.
24. One Shot, Lee Child.
25. Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers.
26. The Round House, Louise Erdrich.
27. The Seamstress, Frances De Pontes Peebles.
28. Severe Clear, Stuart Woods.
29. Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane.
30. A Single Thread, Marie Bostwick.
31. Sweet Tooth, Ian McEwan.
32. Swimming Studies, Leanne Shapton.
33. Teaching with Poverty in Mind, Eric, Jensen.
34. Think Like a Cat, Pam Johnson-Bennett.
35. A Thread So Thin, Marie Bostwick.
36. Threading the Needle, Marie Bostwick.
37. Ties that Bind, Marie Bostwick.
38. Transitions, William Bridges.
39. Travels in Alaska, John Muir.
40. The Trouble with Physics, Lee Smollin.
41. Under the Lake, Stuart Woods.
42. Venus in Winter, Gillian Bagwell.
43. The Violinist's Thumb, Sam Kean,
44. A Wanted Man, Lee Child.
45. The Way of Transition, William Bridges.
46. White Cargo, Stuart Woods.
47. The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga.
48. Wooden Boats, Michael Ruhlman.
Usually I remember every book I read. When I compile the list I reflect on the books, no matter how trivial. This year however there is one book I have absolutely no recollection of having read. The book is Eleven Days, by Leah Carpenter. I noted that I enjoyed it and wrote "beautiful novel of mothers and sons, committment, love and courage". I know what it is about. But I remember nothing. Strange. It is back on my reading list for next year.