Lonely Words: Unread Books on My Shelf
I have an addiction.
I am addicted to the written word; so much so, that even when I have a stack of books 5 or 6 high next to my bed to read, I still buy new ones when I find a good deal. Good deals like 50 cents per book at garage sales . . .
God help me. One of our largest, locally owned used bookstores is having a tent sale soon. Mrs. C has already informed me that I’m going with her.
The point of this is, I own a lot of books, and I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read several of them. Especially the ones that are craft-related – the craft of writing, specifically.
I have four craft books that I really should read. They are:
The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner
If you have read any writing craft books, I bet there was at least one quote from this book in there. I am very ashamed to say that this book has been sitting on my shelf for a few years now, and I have yet to read it.
Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande (with a forward by John Gardner)
I have no idea who this person is. I do know that this book was published when my grandmother was two years old. The fact that it’s still in print speaks a lot. There’s a quote by Brande on the back cover that makes me want to read it, though.
“This book, I believe, will be unique . . . I think there is such magic and that it is teachable. This book is all about the writer’s magic.”
Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course by Jerry Cleaver
I started reading this book once. I don’t know why I didn’t finish it, but looking at now, I think it’s a very good idea that I do read it.
Supposedly, this is a writing course. Kind of one that you do at your own pace, it looks like. There are chapters of information, and most of them have exercises to go along with it.
I’m thinking I should start with the part on time management.
And maybe find a buddy to do it with. I work better with a partner when it comes to things like this.
Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino
I haven’t really had a need for this book yet, but I picked it up when our last Border’s closed. Just glancing through it, I can tell it’s going to be very helpful to me as I begin to finish manuscripts and actually think about submitting to agents and publishers. I think this book is going to become invaluable to me.
I have at least twice as many fiction books that I haven’t read . . .
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo – started, but still unfinished.
The Priest’s Graveyard by Ted Dekker – also started, but much more recently than Les Mis. This one will actually be finished this year.
Jerusalem’s Undead Trilogy by Eric Wilson – the three books are Field of Blood, Haunt of Jackals, and Valley of Bones. I’ve read most of the first book so far. I picked up this series at Border’s also, and it was an interesting find. Serious, vampires in the Holy Land? It’s just such an awesome idea!
Marvel’s graphic novel adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I don’t know if I’ll ever finish this one. I didn’t buy it, I won it as a door prize. That fact in and of itself is pretty cool, because I hardly ever win door prizes. That being said, I’m not really a graphic novel kind of person. I prefer text to pictures. Yes, I know I’m weird. I’m also a writer for a reason. This book may end up as a giveaway on here sometime . . . we’ll see.
Recently, at a garage sale, I picked up Nights in Rodanthe and The Rescue, both by Nicholas Sparks. I’ve never read anything by Nicholas Sparks – not even The Notebook. To be honest, I’ve never seen the movie of The Notebook, either. Please don’t die of shock – I’d rather read or write than watch a movie (something my husband still doesn’t understand), and The Notebook was never that high on my priority list just because it . . . wasn’t.
At this same garage sale, I also picked up Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak and The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott. Not really sure what they’re about, so these are the books I’ll probably grab when I literally have nothing else to do.
I just felt like grabbing a bunch of books I had never read before. I have read Ivanhoe (also by Sir Walter Scott) several years ago, and it takes me a while to get through some of the older classics because I have to completely change my mindset and my expectations for a book.
However, I do expect to thoroughly enjoy each one of these.
What lonely books do you have hiding on your shelf? Are they being saved for a rainy day, like many of mine, or are they books you should have read long before now because they would benefit you?