Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Book Ban of 2011

Warning - I'm about to betray all of those in the English field and lovers of books.

I just instituted a self-imposed book ban.

A buying ban, that is.

The back story on this is that bibliophiles can collect books at an alarming rate.  Mike and I both love books, so you can imagine how many we have together.

We also have half another shelf with coffee table books.  This is pretty modest, really.
Several years back, I made peace with books and did a MASSIVE purge.  When you move a lot, books are literally a pain in the back.  I limited myself to books that I absolutely had to have - coffee table books, ones that had special meaning/were gifts, select textbooks, teaching materials, and classics I would reread again and again.

I got rid of everything that I could easily find at a local library.  The rejects went to Goodwill / the free bookshelf at UNI.

So, I was recently in Barnes and Noble drooling over some tempting offers when a thought began to gnaw at the back of my brain.   

I still have many books at home.  Ones I deliberately kept because I would reread them.  Why am I not enjoying them again?  

I thus decided that I would not buy any new books until I had reread all of the ones I kept.  Well, maybe not all, but I need to work my way through a significant portion before a new book joins them!

Why the ban you ask?  Aren't books relatively cheap?  Isn't the purchase of one book a simple reward, even an intellectual reward?

Absolutely.  However, I'm trying to view everything that we own as a resource.  Something to take advantage of.  Right now seems like the perfect time to do as I planned and get cozy with some old favorites.

Currently, I have these familiar friend on my nightstand.

The Hobbit

Such a cheesy cover!
I have a soft spot for Tolkien.  I read The Hobbit and the LOTR Trilogy way back in high school - my one and only time.  I loved them, was ahead of my classmates in reading them, and felt they were challenging reads.
Then the movies came out my senior year / first two years of college.  I loved those even more and they became a yearly tradition with my group of friends at the time.

Now that Peter Jackson is finally in production for The Hobbit, I'm closely following all news related to the movies.  With it on my radar again, I wanted to refamiliarize myself with Bilbo's adventures.

Let me tell you, it has been delightful making my way through Mirkwood and the Lonely Mountain. I am positively giddy imagining how Jackson is going to handle some of the key scenes!  I canNOT wait until 2012 and 2013!!!!

It's also fun to see how much my reading skills have grown.  The Hobbit is positively simple and very accessible.  How was this ever hard?!  

I have 5 chapters left, which I should be finishing tomorrow, and then will proceed to the Trilogy. 

The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I have always been a voracious consumer of detective fiction.  To my recollection, Sherlock Holmes was one of the first that I cut my teeth on.

As with Tolkien, it has been since high school that Sherlock, Watson, and I went dashing about the streets of London in hansoms and clever costumes. 

Side Note - my love for Holmes recently got transferred to my new favorite series, The Beekeeper's Apprentice or the Mary Russell books.  There's many fan series out there, but throw a sassy, academic female partner with Holmes and you've got my attention.

Anyways, when the latest Holmes movie came out with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, I was not pleased.  I am never a book snob when it comes to adaptation, but for some reason, Guy Ritchie's version of Holmes was not at all what I was expecting nor what I wanted out of a big-budget reinvention.  

I was so disgusted, I drew the ire of my movie companions that night.  So, to make amends and support my verdict, I'm going back to the source material to determine if I was a complete ass or justified in my opinion.  

So far, I'm sticking to my guns, but I'll make a full report once I've rewatched the movie :)

Question of the Day: Which books will never leave your shelves?  What are you currently reading?


  1. I had to read "The Hobbit" when I was in 6th grade for a reading contest of some sort and absolutely HATED it....however, I keep hearing this little whisper in the back of my mind suggesting that if I try it again, it won't be so wretched this time around. :D

  2. Lol, that's funny! We all have that book we hated as a kid. Mine was "Tuck Everlasting" and "Bridge to Terabithia." I didn't understand them. I wonder what it would be like to go back and read them now ...

    I actually find it really fun to go back and read stuff I loved pre-college. There's this awesome fantasy series called "Walking with Dragons" that I still giggled over.

    Did the Golden Compass series last summer. Never got past the 1st one and was totally kicking myself for it!