Gasp in terror! This is no usual Midway attraction! Gaze upon… THE READ SHELF!
You may be familiar with its relatively common cousin, the To Be Read Shelf. This never-satisfied beast holds worlds and guilts you into visiting them. It stares at you, longing to disgorge its contents upon your imagination. And though it always tempts that maybe, maybe you can catch up and empty it, instead it grows! Look, it started with one book. And then there were three. And somehow there were ten. And now you have an entire room dedicated to books you intend to read someday, someday, and why are you coming home with more books?!
Yes, I suspect you may already be familiar with the beast called the To Be Read Shelf, and you know that eventually it will devour your house, forcing you to flee for your very sanity.
Today, though, beautiful people, I bring you its cousin: The Read Shelf. It does not long to be emptied; instead, it mocks with how empty it is, daring you to fill it! Here, allow me to show you mine:
My Bride and I clean this shelf off every July 4th, with the intent of filling it completely by the following July 4. We usually do pretty well for ourselves.
(Do you want to know the secret? It’s the tall, tall hat. I can store books up there for casual reading any time there’s no one to bellow at here at the Midway. Of course that happens seldom, but just often enough!)
But look and see! A closeup of my shelf so far this year! Do you see the madness?
I chose to challenge myself this year! Yes, I always push the bounds of propriety and ability and maybe how much I can stuff in my stomach at once! You see, I am visiting worlds housed in books of a certain size… the old pocket size!
I chose to make an exception for books authored by friends and any book I might receive as a gift. And look. There’s Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, given to me by my sadistic brother, who is bent on ruining my perfect shelf. And I read it. And look! It ruins everything! Everything! It doesn’t match! Oh, a showman with OCD is indeed a sad, sad sight, but indeed, you have found him!
And do you wish to know another complication? A friend has sent me an eBook to preview! How do I fit an eBook on my shelf?
This ruins everything!
And so my year is ruined. Ruined!
Do you, beautiful people, have a read shelf? How do you tame the beast? Am I too OCD? What say you?