This post is in response to Savindi’s awesome blog, Streetlight Reader, on which she just posted about having a Reading Funk, and how one goes about escaping it.
I haven’t really had a reading flunk, as after I actually got into reading (until Year 4, I refused to read chapter books because I thought that they would be ‘too hard’ for me… I’m so sad that I missed out on so many years which I could have spent reading!!) I just went full steam ahead. However, I do get temporary slumps, which are when I have depleted my set of authors, recommended books, ‘other authors you might like’ list, and my friend’s advice. What then happens is that I roam around that library every lunchtime browsing through books and trying to find something decent. This can go on for about a month, so in desperation, I end up re-reading any book that I get my hands on and issue just before the bell rings. These tend to be Harry Potter books, because I love them, and can always enjoy them.
But I have definitely had some enormous “Mega Library Book Overwhelming Syndrome” experiences, which I will now relate. There have been two outstanding ones, one of which happened recently, and the other about five years ago, where I really went over the top.
Back when I was an oh-so-innocent bookworm-in-the-making, I didn’t know that library cards had limits. I was pretty new to the business, as I’d only just got into books, and was extremely surprised at how much I had been missing on. So I promptly decided I had to catch up RIGHJT NOW and start working my way throught the library. These were the days that book trolleys had two levels and were of a decent size, and so I filled up one of these, carefully piling books that looked interesting and had good blurbs horizontally, vertically and diagonally intil there was really no space left. Then I started issuing them.
And found that, to my horror, after 25 books (it was a children’s library card), my library card said it had reached the limit. I then had to plead with my dad for his one, which had a more reasonable 50 book limit, and used up most of that as well! The very kind librarians, who had been watching this for quite a while, kindly gave me some cardboard boxes in which to carry my books, because my one plastic bag was clearly not enough. I can’t remember what happened to the books, but I imagine that I read them all and then triumphantly returned them.
My father, however, was less than pleased, and from then on I had a strict 5 books limit, which lasted at least 2 years, and irritated me to no end.
My other library-book splurge was much more recent, as in the long holidays last year (mid-December – February), my family had decided to stay in New Zealand, and so I needed to occupy myself. Because of a very bad past experience with the computer reserving system, I just waited for books the long way i.e. hoping they[‘d be there the next time I visited the library (this never happened). Yet I braved the unknown and became determined to reserve enough books so as to have a steady supply throughout the entire holidays. To this end, I reserved all the Terry Pratchett and Terry Brooks novels, as I had been anticipating a time when I could read them all, (this is about 100 books) as well as some other ones which I had wanted to read for a while, and then waited. And waited. And in the end, went to the library in desperation and got out some other books while I waited for the books to arrive.
Then, A week and a half before the holidays endedd and school began, the books started coming in, 10 or more at a time… I was utterly overwhelmed! Every day, I’d walk to the library and come back carrying bulging bags, only to discover that the ones that arrived first were, inevitably, those somewhere in the middle of a series of 50 novels. This further hindered my attempts to read the books, and in the end I gave up, and began reading the Terry Pratchett’s in as much order as I could, because you could read them out of order, although it was not advised. The library, I found, had an entire shelf just for me for those few weeks.
So I read, and read, and read, and read, and renewed some books and crept outside for a walk to the library to get some more books which had arrived…
I was, as you can probably imagine, completely overwhelmed. So was my library card, which could only have 50 books on it at one time.
I don’t use the reserving system much these days, because I have learnt that I succumb to temptation, and that I read when I should be doing my homework.
But there you are. Some of us are strong (and can resist the urge to reserve 100+ books), and some aren’t.
I’d love to hear your stories, or your friends, if you feel they are interesting or would like to share.
Also, feel free to comment, even if it’s just to say I’m crazy, and no wonder I wear glasses!
Let’s call me Lily