Library Loot & Temptation Test

I was unsure how to use the library with my book buying ban as it doesn’t really stick to my ‘reading through the books I own’ goal. However after some thought I decided that not only would this be helpful for book group choices if I didn’t own them, it also promotes libraries and that is also a good thing. I can only take out a certain number of books out at a time and read them all by the time they are due back. So what books did I get from the library, just a select five;

The Finishing School – Muriel Spark
Myself and Novel Insights have been plotting a little Spark-ish something for the spring and so I am hoarding up as many Sparks as I can just for that, more on that in due course.

Memories of a Novelist – Virginia Woolf
Though my initial reading experience may not have been a favourite book of mine there is no denying that Woolf is an amazing writer and so I thought I would give this selection of short stories a whirl, and they are Hesperus Press what more could you want?

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
I can’t work out if I actually want to read this or if its like bloggers peer pressure and because I have seen so many of you raving about it a book I wouldn’t normally be interested in has been niggling at me for a read, it was this or Eclipse so I thought I would try this out. I didn’t get the sequel as have heard it’s not great. We will see how I get on with this I don’t want to read it when am not in just the right mood.

After Dark – Haruki Murakami
After loving my second journey into the fictional world of Murakami I spied this on the shelves and decided that I couldn’t not. Its one of his most recent and also its one of his shortest so thought would give it a whirl. I have some of his here but isn’t it funny how when you own an authors work it’s the other ones you want to read?

The Rehearsal – Eleanor Catton
I have seen a few bloggers mentioning this and I feel it could be on the Orange list, I have no reason for that at all I just do, I think this will be getting a lot more attention when it comes out in paper back it also sounds quite fascinating and slightly provocative with its tale of a high school sex scandal which is then put on as a play in schools.

So that’s my lot from the library. I should add that you should be extremely proud of me as my visit to the library proved to be very tempting. Not because I could have come away with many more loans but because of this…

A Bloody Book Sale

Typical isn’t it? I go somewhere which I deem ‘book binge safe’ and there is a huge table or three of 10p and 20p bargains. I did have a browse and you would be even more impressed as some of the titles were very me, but I walked away with nothing so I have survived my first big temptation and feel quite pleased. I will add that I didn’t dare walk in any second hand shops on the way or on the way back though, they don’t have library stickers or those crinkly see through covers on.


Filed under Book Thoughts, Haruki Murakami, Muriel Spark, Virginia Woolf

55 responses to “Library Loot & Temptation Test

  1. Well done you, Simon! Avoiding temptation on that scale means you are now fully equipped to withstand bigger assaults in future!

    I am embracing the library as part of my ban because it means I can still have the fun of choosing new books and reading books that have been recommended and that I don’t own, without the guilt of having loads of books piled on the TBR list, because I’ll only have a finite time to read them. And, if I don’t read them in time, I HAVE to return them, and that makes it a lot easier to be disciplined and think actually, do I REALLY want to read this enough to make time for it in the next 3 weeks? If not, I don’t need to get it. Before my book ban, I would have bought it, regardless of whether I was going to read it immediately or not, and that is the kind of impulsive indulgence I want to stop!

    Love the Hesperus Virginia Woolf by the way – I wish my library stocked such gems!

    • I am trying not to rely on the library as it does mean that I then don’t get through my TBR enough so hence I having strict rules like you that I have to read them by the time that they are due back… lets see how we both get on with this rule.

      I am very excited about this Woolf am going to see if it helps me get on with her somewhat better.

  2. I’m pleased to see you got The Hunger Games. I really hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

    I’m trying to avoid the library at the moment. I want to read the books I already own and those library books keep tempting me and jumping the queue!

  3. Hi, Simon! Here’s a disclaimer: I’m one of those bloggers who absolutely enjoyed The Hunger Games and also its sequel, Catching Fire. I do would like to recommend another YA series though — Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking Trilogy. The first two books (The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer) are so good that they work on so many levels.

  4. Oooh, Hunger Games. You’ll like that one, but fair warning…have Catching Fire close at hand. I’m very proud that you resisted that sale! I’m not sure I could have. It’s worse than walking away from chocolate when you are on a diet!

  5. Three cheers for libraries (and actively supporting them)! I’m always surprised by how many bloggers don’t use the library; it seems such a waste of a wonderful resource.

    I read The Finishing School when I was still in school myself and loved it.

    • Yes I heartily agree with you lots of cheering for libraries is much needed. I have to say I don’t notice which bloggers use thier library unless they actively state they are.

      Glad to hear a positive review of The Finishing School as have heard some slightly negative things about it.

      • The Finishing School definitely isn’t a good as some of her other works, but it’s amusing. I think a large part of my affection lies in having read it at exactly the right time in my life, when I was all about the “laptops and leadership” it largely derides. It stuck with me enough that I still remember that phrase at least.

      • I might read The Finishing School very soon then as I would really like to have some of her better ones to read after. Having said that I am sure when she isnt as good as she can be she can still be pretty good.

  6. Eva

    LOL @ book blogger peer pressure!!! I think that happens w/ YA books more than any other kind! I’m holding out on The Hunger Games, so don’t you dare publish a glowing review. 😉

    I’m getting Murakami’s Wild Sheep Chase from the library soon; it’ll be my second of his, so I’m looking forward to it!

    And good for you resisting all those books. 😀 I just discovered that my next Friends of the Library sale is on the weekend of the 31st. On the 31st itself, they have their $5 bag sale, and I doubt I’ll be able to resist checking it out. lol

    • It does feel like blog peer pressure with the Hunger Games but I am always up for something a bit different and this will definately be something that I wouldnt normally read. Lets see if I become a convert.

      I have Wild Sheep in the TBR but thought I would grab one that I don’t own as I am made for Murakami this year already.

      Oooh $5 for a bag full thats amazing… I want to see a Vlog post alll about that please as am sure you will get some gems.

  7. Julie

    I’m three weeks in to my ‘year of the library’ and throughly enjoying the guilt-free bingeing. WHY did I steer clear of them for so long? Get borrowing, everyone!

  8. Virginia Woolf’s short stories sounds good – I admit I’m only ever attempted to read one Woolf and didn’t get far… I’m planning to remedy that this year.

    If I went to a 10p/20p booksale I would go crazy.

    • I won’t deny that I didn’t look at them with a slight naughty dangerous glint in my eye but I held back, I am determined to not to buy books though. I didn’t love, though appreciated the prose, of my first Woolf read but am desperate to convert myself to her.

  9. Of course you should be allowed library books – as long as you don’t have to pay fines! Well done too for resisting temptation on the for sale table.

    I’ve been holding out on the Hunger games too … hope you enjoy it. I’ve also got the Rehearsal on my TBR pile, and anything by Muriel Spark is briiliant, so what a good haul.

    • I am 100% determined not to buy any books this year and even though there were about six books I could have walked off with for a whapping 60p I wasnt tempted.

      Hunger Games… oh I am slightly worried I have a negative feeling about it in advance which isnt really fair. I try and start a book impartially.

  10. Oooh…you’re strong! I’m only in the UK a few times a year and every single time, I sprint down to my MIL’s local lib and scrounge the sales rack. They sell all their books for only 10p but the selection is usually quiet small. I’ve walked away with at least one book from there and quite some good finds, too (Theft by Peter Carey, for e.g.). I couldn’t resist a library sale…you are a champ!

    • This was a full on three or four table sale… I was just trying to take a picture as sneakily as possible. They get funny in some places about pictures, tut.

      I must get around to reading some Carey.

  11. Yay Simon for resisting temptation!

    I have not put myself on a total book buying ban, but finances dictate that I not buy too many. I do, however, visit my local library several times a week to curb those withdrawal symptoms.

    I look forward to hearing more about the Spark-ish Spring event. I have not read any of her books, although Loitering with Intent has been highly recommended.

    • Thanks Molly, it was tough but I feel so chuffed with myself for managing it.

      I need to go to the library again actually to pick up a copy of something for my brazil reading this year, am hoping they will still have it. That means I need to finish one of these by the weekend.

  12. Give in to your book buying desires.

    I really should curb my hoarding of books and concentrate on the ones on my shelves. It’s like a drug…a more socially acceptable and you-don’t-want-to-sell-your-entire-possessions-for-your-next-fix drug…it’s not really a drug at all.

    I suppose what I’m saying is that I should slow down and read the books I haven’t read yet.

    Libraries rule. The majority of the books I read come from the library.

    Book thoughts: I haven’t read any Spark although my brother has Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and another one

    I don’t like Murakami and I haven’t read any Woolf short stories but she’s always good for a laugh.

    • Oooh I cant buy anything, have sworn of for a whole year, so am hoping that I can keep it up!

      Spark is great and I think everyone should read her, even if its only the once.

      Woolf is a laugh, ooh I find her hard, hard work, hence this book to try and deal with that.

      • I haven’t bought anything yet but then I realised it’s only the 21st of January. Are you trying to read books on your TBR list (if you have one)?

        I’ll go burrow The Prime…

        I’d say she’s worth the hard work. If you haven’t, try Orlando.

      • I tried Mrs Dalloway which I loved the writing of though just not the characters really and something else didnt gel with me I couldn’t put my finger on. My next is To The Lighthouse which I am hoping to read next week for the Woolf in Winter read-a-long.

  13. Blogger peer pressure – love it and probably:) I’m still resisting, but then I caved on Twilight just as you did…

  14. In the US, if a library has a lot of borrowing,it’s good for them. During budget times, they can say that the patrons need more new books and they get more money to keep buying books.

    I read the Hunger Games during the Christams Holiday. I was kind of bored (I had finished The Glass Room – Simon Mawer more quickly than I thought I would and had nothing else to read) , so I took it from my nieces nightstand. It was engaging and entertaining.

    • I wish libraries and the government worked together more like they do where you are. None of my local libraries are top notch which is a real shame, though my closest one is getting a big makeover at the moment. A good review of the Hunger Games from you. We will see hee hee.

      • Does your library participate in Interlibrary Loans? or Lending between branches?

        Youmight be able to order books that way.

        Not all is perfect here either. Lots of people in libraries were made redundant last year. And, I’ve heard that in other places, bookbuying is dropping due to the loss of taxation.

        The only reason New Orleans is doing OK is that most of the libraries drowned in 2005 and the FEMA gave us money to replace the books. Some buildings haven’t still been repaired, though. My library branch is in a mobile home.

      • My library allows you to order books in from other libraries in the country or buys books if you ask for them, you do have to pay (which varies in each county) towards ordering in and the new purchase of a book. Which oddly normally costs more than the book would second hand. I would do this but am not allowed to pay for books this year.

  15. I’m interested to see how you get on with the Hunger Games, I am still in two minds about reading it.

  16. You should definitely read Hunger Games. 🙂 Call it peer pressure, but the book’s worth that. 🙂

  17. Deb

    The first place I go when I add a book to my TBR list is our local library’s on-line database to see if they have it. Monetary considerations have long ago curtailed my purchase of new books, but I’m still susceptible to the used book store and the library’s own “Friends of the Library” book sales.

    I recommend jotting down the call letters of the books you want to get from the library. Once you know where they are, you can check them out at your leisure.

    As for The Hunger Games/Catching Fire, these are definitely aimed at the YA market. Perhaps because it’s been so many years since I was a young adult, I couldn’t get into them.

    • Whats a call letter, we might have a different system locally as I have never heard of a call letter before. I like a nice browse in the library and seeing whats about. What did make me cross was how bad the graphic novel section was and how poorly it was sorted as I so wanted to try one.

      Hoorah, someone who isnt a Hunger fan… blimey I thought there would never be one.

  18. I so know what you mean about the library sticker and crinkly covers. They do get kind of annoying..

    But YAY! for Murakami! I’ve read it, and though it didn’t feel like I enjoyed it, after I let it stew for a while, it turned out that it gave me plenty to think about, and I ended up loving it. I really hope you’ll enjoy it.

    • Sometimes they arent crinkly which is nice but then they put on a really sticky thing which buying them second hand would look a bit odd on your shelf. It doesnt seem to be every library here that does that though and it is for their own protection.

      After Dark sounds really intriguing, I am keen to read that very soon.

  19. Deb

    Call letters are the simply the letters/numbers on the book’s spine label that indicate how to find it on the shelf. A fiction book by Muriel Spark would be labelled FIC SPA. Non-fiction books are shelved numerically based on their Dewey Decimal System number.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  20. kimberlyloomis

    I have the same problem. Funny how it’s always justifiable to read “something else (that we don’t own)” for one reason or another. A few weeks ago I actually bragged to my husband I had managed to go to a bookstore and not buy anything. It was a first. Of course it hasn’t been repeated in the last couple weeks but, really, when there are books on clearance it’s kind of okay, right? *sigh* You’re a stronger person than I.

    Good job on not accumulating anything more and the books you picked up look very interesting. Enjoy!

    • I am very determined not to buy anything. I have to say though I am already looking forward to my Birthday when of course the sympathy supplies can arrive in their bundles. Ha.

      I havent braved a book shop yet, will be doing over the weekend though.

  21. kiss a cloud

    Simon, I’m so proud of you.. 🙂

  22. I can’t believe it this far into the year, Simon, but I’m actually still tied with you for number of books bought so far in 2010. I almost cracked with Great Expectations and Lady Audley’s Secret two nights ago, but then I decided to read Crime and Punishment from the home library instead. Not the same thing but the same decade at least! P.S. Add me to the list of people with absolutely no interest in joining the Hunger Games cult. Zero, zip, nada. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid, Simon, please! 😀

    • You mean no books whatsoever. Well done Richard, the force is string in you he he. I could understand cracking with Lady Audley’s Secret as it is one of my absolute favourite books. Oh maybe saying that isnt very helpful?

  23. I avoided temptation yesterday as well. But I think it had less to do with will power and more to do with jet lag. It was the sale table at the library, I had the book in my hand, even walked around with it for a bit, but then I was just too tired to pull out a dollar bill and go pay for it.

  24. Juanita

    You’re much stronger than I am. I think such a library sale would have broken my resolve. I’ve been on the fence about The Hunger Games. It does seem like everyone loves it, but I’m still hesitant.

    • I am still hesitant Juanita, I think thats why as of now it still sits slightly sadly languishing away and me having not read a single word of it! Not a good sign.

      Book buying ban is going strong full stop, though I do get sympathy supplies so its not been desolate.

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