It seems I've only just finished the last readathon, but Bout of Books 8.0 kicks off in just under three weeks, on Monday 19th August. The rules are the same as before: read as much as you can, when you can, where you can, and blog about it. I have been very busy buying up ALL THE BOOKS in the last couple of months, so I really, really, need to read as many as possible before unread books take over my house completely.
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team.
In the meantime, I've signed up for the 15-day Book Blogger Challenge, as hosted by Good Books, Good Wine, my aim to complete the 15 blog posts before the beginning of Bout of Books.
Day One: 15 book-related confessions
1. I really ought to buy an e-reader, but can't stand the thought of it. Yes, my book piles are taking over my room, I acquire them faster than I cull them, and shelf space is a thing of the past. But as far as I'm concerned, book-buying is an art. It involves the leisurely perusals of the bookshops (if I visit a different city, it is a matter of principle to check out their Waterstone's,) the bond with the bookseller who raves about your favourite author with you, tells you without looking the author of that book you can't quite remember, the coming away from town with a bag of books, a guilty conscience but a sense of immense satisfaction. You can't replicate that with a click of a button.
2. Maybe I am just a hoarder of books. I love their physical presence, how they look on my shelves (erm, and stacked in every corner so I can never find what I'm looking for!)
3. There are lots of my books I will probably never read again. I acquire them so fast, that there is little time for rereading - only the absolute favourites get reread, and the occasional one I liked the first time around. But I hang onto them, most of them, because I don't know which that "occasional one" will be until I want to read it again.
4. I'm getting impatient for my friend's 3-year-old twins to learn to read. My other friend tells her it's okay, that just because I was known as "Katie Who Can Read" before I started school, doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with them if they can't read until they're 4 or 5, or that they won't become book lovers. She was a late reader and is as much a devourer of books as I am. I have to be reminded of this when my brain wants to shout at them, Just hurry up and read already! (I suspect I am a terrible person.)
5. I genuinely believe that reading makes you a better person. It engages your imagination and empathy, so that you understand how people might think, feel and react, who have had different experiences, different personalities, different lives. Reading a book helps you to understand what it might be like to be the person you might have nothing to do with if you met them in real life.
6. I am a compulsive book-buyer. This is probably not an original confession on this challenge. I try very hard to restrain myself. I have given up buying books for Lent, I have given myself a limited book budget, I have tried all sorts of things, but once I start buying ALL THE BOOKS, I find it very difficult to stop. I've been quite restrained for the first 5 months of this year, but in the last 2 months, I have acquired, mostly bought but some borrowed or given to me, over thirty books.
7. I think someone should set up a home for shabby books. Some of my books have suffered by either being dropped in the bath, being carried around in my bag all day every day, having ink spilled on them, and in one instance, grass-stained from being chucked across the garden. I don't always treat my books very well, but if they are single-read books, they are in no condition to be resold, even in a charity shop. But I can't just throw them in the bin. I cannot do it.
8. I have three copies of Anne of Green Gables. One is the large hardback two-in-one given to me for my 8th birthday by my parents. Then, there is a nice 100th-anniversary paperback, which fits in a handbag. Then there is a Puffin Classics, tattered, second-hand edition, for reading in the bath. If I get any more, then I will have to start collecting in earnest, and because of a competitive streak in my nature, will feel obliged to match Hanna's Pride and Prejudice collection.
9. Sometimes I am almost scared to start a book I've been waiting a long time for, or a reread of an old favourite. It's like, if I don't savour the reading experience, if I don't enjoy it enough, if I don't read it in the right place, at the right time, it will be RUINED FOREVER. You only read a book for the first time once, so you have to make the experience perfect. (But the rereading? Silly Katie.)
10. I still have all my old Enid Blytons in a box under my bed. When I was in my early teens, I retired them up to the loft, but a couple of years later I had to retrieve them to reread Five on a Treasure Island, and I know I will never be able to part with them. On a related note...
11. I really hate the modern editions of Enid Blyton's books. Not only have they been updated to change shillings to pounds, but the covers are ghastly. I much prefer the style from when I first started reading them.
12. I don't like the phrase "TBR (To be read) Pile." I prefer to say "To-read." Because for me, the journey is as important as the destination - the reading experience, not just reaching the end.
13. For me, romance is a thing to be endured for the sake of the story. Possibly I am bitter and jaded, but I don't very often get mushy over characters falling in love. "Shipping" and "OTPs" leave me cold - mostly. There are exceptions, however.
14. If I see someone reading on a bus, train or other public place, I will not rest until I know what they're reading. That is the other reason I don't like e-readers.
15. I wrote my first "novel" at the age of ten. It was called "First Time At Abbey School," and was a blatant rip-off of Malory Towers. I wrote it in pencil in a green Lion King exercise book, and probably ought to type it up for posterity, before the pencil fades to be illegible.