Today, I am moving back to college. Naturally, I’ve been concerned about packing my school things (do my folders match?) to packing my clothes (how exactly does one say military chic while despairing of the heat?), but I’ve also been concerned about my books. This year, I’m taking a course on Jane Austen, and I now own her entire canon, which feels odd, to say the least. I’m also taking a class on Shakespeare and race, which demands several volumes. And let’s not even talk about my textbook for my pre-1700s English literature course. It’s practically a weapon.
But my main concern is, which books should I take for personal reading?
Last year, I learned a very crucial lesson–don’t take books you’re not going to read. I brought along Wicked and Good Omens, two of my favorite books–but then I started The Literary Omnivore and started abusing the local library, so I never reread them. Oops. There’s also the problem of space. In my first year dorm, I had two tiny shelves attached to my desk for all of my books and my DVD binder. While I have a better room this year, I do have to share a bookshelf with my lovely roommate. (Also, there’s no air conditioning. But they filmed Scream 2 there, so hey!) So on top of my desire to be efficient, there’s the fact that between my textbooks and her textbooks, we’re not going to have a lot of room.
It’s a problem I solve by relying on the library in town (a brisk fifteen minute walk!) and always putting my library books on my dresser–at any given moment, there’s not a lot of space being taken up by books. Well, library books. (I’m seriously having concerns about how we’re going to get the tub full of textbooks up the stairs today.) I also don’t buy books unless I absolutely know I’m going to love it–this, as you can imagine, is a very rare situation. Somehow, though, I do have a small pile of books that I just have to take with me.
- The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman
- Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Lost City of Z by David Grann
- The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
- Pegasus by Robin McKinley
1 and 2 are books I bought from my favorite independent bookstore, as I often feel guilty for spending so much time in there but never buying anything. T. J. was kind enough to give me her used copy of 3. I bought 4 at Books-a-Million and picked up 5 at a local thrift store. I won 6 and was sent 7 for review. In any case, seven’s a lucky number, right? Maybe it’ll help me find room for all my books once I settle in.
I read Stephen King’s Misery this week, and I’ve been plowing through The Way of Kings since I finished–since it’s an ARC, I want to finish and review it before the 31st, when it’s released. It’s definitely a chunkster, weighing in at 1,008 pages. And it’s the first book in a ten book cycle, so I’m guessing the completely hypothetical omnibus would have to be 10,000 pages long. Goodness!
Angela at Sci-Fi Chick is currently giving away three books; George Mann’s The Osiris Ritual, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead, and A Wild Light–the giveaway for A Wild Light ends on Friday! The people over at Tor/Forge are giving away one last ARC of The Way of Kings until tomorrow, so step lively, folks! SQT at Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin’ is giving away copies of The Hypnotist (which ends on Tuesday!), Shades of Milk and Honey, The Last Page, and The Truth of Valor, all found on her handy giveaways page. (A thousand apologies for the mix up last week!) As always, these are just the giveaways I ran across this week; I don’t aim to make a comprehensive list.
So, how do you pick the books that move with you, be it to college, across the country, or simply to the beach?