Reviews

‘One of those rare gems that comes to the reviewer out of the blue . . . enough twists to shame a cobra . . . the story fairly rips along, defying the reader to put the book down . . . Christine Poulson should be heralded as the fine entrant to the world of crime fiction she most certainly is.’ [Stage Fright]

- WWW.CHRISHIGH.COM

It’s got to stop!

9781910124048At least for a while. Maybe I’ll take June off. Go cold turkey. Only thirty days in June, so it might not be too bad. Or maybe wait until August when I’ll be in France for some of the time, so (mostly) out of the reach of temptation. Or should I perhaps just STOP RIGHT NOW. But something must be done, because my study looks like a second-hand bookshop, there are books all over the house, and if I’m not careful I’m going to end up like those people who have so much stuff that they have to tunnel through it to get from room to room. And then there are all the unread books on my e-reader. It is so fatally easy to download with just one click – and often so cheap. I have reluctantly concluded that it is all getting out of hand.

What has brought this on is my trip to Crimefest at the week-end. I decided to limit myself to two new books – not least because I had to carry them home on the train. One was the eagerly awaited The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (soon to be reviewed here) and Jorn Lier Horst’s newly translated The Caveman, both signed by their authors. But it didn’t stop there. I came home with a whole bag of books, because I correctly guessed that Len Tyler’s Crooked Herring would win the Last Laugh Award for the best humorous crime novel. The prize was the shortlist of six. I already had Len’s book, so I gave that to a friend. But it still means that I came home with seven new books. No, make that eight, because I kept one that came free in the goody bag.

And in spite of all that, have I still bought another book today? Why, yes, I have. I met a writing chum, Quentin Bates, at Crimefest and that reminded me to download his new novella, Summerchill.

The rate at which I am acquiring books is far, far outstripping the rate at which I read them – and I am a byword among my friends for the number of books I get through. The gap is getting bigger and bigger. So maybe Quentin’s should be the last for a bit. Just a temporary measure, you understand. But I think I’d be the better for it – and so would my credit card statements.

11 Comments

  1. tracybham
    May 18, 2015

    I have a similar problem…. just not related to going to Crimefest. I cannot stop buying books, almost all related to crime fiction. I could set an embargo for a certain time, but I never know when I will run into that book that I have been looking for all over (usually an older title). I am seriously afraid that I now have more books than I can read in my lifetime. Which probably means paring down what I have also makes sense.

    Sounds like Crimefest was lots of fun.

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      May 18, 2015

      So it’s not just me (not that I really thought it was!). Yes, I could probably manage with the books I’ve got for a decade or two at least, though I’m not doing to. Crimefest was great.

      Reply
  2. Carol in Maryland
    May 18, 2015

    I made that same resolution – and then came my birthday – and Mother’s Day- and Malice Domestic conference… But – it shouldn’t count if the books are GIVEN to you, right?

    Reply
  3. Lyn
    May 18, 2015

    It’s definitely not just you, Christine! I went in to a bookshop on Saturday morning to buy two birthday cards (dangerous, I know, but this shop has a great range of unusual cards) & came out with the cards plus Waugh’s A Handful of Dust (beautiful cover, one of the Penguin Essentials) & Classical Literature by Richard Jenkyns (one of the new Pelicans & I know nothing about the classics so I need to start somewhere). My excuse was that there was a woman at the counter haggling over a $5 discount voucher she hadn’t received in the mail so I had to browse while I waited. I also celebrated buying my two new bookcases by ordering half a dozen books online.

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      May 19, 2015

      No doubt about it, Lyn, we are hopeless cases. I have already thought of another book I want. And because it is crime, I can pretend it is work! I have to keep up to date with developments in the field, don’t I?

      Reply
  4. moira @ Clothes in Books
    May 21, 2015

    Oh dear, all so familiar… and you are amongst fellow-addicts!

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      May 22, 2015

      I think it goes back to my childhood when I had read my library book on the day I got it and spent the rest of the week longing for another one. I can’t risk being without reading matter!

      Reply
  5. Margaret Powling
    June 7, 2015

    I have begun the annual book cull. It’s a wonder some of them haven’t taken to waving placards at me, “Not me, please, not me …” but there is only just so much shelf space … I hate to say goodbye to them, but I tell them that they will soon have a nice new home. Daft, or what? Last cull saw more than 200 go. Already two boot loads have gone and that’s only upstairs dealt with. And as they go out of the back door, more are arriving through the front. More difficult to get rid of than books – because I could, at a pinch, replace them all via Abe or Amazon – are the piles of magazines going back more than 30 years. I hate to part with those, but again, space is finite.

    Reply

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