Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Sunday Salon

It recently occurred to me that I haven’t written one of these Sunday Salon posts in a while! I thought, therefore, that it might be a good idea to organize my reading and do some sort of mid-year roundup. So far this year, I’ve read much less than I did last year or in 2009; right now I’ve finished reading 52 books, with Deanna Raybourn’s The Dark Enquiry currently in progress (a nice bit of escapist summer reading).

This year I’ve been reading more nonfiction; 11 books this year. I’m still going strong with reading Virago Modern Classics and Persephones; 26 and 7 books, respectively. I’ve had the good luck of enjoying most of the books I’ve read this year; the best read so far is F Tennyson Jesse’s A Pin to See the Peepshow, sadly out of print but a really interesting fictional take on a famous 1920s murder trial. F Tennyson Jesse was a crime journalist, and this novel reads like sensationalist fiction sometimes, but I absolutely loved it. Review TC. Other good reads for the first half of the year were a re-read of Jane Eyre, Diary of a Provincial Lady (why haven’t I read this book before now?) by EM Delafield, Few Eggs and No Oranges, by Vere Hodgson, Anderby Wold, by Winifred Holtby, and The Three Sister, by May Sinclair.

I’m trying, surprisingly successfully, to cut down on the number of books I acquire. When I moved in to my new apartment in January, I culled a number of unwanted books from my collection; but space is still limited around here. In Mary, April, and May I really went overboard on book buying, so I’m pleased to say that I only acquired four books in June—and two of them were review copies. Speaking of which, by the way, I’m not accepting quite as many any more—not because I’m being more discriminating but because I simply don’t have much interest in modern fiction any more, especially since I’ve been going back to the classics.

It occurred to me that I think anyone looking at my library on LibraryThing would think I’m absolutely nuts! I have almost a mania for organizing my books on there through tags. It’s especially important for organizing my to be read list—books I own, books I’m interested in and might check out later. It sounds weird, but I also keep an excel spreadsheet on my computer of the books I own—just so that I can remember when and where I got the book, and how I heard about it in the first place. I’ve probably talked about this before, but I go a little overboard when organizing my books electronically—not so much the physical books! How do you organize your books?

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