In spite of my love for books I have noticed a disturbing trend over the past couple of years. While my love of reading remains strong, the amount of time I actually spend reading has decreased considerably. The result is stacks of books waiting in my "to read" queue piled on the floor next to my bed.
And then there is the library basket, filled to overflowing. Some of these are books that took months of waiting in the library hold line, and now that it is my turn there is no hope I can finish them before their due date.
There is no mystery as to why the books are piling up faster than I can ever hope to consume them. Problem #1 is the Internet. It has delivered a double blow to my reading time. First of all there is the actual time I spend on the net. I am fairly efficient at multi-tasking, but have yet to figure out a way to read two things at once. So a minute spent on my computer is a minute not spent immersed in a book.
The second way the Internet has contributed to the piles of books you see in these pictures is more subtle, but way more dangerous in that it accelerates the rate of book pile growth. There are so many interesting books out there that get discussed on various blogs and websites, and I find it almost impossible to pass up what promises to be a good read. So every time I see a good book I either put it in my library queue, or place it in my Amazon Wish List. Given how crowded my bookshelves, night stand, floor and library basket are you can probably get a good idea of how long that Amazon Wish List is.
If you look closely at the top picture of my bookshelves you will notice some random skeins of yarn sitting amongst the books. This would be Problem #2. I spend time each evening knitting. While I knit I usually watch a DVD or stream a movie on my computer, which, of course, is time not spent with a book. But here's the thing - I can read and knit if it is a fairly simple project. The problem is it is a royal pain to turn the pages when using a book stand.
This is why I finally decided to join the growing number of people who have made the switch to an e-reader. I am now the happy owner of a Kindle.
As a book lover I admit it felt like an act of betrayal to buy the thing, but I am way past that now. Turning pages while I read and knit is a breeze. I just reach out and touch a button. I am also looking forward to traveling with my Kindle. No more agonizing over which books to pack. I am sure I will still buy the occasional "real" book, especially books that are photo heavy such as cookbooks or knitting books. But I have a feeling that most of my new book purchases from now on are going to be electronic. Which makes the reader in me very happy, but the book lover a little sad.