When Your Books Shame You

Every month, after I post brief reviews of the novels I’ve read, I share a picture of the books I bought that month. My highest record so far is seventeen. The average is about ten. I can only read five to eight books in a month, which means my unread shelves are piling up.

In my many poor attempts to curb my book buying addiction, and it seriously is an addiction, I have embarked on the craziest idea yet. One that makes my heart stutter. One that has the OCD part of my brain physically cringing.

Behold, the horror:


Yes, dear readers, I have flipped my 385 unread books so the spines face inward.

I can almost hear them saying, “Hmph. We’re just not important enough to you, are we?”

To which I reply, “It’s not you. It’s me. I want to read you, of course I do, I just don’t have the time.”

“You’ve gotta make time.”

“Honey, don’t be like–.” Okay, maybe I don’t talk to my books (much), but I do rub their spines reassuringly and now I can’t even do that. I’d fondle the pages, but I fear they’d give me a paper cut out of spite.

Books can be so passive-aggressive, can’t they?

I got the idea off a picture I’d seen on Buzzfeed. The woman turned the books she’d read around so that she’d easily be able to pick out the ones she hadn’t read. This would get her reading novels that she had purchased a while ago and had maybe forgotten about.

I decided to change it up a bit and turn around the ones I haven’t read. Sure, it makes it a little harder to locate them (jk, not really; I have my shelves all memorized) but when I did this, it really became apparent that I buy books way faster than I can read them.

When I do finish a book, it’s like a little treat being able to turn it back around. If I ever get closer to my goal of having read 90% of my books (currently at 57%), I can switch them all around so they can be admired in all their glory.

On the other hand, some books have beautiful pages. I Am Number Four says, “Lorien Legacies.” Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom  have black and red edges respectively.

Don’t even get me started with the books that have ragged edges. Oh, how they get my heart a-flutterin’.

My only worry is that I better get through them quickly before the exposed pages begin to yellow from exposure to light. Egad!

Do you have too many unread books? Or are you someone with willpower who realizes they are not a high roller with infinite funds?

  • My heart did a little stutter when I saw the photo with the books turned around!

    She didn’t! She DID!!!!

    You’re a brave woman. Please read them quickly. I’m a little stressed out for them.

    When my kids got in trouble when they were littler, they never had a timeout place, exactly, they had to go stand with their nose in a corner of the room. It always sounds sort of old-fashioned to tell them to put their nose in the corner, but it was SO effective. They have to stand there (one minute for each year of age), not seeing, but still hearing all the fun of the room.

    It sort of looks like your books have their noses in the corner.

    I do think it’s brilliant. That would motivate me!

    • It seems to be working so far. I’ve only bought 4 books this month, but two of them were because I got them signed (which was an exception to the rules I made). I may have to buy another 2 books for signings next week and the week after, but hopefully that’ll be it.

      One minute for each year of age–that’s a good idea! I’ll have to remember that if I ever have children. 🙂

  • Nita Dances

    I check books out of the library. It breaks my heart when I renew them as many times as allowed and then still have to return them unread…

    • I know what you mean. I gave up entirely on library books. I kept getting charged late fees too. 🙁

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