Nothing matches the triumph of optimism over reality than that To-Be-Read Pile over at the side of the bed. I’m sure many of those reading this have something similar — a stack at your bedside of recently purchased books (or, these days, a kindle filled with same), all of which you are going to read Real Soon Now.
What do you do when this pile gets too high? I “solved” this problem when we moved into our new house, and replaced the pile with a To-Be-Read bookcase! Of course, having a whole bunch of books in your To-Be-Read stack only delays the decisions of someone who buys more books than he can actually read (I imagine one or two of those reading this might have a similar problem.) What books on the pile am I actually going to read? What books am I hoping to read soon? And (sigh) what books I have finally decided I am not going to read anytime soon? This last group of books migrate to the Book Room upstairs. (Don’t talk to me about the Book Room.)
Every couple of years, when the pile (or the bookcase) becomes unmanageable, it is time to do a Purge, as I did last month. And when I do a Purge, I repeatedly come across a number of books that I have always told myself I would read; books by authors whose other books I have liked, books recommended to me by folks whose taste I trust, even a few books written by those very friends. Do these books stay, or are they doomed to go upstairs forever?
In this most recent Purge, I decided to do something different. I would pull out a dozen books from the To-Be-Read-Real-Soon bookcase that had been there for at least TEN YEARS (and I have a few of those.) I would further pledge to read at least ten of these over the course of the next few months, and write up my thoughts about them on this very blog. Do the books still hold up? How mad am I that I didn’t read them sooner? Or why did I even buy these books in the first place? I may even come up with some conclusions about the nature of modern genre fiction? Who knows?
First up (expect a review in a day or two), from the fabulous 1990s, DEAD SILENT by Robert Ferrigno.