where the writers are
The Book Cull

Oh, these small, wicked cuts that aren't really wicked....

Yes, this is another rant.

Four piles of books exist in my office.  Another pile huddles in the living room, and another squats on the nightstand beside the bed.

These are my reading piles.  They exist outside of the bookshelves, which are only books deemed necessary to keep forever.  These are the books that I'm reading or planning to read.  There are fifty-two books in these piles.  

That's far short of everything that I plan to read.  I make up lists in Good Reads.

Back in the bedroom are four more piles of book, with another sixty-five titles.  One of these piles is my wife's reading pile.  The other three piles are the books that she's recently read.  

She's a fast, voracious reader, eclectically sampling from YA science fiction and fantasy, zome zombie and vampire stuff to bestsellers.  Her favorite authors are Lisa Lutz, Donna Leon, Lionel Shriver, and Tana French, and her preferred genre are cozies.  Sunday - yes, in the one day - she read "The Fault In Our Stars" and then moved on to "Fool Moon" and "The Hobbit".  Hobbbit is for her book  club, The Ladies #1 Book Club.  

My wife doesn't like keeping books around after they're read.  What's the point?  They've already been read. Besides, from an economical point of view, these books can be traded in.  We get credit to buy other used books, thereby saving money.  Besides that, trading in and re-circulating books saves trees.  

Okay. Good points, even if they can be debated.  

Her decisions force me to force my reading deficiencies.  She reads a book, raves about it, and well, I want to read it.  But, alas, I'm work Monday through Friday eight to eleven hours a day.  Errands and household chores occupy my weekends.  After work, and around my work schedule and social commitments, I'm writing fiction, editing and revising, reading books on writing, and hunting for markets and agents.  I just have less time.  

Last night was the culling of the books.  She came to me.  "What can you turn in?"  Her eyes roamed my piles.  "Do you want to get rid of any of these?"  

"No, I'm reading these."  

She already had piles in the other room.  I went over and gazed at them, spotting titles that I wanted to read.  

Perhaps on another day.  I bid them silent farewell and she loaded them into bags to be taken away.  

I consoled myself.  Reading is such a pleasure. These books aren't disappearing, just moving off, waiting to cross paths with me at another time.