I Celebrate Myself…

How To Read All The Novels You Own


After reading Moorish Girl‘s blog , I went to Borders to buy How To Read A Novel. Although there are mixed reviews on Amazon ( something I looked up after I bought the book), I like the book so far. Sutherland speaks so true about the way in which we read books. He talks about how it doesn’t take a lot for one to be rendered an avid reader. Here is a passage at the beginning of the book:

” It is not that life is too short to read carefully: the task is too great to be done attentively. One simply cannot keep abreast, any more than the sorcerer’s apprentice could. The signals emanating from the bookstore (super store or online variety) are confusing, coercive and culturally deafening. Hype, celebrity authorship, high-pressure sales tactics (‘3 for 2’,’10%off”, ‘NYT #1 Bestseller’) billboard advertisements…-all combine to induce consumer automatism. This, of course, is precisely what the industry wants.” (p. 7)

I have to say, I am a culprit of the same thing that Sutherland is talking about. I buy books and there are a lot of books that I have read, but there are so much more in my library that I haven’t read. I want that to change. I have often made a promise to myself that I would stop buying books and read all the books I own– yet still I buy more and more books. I feel cheated and also feel like a hypocrite–pretentious even.

Upon seeing my books, friends are often impressed by my collection, I on the other hand know that a lot of those books were bought out of compulsion and were often skimmed then placed on a shelf.

Well, no more! I am making a proclamation today ( albeit a weak one), I will not buy a new book all year until I have read at least 75% of the books I own. So I will finish Sutherland’s book and then continue with the books that I began and did not complete and move on. Wish me luck!

Author: ngalanjala

I Have Learned So much from God That I can no longer Call Myself A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, A Buddhist, a Jew. The Truth has shared so much of Itself With me That I can no longer call myself A man, a woman, an angel, Or even pure Soul. Love has Befriended Hafiz so completely It has turned to ash And freed Me Of every concept and image My mind has ever known. ~ Hafiz ~

2 thoughts on “How To Read All The Novels You Own

  1. Good luck with that! I always think I should do that, but I have absolutely no follow through. So far this year, I have read 26 books, and purchased 46. Oh, plus the three on the way from Amazon. According to my LibraryThing account, I have 121 unread books. How are you doing with your goal? How many do you have to read before you buy more?

  2. Susan, first–thanks for stopping by! Just so you know, I have succumbed to the power of words and have bought almost ten books since that declaration. To my defense (although who am I defending myself against? I guess myself!) they were mostly used and bargain books.

    I have to say though, that there is something to be said about this compulsion. I just don’t want to just own books, I want to experience them. My literary muscle has been crippled by being a student at the moment. I feel as if I have to buy the books and then when I am free ( when I graduate) I will be able to read,read, read. I still read but oh, so slowly– the experience is almost anti-climatic.

    By the way I love your site and I am so jealous of that reading chair!

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