The Sunday Salon: Connected Thoughts and a Mistaken Identity

It’s spring, right?  March 27?  Well you’d never know it around here.  After a few lovely days, this entire week was cold and un-springlike.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that March will, indeed, “go out like a lamb,” because I am ready to be done with cold weather.

I’m still reading Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady. It’s very good, and I keep finding excellent quotes.  But as often happens with really long books (this one is more than 500 pages), I’m also feeling ready to move on.  Or at least I was, until about 60 pages from the end when there was a major development that put me on the edge of my seat.  I love it when that happens!  So, look for my review soon.

Meanwhile, a few other interesting things caught my eye that are actually connected in unusual ways.

Carrie at nomadreader wrote an interesting post about lending e-books.  This is the first I’ve heard of ebookfling, which she describes as a Paperbackswap for Kindle and Nook readers.  Oh my.  I’ve resisted buying an e-reader, the main reason being that I actually buy very few new books.  I buy secondhand, borrow from my library, and swap on Paperbackswap.  The latter has been such a boon to my reading — in just over 4 years I’ve received over 170 books!  If the lending/swapping concept takes off for e-books, well, that may be the “killer app” for me.  I’m certain an e-reader would only complement — not replace — my other reading methods, but I can see its advantages.

So let me repeat:  I’ve received 170 books — more than two years’ worth of reading — from Paperbackswap.  That reminded me of this post at The New Yorker’s Book Bench, which linked to the essay, Confessions of a Book Hoarder.  Now, let me be clear:  I do not have this problem.  Oh, no.  I collect.  I don’t hoard (yes, I checked the Top 10 signs to be sure).  But even though I’m not clinically a hoarder, I can relate.  I mean, let’s take a quick look at my Virago Modern Classics bookcase:

See how there’s not enough room for all the books to stand upright?  That problem is just getting worse; I have about 15 more VMCs today than in that photo.  And I’ve read, um,  35.  😳  But turn me loose in a used bookshop, and I’ll walk away with as many Viragos as I can find.  But I swear I’m just collecting.

And speaking of Virago Modern Classics, I had a spike in blog visitors on Wednesday.  There was my usual Midweek @ Musings post, but I didn’t receive a single comment on it.   I couldn’t imagine so many readers and no comments … and that’s because people weren’t reading that post at all.  Nope, these visitors were looking for Elizabeth Taylor.  Well, not the person exactly, but rather “Elizabeth Taylor facts.”  Imagine their confusion when they stumbled upon my Weekly Geeks post from February 2010, “Fun Facts about Elizabeth Taylor”.   Well at least I saved them some time with the first fact:  “She is not Elizabeth Taylor, the actress.”

But that reminds me:  I’d intended to read some Elizabeth Taylor this month!  Since I have a big fat library book waiting for me, I won’t actually get to it until April, but I have several of her books in my, erm, Virago collection.  I think I’ll read one, you know, sort of in memoriam.  😆


Read more from The Sunday Salon here.


14 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Connected Thoughts and a Mistaken Identity

  1. I had to chuckle with the Elizabeth Taylor tale. Who would have guessed her death would have resulted in people visiting your blog? Both Elizabeths were exquisite in their own ways. =)

    • Jill, I love how WordPress tells me the search terms that drove people to my blog. It can be fascinating! And you’re right about both Elizabeths, too.

  2. Hehe – the Elizabeth Taylor tale made me laugh! I’m sure you must have read more than 35 of those? No????

    • Verity, my aim is to read one VMC per month — I’m not quite as voracious as you are! The problem is, I collect faster than I read!

      • Don’t we all? Although there are times when I can’t quite keep up with collecting, or I could, but only by extending my overdraft…

  3. I have a niece who became “Elizabeth Taylor” upon her marriage…I wonder if she noticed extra interest…Hmm.

    I liked your book collecting vs. hoarding tale…I’m definitely a collector, but I’m running out of shelves, too. I donated a bunch of older books (that weren’t favorites) to the library a few months ago, and I got a Kindle for Christmas, which has helped.

    But I use it only as a supplement to my regular reading as well. I probably only read one out of every four books on my Kindle.

    Now I’m going to check out your links….


    • Laurel, I was relieved to see I’m not a hoarder by definition. Although sometimes I feel precipitously close to the edge! I “recycle” a lot of my books through Paperbackswap (I’ve sent out more than I’ve received), and that helps a bit.

  4. I enjoyed reading your post. Last year I had the first serious cull of books for more than 20 years. I need to, to make way the new additions that I keep buying.

    Anglers Rest, another book collector!

    • Julie, I agree a periodic cull is important ! And fortunately books are a gift that keep on giving — if you pass them along to a library or used book sale, others can enjoy them.

  5. Of course I had to fly over to that other site to see if I hoard or collect. Happily, the latter. Big grin about the Elizabeth Taylor hits. And with you all the way about the Viragos…I haven’t counted how many I’ve read though. Must get a woman on that.

    • Tui, I had no doubt you were also a collector !! And LT makes my Virago-counting very easy, since I a) tag all Viragos and b) tag all books as read or “tbr”.

  6. Thanks for linking to my post! I used to be quite the book *ahem* collector too. Now I really only allow myself to keep review copies until they come out or books I cannot get at the library. I’m blessed with a great library system, and until my husband and I stop moving so often, I have zero desire to accumulate books I can get anytime I want. Happy collecting (and reading!)

    • Thanks for stopping by Carrie! Sometimes I wish I had “zero desire to accumulate books” … I understand your reasoning though.

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