Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Books, books, books!

"Books to the ceiling, books to the sky. My piles of books are a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them." ~Arnold Lobel

I love books. I always have. Once, in fifth grade, I was reading Blubber by Judy Blume, and I was so into the story, that the bell rang, and I was the only one left at my desk reading. I heard nothing. My teacher laughed at me, (in a good way, for I was a "pet"--tee hee) and she brought it up numerous times throughout the year, pointing out to the class what a "reader" I was.

I can't think of a time that I was without books. It seems I've always had one going. When I really started living my life for Christ, at around 20 or so, I read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. What a life-changer that was. All the Way Home by Mary Pride was read at the beginning of my marriage. It changed my life, along with The Excellent Wife by Martha Pearce.
Very good re-reads. I mentioned here that For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley and Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss were books that I try to read once a year.

So, now why, at my most busiest time in my life, do I have more books to read than ever?

I tried to follow Karen Andreola's advice:

"Keep three books going." A "stiff" book: a challenging read such as theology. An easy book: biography or fiction, and a novel: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or modern day novels. With these three books, the Bible is a must, of course.

But only three?
I can't do that!

So, I made my "Ten List". It's ten different categories of books. I will have at least one book in each category that I will "keep going". I am a stickler about finishing books. Unless it's really, really bad. (But I try not to pick really, really bad books.)

1. "Stiff Book"--Challenging, such as theology or on the spirtual life. I am reading Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper now.
2."No-Brainer"--I need this. Sometimes I don't want to ruminate over issues, and want to just veg. Plus, I need a book I can soak in the bath with. These are biographies, memoirs, easy fiction.
3. "Semi-No-Brainer"--A "semi-no-brainer" to me is Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, etc. A thinking novel.
4."Mother/Parenting/Marriage Book" --This should be easy. I've got about five of these laying around I have not got to yet. These tend to be my least favorite kind of books, but once I pick them up, I always get good ideas.
5. "Homeschool help/Homeschool inspiration"--A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola is on my shelf now.
6. "Social Issues"--There are so many of these I want to get to. I hope I can. On my list now is Living Downstream:A Scientist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment.
7. "Fun to Browse"-- These mainly include books I might check out at the library, like crafts, homemaking, decorating, etc. Ones I can flip through for fun.
8."Health, cooking, and nutrition"--I'm a glutton for these. What can I say, I love to read cookbooks. It's also a passion of mine to feed my family with healthy foods and read up on nutrition.
9."Bible Study"--I put this in here because I do have a Bible study I do once a month with some ladies from my church. Right now we are doing Beth Moore's Believing God. It is a must read for me, because I want to do the homework. Plus, I think it's always important to be studying the Bible in some form.
10. "Bible reading"--I am reading one chapter of Hebrews a day right now.

So, I feel like this "plan" gives me more of a focus on books. Before, I was floundering, feeling disorganized with all the book choices there were, unable to focus on anything. This limits me, but that is good. It covers all the bases. I'll let you know how it works out. If you have any ideas of how to keep the book reading under control, let me know!


Anonymous said...

Oh man. I suppose I should make a list to organize everything I'm reading into categories.
I have a stack about 6 inches high on my nightstand with a variety a lot like you have. Then there's another 4 inch stack on the windowsill above the bed for overflow.
It's ridiculous, really. But mmmm, reading is yummy. Can't stop.

Anonymous said...

I was in the fifth grade when I read Blubber by Judy BLume and I still have the book. How cool!

Anonymous said...

My husband gets annoyed with all my books I have around. I kinda like the looks of stacked books myself. I call it "book art." :)

L.L. Barkat said...

Aaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! Nope, I'm totally out of control. :)

I love your approach, though. And, I have a small dose of organization by belonging to both a social issues and a fiction book club. Bible is left in the bathroom, as is Books & Culture magazine. The rest? Staging a coup to the left of my bed right now... and stalking the kitchen and dining room corners. :)

Anonymous said...

I too am a big reader but lack your organisational approach!!!Eek! However, if you like Mere Christianity you will definitely like Simply Christian by Tom Wright...brilliant!

PS We also read Blubber at school, but secretly as it was "racy" and American!!!

Holly said...

Yes, I felt the same regarding Andreola's suggestion at three books. My response was...ONLY THREE?

And where, exactly, is one supposed to put blogs?


I like ALL of your genres. I probably wouldn't order them any other way. I tend to not do fiction for a year at a time, then I'll catch up on a favorite author. It will be a total pig out, a glut...then I'm back to helpful type books and information seeking. :) I read World on the treadmill or in the tub. No big loss if it gets bubbles on it. :)

Andrea said...

Well, ladies, we will see how it goes. At least I *feel* somewhat organized in my reading. It gives me a place to start.

Kim Brenneman said...

I'm with you, I can't read only three. I need to clean beside my bed drastically. I think there are at least 25 books piled there and numerous magazines. The sad thing is that I read for about ten minutes and then my eyes shut. : (
I should make a list of books that I have completed this year.

Jess said...

Found you through the blog party...

What a great collection of books! You and I are kindred spirits; I can already tell! I'm going to bookmark your blog and come back to visit again soon!

Jess @ Making Home