association-list a veritable mint for dunning-kruggerands


I put aside something like thirty five books the other day. I’d recently needed to clean up all of the books at the foot of my bed and on my chair, so I reorganized and cleared out another shelf for those. As this involved some shuffling, I got a closer look at some of the things that have been festering at the bottom of my first to-read shelf, and I realized that I’m just not going to get to some of them. A few days later I was starting on a paperback and I realized that I wasn’t going to finish it, either. It was overwritten and far too long and the dialog was just painful. To make matters worse, it was the start of a series.

So I marked my place, got up, and cleared out half a shelf in my closet. Then I went through all the to-read piles, and the piles of things that I’d stalled out on long ago and I started culling. It pains me, because I’m a skinflint and paid full price for most of them, but once I was done there were still ninety books there. Almost a year of reading, if I was to stop buying books tomorrow. Away they went.

The only reason this even bears talking about (although it likely doesn’t) is that I don’t often put books aside very often. When I start something, I generally finish it, unless it’s too awful to continue reading. Lately, as I’ve spent more time writing and less time reading, I’ve been falling further and further behind. So it’s time for a new strategy. It’s uncomfortable for me. I feel that I should give each book a shot, each author a chance, but I just don’t think that its going to work. I realize that what I am doing is fairly normal, for the rest of the populace.

So, anyway. To the authors whose gems I will never discover, I’m sorry.

<-- To my fellow commuters Halting State -- Charles Stross -->