Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weekly Geeks: Reading Procrastination

The Weekly Geeks meme asks:
I think just about every reader has a least one book that they've been meaning to read for awhile (months or even years) but, for one reason or another, they just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe it's a book a friend recommended last year, or a title you've flirted with in a bookstore on more than one occasion, or maybe it's a book that's sitting right there on your bookshelf, patiently waiting for you to pick it up -- but the thought is always there, in the back of your mind: Why haven't I read this yet? This week, tell us about a book (or books) you have been meaning to read. What is it? How long have you wanted to read it? And, why haven't you read it yet?
While my TBR shelves continue to grow by leaps and bounds, there are a few books that I have put off reading for quite some time. Probably the book that has been on the shelf the longest is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover. I have heard and read wonderful reviews about this author and this particular book, but for some reason I always choose another book to read in its place. I think subconsciously I have categorized this book as "difficult" (I know that is is sometimes used for AP literature classes) and I am hesitant to attempt it on my own when I have so many other "academic" books to read during the year.

Have any of you read The Poisonwood Bible? If so, did you enjoy it? Is it as difficult of a book as I have made it out to be?

The first book blog review that I remember reading that truly influenced a purchase decision was for The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon. I recall that this is touted as a book for booklovers. As luck would have it, I found an excellent copy of the book in the clearance section of Half Price books and immediately brought it home. Why it has sat on my bookshelf opened for these past several months, I truly have no idea. Somehow I am always lulled into reading a more current book and/or a book that is shorter because I know I have limited time.

For those who have read The Shadow of the Wind, is it truly a must read for book lovers? If so, then I should move it up to the top of the TBR list and perhaps it will end up being a fast read, even if it is nearly 500 pages long.

It has been a goal of mine for about the past three years to read all of Jane Austen's novels (or at least the 6 published novels) in one year. I have had the books purchased (I even purchased all the same edition so that they would look nice on my bookshelf), but I have yet to read them. I read Pride and Prejudice each year with my British Literature students, and I have managed to read Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park, but I truly want to read them all in succession (and preferably in the order in which they were published). While I continue to procrastinate in this endeavor, I am hoping that the Everything Austen Challenge will be just the motivation I need to finally complete this goal.

I am curious if you suffer from the same procrastination affliction that I do. Do you tend to select books based on what you feel like reading at the moment? OR do you refuse to buy a book until you have read all that you already own?


  1. I loved The Poisonwood Bible! Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors and she's never let me down.

  2. The Poisonwood Bible is one that languished on my shelf as well -- I received a hard copy from my mother in law after it was 1st released -- was that 10 years ago?? I finally read it this summer when I made it my choice for book group. I'm so glad I read it! My book group loved it as well and it was a great discussion.

    Same for The Shadow of the Wind...my local independent book store recommended it to me 3 or 4 years ago?? I still haven't read it...but, it is now #3 on my TBR stack.

    I find if I check a book out at the library, I'm more inclined to read it than if I own it. Because the library book MUST be returned sometime!

  3. I would say Shadow of the Wind truly IS a must read! I loved it. I have it's companion of sorts, The Angel's Game, due to arrive in the mail for me any day.

  4. I agree with Suey: Shadow of the Wind is definitely a must read. An exemplary book.

  5. Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors. I often recommend her to various people who ask. However, I usually suggest they start with one of her earlier novels like Pigs in Heaven and then maybe Bean Trees (they go together). If one of those books doesn't make you a Kingsolver fan, you won't like Poisonwood Bible. See if your library has Pigs In Heaven on audio. By the way, she has a new novel coming out this fall that I'm sure everyone will be talking about so you may want to get a head start.

    And yes, I procrastinate all the time. Too many books, not enough hours in the day. And I'm retired!

  6. I didn't think Poisonwood Bible was difficult at all. I put it off for a long time, but I LOVED it when I finall got there!


  7. Thoughtful post, Molly! I usually buy books that interest me but there is guarantee that I'll read them right away (which explains my TBR pile can be so staggering).

    For me, the one book would be The Last Temptation of Jesus Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis. It was published in 1960 and it was made into a movie. I've been wanting to read it but I have not felt like it. Too religious.

  8. Me too with The Poisonwood Bible! I know it's supposed to be great so I picked it up from the Goodwill store but it never seems to be the thing that appeals.

    I've had Anna Karenina on my TBR list for years. Just today I picked it up on audio from the library.

  9. For me both 'The Poisonwood Bible' and 'The Shadow of the Wind' are must reads, although 'enjoy' is not a word I would use about PB. The difference here for me lies in the writers' other works. I found Zafon's new book 'The Angel Game' unreadable, whereas anything Kingsolver writes is top of my list of must reads. Have you read 'The Prodigal Summer'?

  10. I adored The Poisonwood Bible. I did read it in high school, but I think it was the easiest of all the books for senior year. I definitely wouldn't worry about its level, I think you'll love it.

    I also loved Shadow of the Wind, so you know, you should bump up both of these! =)

  11. Every wonderful thing you've heard about The Shadow of the Wind is true. Bump it up, sister!

  12. WOW --- thanks for all the feedback and the confirmation that the two books that I have felt I must read, I really and truly NEED to read :)

    I will try to make it my goal to read and review these two books before the end of the year.

  13. This book is on my list for the R.I.P. Challenge. And you need not feel bad. I wanted it, got it for a gift (the version you picture), have had it for well over a year, perhaps two, and even bought a collectible copy of it from Subterranean Press and yet haven't read it!!! :)

  14. Shadow of the Wind is definitely a must read! I really enjoyed Poisonwood Bible as well, but if I could only choose one of those two books then it would be Shadow.


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