Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Salon - Random Thoughts

Sunday already at at least for me this week flew by.  Since next weekend is when most college students will be arriving on college campuses all over the Northeast, we decided to visit our favorite college area, before all the students arrive. Located in Western Massachusetts, five of the nation's most prestigious liberal arts schools are within mere minutes of one another. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Hampshire College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and Amherst College  all have lots to offer students and visitors: fabulous restaurants,  wonderful outdoor activitues like hiking, boating, rafting, awesome shops, antique stores and of course an over abundance of stores!  So while we were having lunch at my favorite haunt there Judies, I was busy planning out my used book store shopping strategy.  My joy was short-lived......

CLOSED for Good!

CLOSED for Good as well!

Now how sad is this? It seems both book stores closed their doors in the last (2) years.  There was an Indie book store that also sold used book very close by and there were only about 5 customers in the store. Well, yay for me that I did not acquiring more unneeded books, but sad indeed for the stores that were forced to close their doors, and others that may have trouble staying in business.

On the subject of me acquiring more books,  it seems I've lost control of what books come in, what gets read, and what goes out of our home. How could this have happened?  Last year my inventory of unread books was in the 550 range. This year it is in the 750 range, and I usually read over 150 books each year. Granted, some are library books, but more are from my shelves. Also, once my books are read they go out the door to family, friends or library donations (I 've kept fewer than 10 books that I have read).  

I've been doing the math (not my strongest subject by any means), and most weeks I acquire an average of 8-10 books (most from publishers, but some are purchased). Then there are these irresistible library booksales --who can pass up books for 50 cents and $1.00 each??  So it seems that without even trying over 500 books a year are finding their way into my space.  What can I do? Well, I can't stop, cold turkey -- not ready for drastic measures, I guess I'm just looking for sympathetic ears in similar situations:)  Hello out there!

How was your week in books?  My week was good - all my reviews have been posted except for ROOM; Emma Donoghue - terrific story! In the last (10) days of August my plan is to finish Fall of Giants; Ken Follett (Sept 28,2010) - very good, finish I Thought You Were Dead; Pete Nelson (audio book)- loving this audio book.  I am also hoping to read Ape House; Sara Gruen (Sept 7, 2010); Mr. Peanut; Adam Ross and read A Secret Kept; de Rosnay (Sept 14, 2010)

Ready for Fall ? I Am !

Things I'm Looking Forward to in Fall
  •  Shutting off the air conditioning and sleeping with the windows wide open.....smell that fresh air?
  • Fall mystery books and more thrillers! There is something about cooler weather, Halloween approaching, that makes me want to wrap myself in a cozy comforter and read some good mysteries. I hope Carl is planning on hosting his RIP Challenge again (even though I said, no more challenges - this is one I don't want to miss).
  • Football - not for me, but my husband LOVES it, and it gives me guilt-free reading and shopping time all day on Sunday, Monday evening, and lets not forget College Football on Saturday afternoons.
  • Fresh baked-apple pies!
  • Thanksgiving Dinner and more comfort foods in general!
  • Did I mention I am starting and exercise/weight training program next week at our college fitness/wellness center? You can hear how excited I am about diet and exercise right?  I so enjoyed my one-hour lunches for reading in a quiet corner somewhere, but now 3 days a week, my book will be replaced with an audio book on my iPod while I get healthier...sighhhhh
What are you looking forward to with Fall approaching?

Have a great Sunday everyone, and a terrific week as well!


  1. I am not ready for fall at all-we have just started getting warm weather here in So. Cal.

  2. How very sad about the indie places!

    I know what you mean about overflowing books. I put together 2 boxes together to donate TO the library sale!

  3. Hey Diane!

    Fall is my hands-down FAVOURITE time of year. In fact, just about an hour ago I was saying to my oldest daughter, "Isn't it AWESOME that it is getting darker EARLIER?" Love it.

    As for your inventory. I am much too afraid to count what I have in my shelves and in my closets. My reading rate is EMBARRASINGLY low, so there is no way that I can possibly read even half of what I have in my lifetime. Sad really. AND I even give SEVERAL laundry baskets full of book away to the Book Drive every single damn year.


    So then I got a Kindle, and it's AWESOME.. BUT... Now I have 8 books on there that I have to read.

    DOUBLE sigh.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is.. you are not alone.

    I love Carl's RIP challenge, even if I did not complete it last year, I felt all book bloggy like when I entered. I can't believe it's almost time for that already! WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?!

    Okay enough of the yelling. Great post, lady!

  4. It is sad that the book stores closed. :(

  5. After 6 1/2 years, I'm going to be having more than 2 hours a day to myself. That's what I'm looking forward to this fall! I'm sure I will need/want to get a job at some point but I am going to enjoy at least a little of the free time first. :)

  6. It's sad to see the used book stores are closed. :( My books are also accumulating at a faster rate than I can read. It's scary. I've been exercising regularly and walking home from the office so that's all good. I have very much less time to read and blog now with my new job but I hope to squeeze in as much as I can.

  7. I read that one blogger was buying one book for every three that she read so at least that way the pile was going in the right direction.

  8. My books are reproducing at night when I'm asleep - I guess that's what happens when you leave them unattended. I love the college football aspect of fall, but not the cooler weather!

  9. I want the falls. It has been a very long summer.

    I love going book hunting in the Sunday Book Bazaar in the pavements of Delhi. But being hot and sometimes rains, I have not visited it for a long time now.

    Here is my Sunday Salon post!

  10. Oh Diane that's so sad! I went to visit a friend at Mt Holyoke a few years ago and she took me to the Book Mill in Montague - have you been? It's AMAZING!

    I am very much looking forward to autumn in New York...central park will be ablaze with beautiful leaves and I will feel like I'm in You've Got Mail!

  11. 750 books on queue??? I cringe at the sight of the number. Well at least you read 150 books a year, which is really really fast if you compare it to my snail-like pace :)

  12. That is really sad that those book stores shut down. Fall, oh yea, more window time!

  13. Looking forward to your review of Room...that's one I'm really looking forward to reading!!

    Very sad about the bookstores :-( I was doing really well this year with keeping my TBR pile under control...until this week ;-)

  14. Oh, my! You do have a lot of unread books. I think I did a count recently and had about 150. 118 from my "original TBR stacks," the ones that generated that blog for working my way through them (Curl up and Read); you can see how well that's working, right? One stack goes down while another one grows (new books coming in). But hey, that's what I LOVE about fall. I'm there with the blanket, the hot drink, and the books.

    I'm so sad to hear about those bookstores. They looked so cozy and wonderful, too...from the outside. I've noticed many of my favorite places going out of business and I get a lump in my throat.

    The "good old days" are gone!

    You live in a wonderful area, though, with all those great colleges, etc. I love the East Coast (I really only went once, and spent a weekend there, but it was in the favorite time of year).

    Here's my Salon: (Click my name)

  15. this has been one rotten, hot, humid summer and I am SO ready for it to be over. I love the cool crisp days of autumn.

  16. So sad to see 'closed for good' on a bookstore :-(
    Good luck with the new exercise program. It seems that the first couple of weeks are the hardest, but soon it will become a 'normal routine'.

  17. I love the summer, and am sad that we're headed rather rapidly towards the fall season. Then again, I don't really mind the fall (I just miss the summer) and have found my reading shifting accordingly. Suddenly I'm leaning towards those slightly more literary books, rather than my usual summer chick lit leanings. Quick! I have to read all the chick lit I can find before the summer ends, LOL!!!

    Too sad about the bookstores :( I really, really love our used bookstore and would be pretty darn disappointed if it closed. All of their proceeds go to charity, even (right now, all proceeds go to Haiti relief), so it would be a double whammy if it closed!!

  18. Well, you have a sympathetic ear with me...I'm in the same boat (although I don't think I've reached 750 books YET). Since going to the BEA, I've found that publishers are now more likely to send me unsolicited books, so it is even more out of control.

  19. I liked reading your list of things you're looking forward to this fall. I'm looking forward to apple cider and walks in the woods.

  20. I too long for fall. A couple of years ago when we did a road trip through the Northeast we stopped at many a campus along the way. I love looking at them and pretending I am headed back to school. On that trip we saw Williams, Middlebury, Vasser, Dartmouth, Bowdin, Cornell.

    As for your stack of 750. If it were me I would go through the publisher freebies and ruthlessly get rid of 75% of them. You know that probably 25% are no good, 25% will be rightly forgotten in five years, and 25% just won't be your cup of tea. Of course figuring out which is which may be difficult.

    But that is me, I have a bit of a bias against the new...

  21. And I thought I had a bit TBR pile! You have my sympathies, Diane.

    I'm sorry to hear about those two bookstores - such news is always sad.

    I'm impressed that you're close to finishing Fall of Giants; I haven't even started! Maybe that's why you have 750 books unread :)

    I can't wait to read your review of Room - I LOVED IT! (Guess you can see how my review's going to go.)

  22. That's sad to hear about Raven. I attended Hampshire College from 2000 to 2004, and it was one of my favorite used book stores. My favorite bookstore in that area, however, is the Book Mill up in Montague.

  23. Aren't college towns great? You were smart to visit yours before school started. ~karen

  24. I wish there were indie bookstores where I live. It is a decent sized city and plenty of colleges so I'm not sure why there aren't. I guess b/c of B&N.

    I am so looking forward to fall. It is my favorite season and I hope it is dry and humidity-free. I love the cool evenings for sleep and the end of a/c

  25. Hi Diane, I love fall. I'm looking forward to spending more time out in nature, especially since we live in such a lovely area. I am a total WEENIE about heat -- I stay holed up in an air conditioned room. :-)

  26. I am right there with you on the ever growing book population at home! I don't dare count, but have more than enough to never buy a book again! :-) My hubby has helped by buying a Kindle and almost never adding to my piles! I have started to slow down in buying books and requesting, but there will always something I've just GOT TO READ!

    And BTW, fall is my favorite time of year too!

    Have a great week!

  27. Sara, and Rachel ....Montague Book Mill is awesome, especially in Fall. Funny story, when we went there last September, our GPS had us going in circles when we tried to leave for home. It just refused to let me leave the Book Mill....LOL

    Rachel... I worked at Mount Holyoke in the 80's for 7 years....pretty campus.

    Sara....Hampshire is a terrific school as well

    Thomas....Williams, Dartmouth and Middlebury are lovely campuses as well. (It would be great to be a professional student -- life long, wouldn't it?

  28. It is *so* sad to see indie bookstores closing!

    I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Room. Have you read about the controversy of her book? (Article One, Article Two). I'd love to hear your thoughts since you've read it.

  29. Diane, I am so sorry those 2 book stores closed-how very sad! I have as many books as you I think on my shelves-we are a pair aren't we-LOL!!!

    I am so ready for Fall it has been so hot and humid here this summer!!

  30. That's a beautiful area in MA. When I was in college at Holy Cross we went to that area frequently! So sad about the book stores. I discovered the same about a NYC institution this week, The Gotham Book Mart closed last year. It's awful.

    Your FALL list is fabulous! I love the Autumn season and hope we have a good one.
    I am glad to know you enjoyed "Room" and look forward to your review. I was wondering about this book.

    I know I haven't been really blogging for very long so I hope the day comes when Publishers send me books for review etc. unasked. That would make my day!

    Have a great week!
    ~ Amy

  31. Well, I'm feeling better about my inability to control the number of books that are coming into my house--and it's no where near 500 books a year. But then I'll probably only read about 80-90 books this year. Still. But they're just so hard to resist, aren't they?!

  32. I seem to be in the same boat as you are regarding acquiring books! I have more than I could possibly ever read, and I am adding new ones all the time! Looking at the stacks is a bit intimidating at times!

  33. So sad about the closing of the book stores :(

    I can't discuss my inventory - it is embarrassing ;)

  34. Yes it is very sad when favorite book stores close -- almost like losing a friend.

    As for your book supply, I am very impressed that you have kept ony 10 books that you have read. That is truly amazing.

    Good luck with the exercise program!

  35. I feel your pain when it comes to acquiring more books than you can read. I will never ever catch up with my TBR stacks. Oh, well.

  36. How sad about those indie bookstores :(
    I turn off the AC at every opportunity, but it has been running almost constantly this summer. Yay for fall!

  37. Fall is my favorite time of the year. In So Cal, the weather is still nice but I can definitely sense the subtle change in light. The sky seems bluer, the sunlight seems warmer. Sigh.

    I love:

    Thanksgiving dinner
    Pumpkin Lattes
    All of my fall candles
    Sitting in front of the fire
    Turtleneck sweaters
    My warm, cozy flannel pjs

    I am a bit overwhelmed by school activities right now so hopefully once that settles down I can enjoy some of these.

  38. Ah, I can relate on several counts. Our town's tiny little independent bookstore closed last Christmas, and I was in mourning! We do still have an even tinier used bookstore, plus another independent not too far away, so I guess we're lucky.

    I have the same problem with too many books in the house! I quit buying books a couple of years ago (for $$ as well as space). I still get more than I can read, lent from friends, borrowed from the library, etc. I also quit accepting grown-up review books - too much pressure when I already have more than I can possibly read! We do, however, still get piles of kid and teen/YA books coming into the house constantly (that's part of my freelance writing job). It's hard to keep up!

    Enjoy your reading week...


  39. I had been thinking of going to a used bookstore myself... and well from the time I have been looking at it, I see it closed! Darn! I HOPE they are not closed for good :( I should have made up my mind earlier... really.

    Wow! I love those lil hands :)

    And I need to start exercising...

  40. Even though I have 3 FULL bookcases of unread books they keep making their way into my house...

    I'm also super excited for football!!


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