Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Too Many Bookmarks!


It's been ages since I finished a book, or at least it seems that way. The problem is that I'm currently using too many bookmarks. For as long as I can remember, I've read one book and then moved on to the next. When audiobooks became part of my life ten years ago, I began to read two books at a time. It seemed perfectly natural to read one book at home and listen to another in the car. Eventually, I moved on to one audiobook in the car and one on my iPod... three books at a time. From there, it was only logical to further subdivide my print books. One fiction and one nonfiction, one long term project and something 'easier' to read when I'm tired, one classic and one contemporary, etc. Yesterday, it dawned on me that I have five print books in progress - a personal high. No wonder I haven't finished anything lately!

From the bottom:
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
I am loving this book! I began listening in the car, but it's so good I needed a print copy to keep reading at home. I will finish this book momentarily.

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki
I've been wanting to read this classic for years and its time has finally come. It is a slow, beautiful novel about a vanishing way of life pre-WWII  Japan. I put it aside two weeks ago while trying to catch up with Clarissa and haven't quite made my way back... yet.

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell
In an effort to combat DAWS (Downton Abbey Withdrawal Syndrome), I added my name to the library hold list for this memoir. I was feeling secure at position number 23, but somehow catapulted to the top of the list overnight. The entire hold system  remains a mystery to me. No renewals, of course, and I'm just getting started. Must finish this in the next couple of weeks.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
March Mystery Madness seemed like the perfect opportunity to read my first full-length Agatha Christie novel. Obviously, the opportunity has now passed. This was to be my 'bedtime book', but it ended up languishing on my nightstand when I was too tired to read. It's now thrown in with all the others and my bookmark is just past the halfway mark. This is a great book and I'll finish it right after The Homecoming of Samuel Lake.


Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (on my NOOK)
My year long project to read Clarissa continues. A sharp increase in the number of March and April letters has caused me to fall behind. Not much happened in the March letters and reading has become a little tedious. I understand the action picks up again in April, but I'm not quite there yet. Several slow months are coming up later in the year, so I'm bound to catch up eventually.

Obviously I've started too many books in recent weeks, but now I'm curious. How many bookmarks are you using today?

52 comments:

  1. As of yesterday it was 2: one print and one audio... but I am back to one which is the way I usually read. Sometimes I am surprised that I don't read more than one book at a time. It would fit the way I watch my favorite shows... in episodes. But then I remember what happens when I have a whole season available to me. I watch it all at once forsaking other favorite shows and even my reading.

    You know when would be a good time to finish some of your reads? The read-a-thon;)

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    1. Stacy - I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for readathon... it just may work out! One print and one audio is really the most comfortable way for me to read.

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  2. I've tried reading more than one book at a time. I just seem to falter each time. I don't really count the book that I'm listening to as I drive. I guess I do usually have two going - one audio and one print. But sometimes I go through a period where I don't want to listen to a book and revert back to music in the car. Right now - MRS. POLLIFAX ON SAFARI in audio and THE CORONER in print.

    Good luck with your bookmarks! And happy to hear you're reading an Agatha book. LOL

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    1. Kay - I think I've just gotten overwhelmed with bookmarks, lol! One print and one audio is really best for me. I'm loving And Then There Were None. Why have I waited so long to read AGatha Christie??

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  3. I can handle one audio and one print and survive. But lately I'm like you -- a number of print books with markers. I wonder why I'm so scattered brained.

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    1. Beth F - I really need to finish these titles up and return to my 'reading roots' ;-)

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  4. That happens to me too (the catapulting). I think it's because we have such a great library system. Instead of waiting for your own town's copy, you might get a copy from another library. Usually I get some warning that it's "in transit," other times it just appears on the shelf. I read Below Stairs under those same circumstances. It was good! I'll be interested to know what you think.

    (Oh, I have The World of Downton Abbey 'in transit' !!!)

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    1. Audrey - I'm glad to know you thought Below Stairs was good, too. The first few chapters have been promising. My daughter has a copy of The World of Downton Abbey, so I'll be taking a closer look at that soon, too. Still scratching my head over how I got to the top of the list so quickly...

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  5. I get too overwhelmed when I attempt to read more than one book at a time. I am reading nonfiction right now, and it did cross my mind to pick up another book last night in order to break up the monotony, but in the end I just couldn't do it!

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    1. Reviewsbylola - I admire your willpower ;-)

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  6. If library customers ahead of you in the holds list have suspended their hold then you can jump from somewhere down the line to the top the next time that title is checked in. Ask your friendly circulation clerk to explain in more detail the next time you're at the library! And I am usually a one book at a time lady.

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    1. Darlene - I'll definitely ask my friends at the library about this one. Half the people may have suspended their holds and the other half returned books on the same day? Puzzling... I'll be back to one book (plus Clarissa) soon.

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  7. I don't know how you do it! I am a strictly monogamous reader, although I do make the odd exception for audio books. When I read more than one book at once I get frustrated with how long it takes me to get anything finished.

    Library holds are random things. I was #93 for Before I Go To Sleep and after two weeks, I am now #3. But I'm still waiting for Island of Wings to drop from #3 to #2 after almost a month. I think it must have something to do with number of copies available?

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    1. Sam - This is very unusual for me, which is probably why I'm feeling overwhelmed with all these books. Will concentrate on finishing a few this weekend. I'm going to have a talk with my favorite librarian about the hold situation, as Darlene suggested. There must be some logical explanation for my quick rise up the list.

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  8. I checked out Samuel Lake TWICE and never got to it. I may need to listen to it on audio.

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    1. Ti - I LOVED the audio version of Samuel Lake... it may just be my favorite of the year so far!

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  9. I'm using four at the moment- I have 2 books of short stories from which I'm reading 1 story a day, and I have 2 novels in the works, which is about to become 3. Awful! :-)

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    1. Marie - I'm not even counting the short story and poetry collections I have started - ugh! Need to get this under control...

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  10. I'm reading two books at the moment - Clarissa of course ...! and I'm just about to start The Submission. When I'm done with a book, I try to catch up with Clarissa and it has worked great. Oh, and 'And Then There Were None' is amazing!

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    1. Christinarosendahl - I'm going to try and get in the habit of reading a letter or two of Clarissa during the day, then something else in the evening. We'll see how that goes. I may need to put poor Clarissa aside for a day or two and finish up And Then There Were None. I've got to see how it ends!!

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  11. I can so relate to this post! I have a print book, a Kindle book, four audios (car, kitchen, bathroom and iPod). I was tempted to start another audio at my office, but abstained.

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    1. Nise' - LOL! How does this happen to us? At least you exercised a little will power ;-)

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  12. Sometimes I have that many but right now I've got 4 and this includes the long one that Jason and I are spradically reading aloud together.

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    1. Stacybuckeye - This is definitely above my comfort level. Need too get back to a manageable number very soon!

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  13. I loved reading about your progression from one book to one book and an audio etc....that is me to a T! I'm currently reading one, have one going in the car, and another one on my itouch! I want to read Below Stairs too. Isn't the hold system crazy! Have fun juggling your reads!

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    1. Staci - I think it's time for me to take that progression in the opposite direction, LOL! I finished The Homecoming of Samuel Lake this evening - definitely 5 starts and a favorite of the year so far.

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  14. Yes, sometimes I have the audio in the car and the audio in the earbuds, but not often. Only when I get a library audio that is MP3 and I can't figure out how to get it on to iTunes. As far as print, I usually only have one, and at most two going. I do have a book of poems that I'm dabbling with right now, while I read something else "for real"!

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    1. Sandy - You're dabbling with poetry?? I just bought Edna St. Vincent Millay's Complete Poems yesterday, so I should probably add one more to this list.

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  15. About four, and I just checked out a pile of books from the library. Eek! I don't do too well when I try to divided my attention between multiple texts, but somehow I've got caught up in lots of different projects at once. Hopefully I'll sort out a schedule soon. Good luck with yours! :)

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    1. Diana - I do better focusing on one or two books, so it's almost mystifying how I end up with so many going at once. I did finish one today, so can focus on Agatha Christie and Clarissa for the next few days.

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  16. I usually only have one (I like the phrase monogamous reader :) but I have three - because I'm trying something different with short stories (E.F. Benson's ghost stories right now), spacing them out rather than gulping down the whole book of them. I'm also working through a volume of Oscar Wilde's plays, but also there one at a time.

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    1. Lisa May - I always used to be a monogamous reader, but guess my morals have slipped a bit lately ;-) Short stories seem to make more of an impression on me when I space them out. I must read Oscar Wilde soon.

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  17. I've got four on my stack. Sometimes I'm good with reading so many at once, sometimes I set others aside and concentrate on one. I can't wait to read what you think of The Makioka Sisters.

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    1. Gavin - I've had varying degrees of success reading so many books at a time. One usually seems to 'win' and grab my full attention. The Makioka Sisters is really an extraordinary book - so slow and descriptive. I hope to get back to it this weekend.

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  18. This looks a bit like my nightstand as well! Though now that I'm done with Cloud Atlas I just have "What Mothers Do" and "Kitchen Counter Cooking School" to finish up. And finish them I will before I allow myself to dive into another book.

    Off to download Homecoming!

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    1. Trish - I'm going to finish these off before beginning any others, too. Just finished The Homecoming of Samuel Lake today. It's my favorite book so far this year - hope you love it, too!

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  19. I am definitely not a monogamous reader, and have this bad habit of finding my interest and attention roaming to every other book that catches my mood and fancy while I am supposed to be concentrating on the many that I have already started on.:p Currently, I have got two short story collections, a diary, a book of letters, two fictions, a Dickens which I have bookmarked for way too long now, and three (actively progressing) audiobooks going.
    Sometimes, I do feel like I never seem to be finishing anything, but then again, I think as long as I am enjoying all my reading & (listening), it really doesn't matter how long it takes or how many books I do end up finishing. Of course there is a sense of accomplishment when a book gets done, but more importantly I feel, it's the enjoyment of the process and less so the end result. :)

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    1. Michelle - "as long as I am enjoying all my reading & (listening), it really doesn't matter how long it takes or how many books I do end up finishing." What a great way to look at things! You've made me feel better about all of my bookmarks. Thank you.

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  20. The exact same thing has been happening to me lately. I'm currently in the middle of 4 books and have only finished one so far this month. I hate feeling that I'm not accomplishing anything even though I'm doing a fair bit of reading :\ I really need to focus and finish at least one of those books today.

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    1. Nymeth - My feelings exactly, but I do love the way Michelle looks at it in the comment above. I finished Samuel Lake yesterday and, with any luck, I'll finish Agatha Christie tomorrow.

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  21. I always have more than one book going at a time. Right now, I'm reading four novels (one of those is more a book of interconnected short stories), a non-fiction book and a book of poetry. I'm also technically in the middle of a book of plays, which I'm just reading one or two plays from a month. Plus I'm reading through the Bible and have a historical reference guide that goes along with it. Even though I always read more than one book at a time, I usually try to not let it get quite this out of control!
    By the way, Clarissa is getting better in April. The first few letters were still boring, and I got frustrated over the dating of the letters - it goes from April 9 back to the 6th for a billion pages and then forward and back again a few times. It kept making me feel like I wasn't making progress! But, the story does finally pick up a bit.

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    1. Linsdey Sparks - Now THAT'S a lot of bookmarks! I can manage two, or even three once in a while, but more than that leave me feeling scattered. I'm so glad to hear that Clarissa will start to improve again soon... almost done with March letters now. It may be another month before I'm caught up.

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  22. Same here... I usually have two or three started, and one audiobook in the car. I'm really interested in your review of The Makioka Sisters. After you've read it, be sure to get hold of the film, on Criterion Collection label. Very beautiful capture of the 'zeitgeist' of the time.

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    1. Arti - The Makioka Sisters is such a beautiful book and I'm already looking forward to the film. It may end up taking me another month to finish... really need to get caught up with Clarissa first!

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  23. I do that occasionally, and then get frustrated because it feels like I'm never going to finish anything, and then I back off. And then a few months go by, and it starts all over again...

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    1. Softdrink - It seems to be a vicious cycle for me, too.

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  24. I used to be a one book at a time girl but somehow now I have one audio going, a hardback (which I only read at home so I don't need to lug it around the city) and one on my Nook. Luckily I finished the e-galley I had on my iPad over the weekend - it was getting hard to keep track!

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    1. Booksnyc - I have finished a couple of these books now, and refuse to start anything else until I finish the other two. Clarissa will never end ;-)

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  25. I usually have several going too, but like you, usually one audio, one at home, one at work. . . and they're usually different lengths and genres. If I'm reading something long like a Dickens I'll have something short to break it up. I had five going a couple of weeks ago and it was frustrating. Audio are usually rereads or something long I also have going in print.

    Right now I'm just down to one longish read that I've nearly finished, South Riding, and a reread in the car of A Room with a View.

    And I got tired of waiting for Below Stairs at my library and bought my own copy about a month ago. Haven't read it, naturally! And I'm way at the bottom of the library hold list for another Downton Abbey read, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey. It's taking forever.

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    1. Karen K. - That's how I happen to get so many books going, too - they all seem to serve a different purpose, but then I get overwhelmed. Your Below Stairs purchase has me smiling because I've done that myself and I'll have to look into Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey...

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  26. That is a lot.

    For me, I think it's only 3 - one paperback, one audio and one I'm reading with my daughter.

    I'm not counting the one for our Bible Study class, since I'm supposed to parcel out the reading of that one.

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    1. Carol - You seem to be able to exercise more self-control than I can ;-)

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