Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader


I have become a victim of over booking, and I have only myself to blame. No, I didn’t get postponed at the airport, or delayed at the restaurant. Actually, it’s all my fault I got caught in this dilemma. Life just happens sometimes, you know?

For the first time since fifth grade I am conscious of how many books I am reading this year. In fifth grade Mr. C, my fifth grade teacher, challenged us to read over the summer and bring him the list in fall. I think I read a 100 books–memory tends to fade the accuracy of details. I do recall the look of surprise when I trucked in my list on my way to sixth grade next door. I’d like to think I was the only one who took up his challenge. I would have read all summer anyway. Too bad I didn’t keep the list. It would be fun to revisit what I was interested in reading at eleven years old.

This year I have taken up the GoodReads Challenge and I am diligently marking off my books with reviews. My goal is 50 books, because I think I can manage that amount. I now realize how idealistic that amount might actually be. Therefore, my dilemma. I calculated I will need to read at least 4 books a month to hit my goal. And for honesty sake (former Campfire Girl) I will double or triple up on children’s books because they are so much shorter. Then again, does a 400 page plus book count as double? War and Peace count as triple? I’ll figure it out.

This is why I am currently reading 4 books 3 books (just finished the newest this morning).

  • In the car I’m listening to Lois Lowry’s Silent Boy, a mesmerizing story of a young girl, Kate, remembering back to the time she befriended Jacob, who everyone in town referred to as “touched.”
  • On the living room side table is Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt. I have been gnawing away at this one for a while because it is so fabulously rich in content. I should just buy it, since I put a sticky marker in every other page. If you are interested in the texture of Shakespeare and his times, this is THE book to read. Probably explains why it earned National Book Award Finalist.
    • By the bed, and in the bookbag, and at school it’s a rereading Jane Eyre. As long as I teach it, I tend to read it. JE is one of favorite heroines, so it’s a pleasure, not a chore. In fact, there are times that I miss my Jane time because I get so busy I can’t sit down and relish her story. I am involved with this novel. I’m studying it, analyzing it, researching it, and most of all enjoying it. Again.
    • Back to four books. Make that five. Both holds came in: Way of the Peaceful Warrior (saw the movie and I’m curious) and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller–a recommendation from one of my many book review blogs.
    • Actually six–I picked up Number the Stars by Lois Lowry as a reread.

Sigh. Anyone else overbooked this week?

The movie definitely got my attention… image:

Will I be able to NOT think Brad Pitt as I read this? image: GoodReads

I have to read a Lois Lowry I haven’t liked image: Wikipedia




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17 thoughts on “Overbooked

  1. I challenged myself to 50 books this year too! I did 40 last year and came out a few ahead, so I thought, why not? I’ll add ten more. Now I’m not so sure about the wisdom of that. 🙂

  2. I am constantly overbooked, but these days, it tends to be picture books. I believe I’ve read about 40 this week and am still reading a middle grade, an adult novel (dipping in an out), and a book on writing…I can’t do the challenge because the pressure would paralyze me…

    • Reading picture books sounds lovely. I will peruse them sometimes at the library, pretending I’m gathering up for the grand kiddo (I’ve got to be prepared for when she does visit, right?)

      • Yes! Do your research now! Recent PB biographies are especially interesting. They’ve started including quite a bit of back matter and resources for additional research. The storytelling is also more dramatic while maintaining factual consistency. Much better than the dry stuff I was forced to read when I was a pup.

      • I usually include juvie nf in my research stack simply because the material is presented simply. Pictures are a bonus!

  3. I’m at 50 books for the year too and GoodReads tells me I am 3 behind in terms of progress. Eeek! Where does the time go?!

    • I have three books I ordered from the library sitting on my TBR shelf and a review book newly arrived. A new one is in the car deck, one by the bedside and one in my book bag. I almost feel guilty watching a movie last night.

  4. I’m always overbooked — but I greatly prefer this to being underbooked.

  5. 50 books…wowza! I could swing that if I didn’t write any books. Oh, and if it wasn’t for that pesky job that actually pays the bills. 🙂

    • Right now my writing output is fairly nill, but it usually is when I’m teaching. Reading is my escape mechanism. It also helps to listen to books during my daily commute. Even at 20 minutes a day I’m getting through a book.

  6. You are overbooked for sure! My work reading does interfere with my leisure reading at times (those darn jobs of ours, right?!!) but what I found oddly frustrating recently was balancing my leisure reading with my book club reading. I joined a book club a few months ago and I find myself having to put down the book I’m enjoying in order to start the book club selection. I know others have this problem but I wish I could master the timing a bit better!

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