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So, do you buy more books than you could possibly read? I'm willing to bet most do, but do you know what your ratio is? I have good intentions with the books I buy, and I tell myself, ultimately, that it doesn't matter, cause I'm building a library of things I can dip in and out of as the need requires, whether it be for teaching, writing, whatever.

But I probably manage to read half of what I buy outside the dip in factor.

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bodhichitta0
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
I probably have 300 or 400 books here that I bought that are as of today, unread. At my current rate of reading, that is enough to keep me about five years WITHOUT buying anything else or checking anything out from the library. It just takes a minute to buy them and then it takes days to read them! It's unfair. And that doesn't include some of the books my husband has that I haven't read and want to, or the books that my friends lend me to read.

It's a sickness really. An absolute madness. I can control my spending on almost every other thing in my life but books.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
you're like my poster child of unread books :)

i've no idea how many i have. i have a habit of buying an author's books if i like one or two, and then slowly reading through it over the years. i fear out of printness. i am currently buying old ellison and leiber collections this way.
capnoblivious
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
But I probably manage to read half of what I buy outside the dip in factor.

Yeah, that's about where I was, but I've pretty much stopped buying. Now I manage to read about half of what I borrow.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
it's cheaper, i suppose ;)
threemonkeys
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:44 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that it is easy for me to calculate a ratio because the books that I buy don't ever achieve a "won't be read" status. They just sit in the to-be-read pile for a very long time - potentially longer than my lifetime.

What I can say is that my to-be-read pile represents about 6-8 months reading if I was to stop buying books. Something which will not happen.

In terms of books which are bought specifically for "dip into" reference and therefor never make the to-be-read pile, they amount to a tiny fraction of purchases. Maybe 2 or 3% although it was a lot more when I was actively doing research work.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
i should say that there is no 'never read' pile. well, okay. maybe. there were a couple of fantasy books i bought in my teens that i kinda think won't get read--and that year everyone gave me those robert jordan books. i tried reading them, honest.

but i plan to read them all. i imagine i'd last out the year if i stopped buying right now.

about four years ago when i was unemployed for a while i stopped buying books, and jsut read what i hadn't. it was good. convienent. books kept for unemployment.
kazzibee
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:53 pm (UTC)
Yep. I've got an inordinate number of unread books that've been travelling my shelves for more than 10 years.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
it's all that porn you buy ;)
kazzibee
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
BUY PORN???????? Can you do that? Lordy I really do spend too much time on the innanet :D
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:50 am (UTC)
i just figured you were the kind of deviant who bought AND downloaded ;)
kazzibee
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:57 am (UTC)
why, i oughta......
[kazzi scuttles away to a dark corner and considers what kind of deviant she is.....OR COULD ONE DAY BE!!!!] :D
frogworth
Mar. 13th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
I have a pretty large pile of unread books - a whole shelf of my bookshelf plus a pile upstairs in my study. But like kazzibee above, I do expect to read pretty much all of them. If I stopped buying now, I'd have probably more than 6 months' reading, because I'm also rather far behind in reading Asimov's and F&SF. I caught up on Postscripts recently, and for some reason I always read Interzone when it comes in...

I *was* going to say that I don't know the ratio of read-to-unread books in my book-buying habits, and what's more I don't *want* to know. However, bodhichitta0 offered me a rather timely reality-check there. 300 or 400?!! I'm not that bad. *phew*
(On the other hand, I do buy a few CDs/records per week, not all of which I end up wanting to keep, and that's not to mention the few regular comics I still keep up with, etc... *sigh* Who knows where the money goes?)
bodhichitta0
Mar. 14th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)
I Don't Mind Being a Poster Child... Much :-p
And the sad part is, the 300 or 400 is with me being disciplined. At least I can afford it now. *sigh*
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
i never got into interzone, or those other magazines, really. dunno why. it's okay every now and then, but ijust prefer to buy years best books now--lord knows there's enough of them.

i got to admit though, i never buy more albums than i can listen too. one a week, one every two weeks. i recently got sent a bunch which was absolutely cool, so i'm set for about a month, though i might find myself into the new augie march album. and i read comics as they come--it's all light reading, that.
frogworth
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
Comics I read as they come, yep! Albums, well I do listen to anything I get, but they're not always keepers, and I do buy too much. Plus all the promos I get. My excuse, these days, is my radio show (10pm Sunday nights, FBi 94.5!) but it's a lame excuse really - it's a justification...
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:52 am (UTC)
i use my job to justify my book buying :)

you know, fbi sucks where i live. reception is all crackle and hate. i usually listen to it when i'm in the city though, which is very rarely on sunday nights.
kazzibee
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
hey I expect to read them...... one day haha :D
shadowsandice
Mar. 14th, 2006 12:57 am (UTC)
Actually, I'm not doing too badly at the moment. Probably 20-30% of what's on my shelves hasn't been read. I go through phases of book buying, and due to the growing restriction on space, I've cut down recently.

Plus, right now I'm all over comics, and they get read very quickly.

Sooner or later, I'll read them all. Every book I buy, I intend to read, even if I only get to it when I'm sixty.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:27 am (UTC)
i think i'm planning to be dead before sixty. i ought to read faster ;)
girliejones
Mar. 14th, 2006 01:27 am (UTC)
Ugh. At my current rate of reading, I so have bought and borrowed more than I can read in this lifetime. And that's really pathetic, even if its only a to read pile of 400!

I live in hope that when I hand in the darn thesis this will all change. I'm not too bad in terms of what I've bought recently - but that's all been for ASif! so I'm not sure whether it counts.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
yes, thesis completition is a must. thus you can join me in being, er, so happy. ahem. yes. heh.
girliejones
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
I do have great envy of you of late for this very reason. At least you don't have to work on it anymore!
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:53 am (UTC)
you should use this envy to motivate yourself :)

seriously, though, it's all one big slog. you just gotta go and go and go and look at the shiny horizon. turn into a robot. it's how i did it.
girliejones
Mar. 14th, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
yeah well am trying to use it for good - ie what it woul dfeel like to come home from work and not have to work on it.

And yep- its the hard slog - thats whats so unattractive about it!!!
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 10:43 am (UTC)
it's kinda odd not to have it hanging round with you all the time, but definately a good thing. there's more time for tv, for example ;)

the only advice i have is suck it up, keep going, and complain a lot.
exp_err
Mar. 14th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
I buy about as many books as I read. I don't quite read all the books I buy, since I often borrow books to read. I made a resolution about a year ago to stop buying books, since it was hurting my budget badly, and I've stuck to that with the exception of Lifeline Bookfair books and books that I really want.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
such restraint.

you disgust me :P
girliejones
Mar. 14th, 2006 08:04 am (UTC)
i only buy books that i really want - i just really want a lot of books :-D
artbroken
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
No, because I very rarely buy books; I prefer to get books from libraries.

I only buy books that I both want to read and want to keep - books that I'll revisit or lend out. And there aren't that many of those.

So my ration is 1:1. Boo-yah for me, etc.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:29 am (UTC)
i am one of those people, it must be said, who doesn't like borrowing books from libraries. i'll do it for research, mostly because those books are hugely expensive, but i like new, unowned, unread books. it's a sickness, it's true.
ashamel
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:21 am (UTC)
I agree with that. What if you need it for something later?

Having said that, I make good use of the library for non-fiction, and inter-library loans to find specific things (the new Libraries Australia site may help). I don't have that much money.

More generally, I'm probably in the 300-400 category, though I at least try to read everything I buy these days — unless it's a first edition I've picked up for 'collectability' (I am somewhat ambivalent about the whole first-edition thing, but they are often pretty, and it does mean I'm less likely to just grab random books, which I have been known to do in years past).
speshal_k
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:28 am (UTC)
Freak! Libraries are great!

Although I'm probably biased the other way because first I was a student and poor and now I have a pathological fear of acquiring things.

You know, your books could probably be a tax deduction. You could do an ongoing depreciation of all the books you use for teaching/writing.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:55 am (UTC)
hey, i'm poor.

it's just that i'm poor and single and a writer. see how they all come together? and yeah, i nkow i can do the tax thing. once i remember to keep receipts and go to a tax agent, this is probably what i will do.
speshal_k
Mar. 14th, 2006 11:37 am (UTC)
Awww. Poor freak :-)

From experience, I know you don't actually need receipts to start depreciating your library - you can just give it an approximate value and go forit. Iknow this becasue *I* have a library that is being depreciated, although I don't know the exact specifics because my father still does my tax - although I totally would if I was actually in Aus and he wasn't so darn keen...
ironed_orchid
Mar. 14th, 2006 07:41 am (UTC)
I read about 85% of the books I buy within a year of buying them. Some I buy merely to have as a handy reference, but that's more the non-fiction and philosophy stuff.

Then again, I am poor and can't buy nearly as many books as I would like.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:57 am (UTC)
i rarely buy the philosophy stuff i want. my last big exception was the collected walter benjamin work--which isn't really philosphy, but i've taken this to mean 'expensive academic books'. i found that when i really needed the book and it cost eighty bucks, that breaking copyright laws and misusing the photocopier was easier.
ninebelow
Mar. 14th, 2006 11:37 am (UTC)
Yeah, the criticism I buy I think I can write off as on hand for reference, cover to cover read not required. The philosophy, on the other hand, I would like to read cover to cover, its just that each one takes the same time as about four novels.
ironed_orchid
Mar. 14th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC)
Hmm, I'm doing a philosophy PhD, so sometimes if I buy secondary lit (criticism stuff) it's because I need to read it from cover to cover. However, i often will pick up 2nd hand copies of works by philosophers I don't particularly like, just because it's good to have them around for quick reference. For instance, I'm not planning to read any of the Hegel I've bought any time soon, but it's good to have it handy.

Novels, on the other hand, usually get read within a month of buying them.
ninebelow
Mar. 14th, 2006 11:47 am (UTC)
However, i often will pick up 2nd hand copies of works by philosophers I don't particularly like, just because it's good to have them around for quick reference.

Now I'm out of academic philosophy I get the luxury of only buying the books I'm actually interested in :)

Novels, on the other hand, usually get read within a month of buying them.

I'm jealous. I think the longest unread novels on my shelf are from 1998. I might introduce a ten year rule where if it's not read in that period its gone.
ironed_orchid
Mar. 14th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure my voracious novel reading has everything to do with that philosophy thesis on which I'm avoiding working.

Actually, there are a couple of books I own that I haven't read yet, but they were mostly gifts that never grabbed my attention. Some night with insomnia I'll probably read them, too.
ninebelow
Mar. 14th, 2006 08:21 am (UTC)
So far this year: 14 read, 9 bought. Except 6 were reviews copies and one was a re-read. So that puts me two behind for the year despite a concerted effort not to buy books. I reckon my total backlog is 150~.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)
man. you've read fourteen books this year...
ashamel
Mar. 14th, 2006 09:47 am (UTC)
And of course, kylaw has many books which I should read but will probably never catch up on (though they're all integrated now).
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2006 10:09 am (UTC)
i think books couples own is an entirely different post. heh.
buymeaclue
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
The used bookstore downstairs in my favorite new bookstore has been my downfall, as of late.

I buy more books that I can read right away. I mean to read them eventually (I don't buy books that I don't expect to finish, though sometimes I'm wrong), though, and I kind of like knowing that they're there in case I need them.

Magazines stack up on me like crazy and don't necessarily get read.
buymeaclue
Mar. 14th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
I _do_ check things out from the library that I'm not sure of...I'll try anything, but I have no trouble quitting on a book that's just not grabbing me.

(16 new library books yesterday. Woo!)
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