Posts Tagged ‘obsessive list making’

11th October
2010
written by Steph

Yay! Books!

My parents were in town this weekend, and you know what that means: shopping! In a freak twist of happenstance, I have somehow managed to never take them to McKay's during their various visits to Nashville, but Tony and I decided that this oversight clearly needed to be rectified this time around. While my mom was perusing the extensive recipe book collection, my brother was trawling the discount cd section, and my dad was perusing travel books as well as manuals on how to improve his poker game, I made a beeline to my favorite haunt: fiction. Perhaps because it's been a while since we've traipsed through the hallowed aisles of McKay's, but this time the shelves were just overflowing with books that I very much needed to own. Check them out in detail after the jump! (more…)

23rd June
2010
written by Steph
This past weekend, Teresa over at Shelf Love posted a brilliant write-up on the difficulties of breaking up with books. There are some people who happily fling books away if they're not clicking, but some of us are stubborn and faithful, and once we say we're going to read a book, you practically have to pry it out of our cold, dead hands to get us to stop reading it. Even if we're not enjoying it one jot. There are plenty of reasons why one might be reluctant to give up on a book. Maybe you've read plenty of great reviews about it, and so you're convinced it has to get better. Or perhaps you have a guilt complex (and come on, I'm a grad student, so I absolutely do) and you feel like it's a book you should like or should be able to say you've read so pride keeps you going. I fully admit that not all books are easy-going, and sometimes you have to work for your rewards. Some books you struggle and grapple with, only to emerge triumphant and enlightened at the end... while others make you regret the hours you invested. And then there are of course those books that no matter how hard you try, they just fail to have that za za zu (as my friends Trisha & Abby - and also Carrie Bradshaw - would say) and you seem destined to always part with the story unfinished. Inspired by Sonya Chung's lists over at The Millions, I thought I'd bogart her idea (and headings) and humbly present my list of triumphs and successes when it comes to the ones that got away, and the ones I should have cut loose. Please share your own successes (and failures!) in the comments! (more…)
8th May
2010
written by Steph

What do we have here?

Over the past few months, I’ve been fastidiously placing books I no longer wish to retain into a large bag with the intention of trading them in at McKay’s.  When I realized the bag was filled to the brim (and was pretty darn heavy, too), I figured it was finally time to make good on these babies and bring home some new ones. I think in the end, I wound up taking in 21 books (!), and here’s what I brought back with me: (more…)

2nd April
2010
written by Steph
Surprise!  Not.

Suprise! Not.

In honor of April’s showers (of which we have thankfully seen none… yet!), Tony and I celebrated the abundance this month brings by purchasing a ton of books.  If only I had posted this yesterday, y’all might have thought this was an April Fools prank… but no!  We really did buy all of these books… I guess when I fall off the wagon, I fall hard. And repeatedly.

Break down of our bounty after the jump! (more…)
5th March
2010
written by Steph

Falling off the wagon has never felt so good...

After months (or at least what feels like months) of avoiding bookstores, I finally caved last weekend and asked Tony if we could visit McKay’s. You knew something had to give!  I am confident this is my first time visiting in 2010, and if the logs on this site are correct, I haven’t been to my favorite place on earth since October!  Surely the best way to celebrate is by buying some books, am I right?

To be fair, I only purchased 9 books on this visit, which is probably the most self-control I have ever exhibited at this bookish paradise. Moreover, this time rather than relentlessly combing the ENTIRE fiction section, I went in with a list of specific authors I wanted to seek out, and largely stuck to those. I admit that a few unexpected titles jumped into the cart, but I wouldn’t say that there were any wildcard picks this time. Also, I’m very excited by the relatively international scope of the fiction I picked up. Check it out in-depth after the jump! (more…)
19th November
2009
written by Steph

More books... but this time with a fancy new book bag to keep them company!

More books... but this time with a fancy new book bag to keep them company!

While Tony works away diligently on our post recapping our momentous trip to NY (after all, given how bustling and busy the city is, how can a trip there be anything but momentous?), I thought I’d share some of the books that have lately made their way into our household, almost as if it were of their own volition.  Honestly, that’s the only reasoning I can come up with for why books keep showing up in our apartment: it’s because they want to be here.  A good chunk of these came from me doing the shelves at BookPage at the beginning of the month, but as you can tell from the jaunty book bag gussying up our coffee table, some of them are purchases from The Strand in NYC.  Because again, how could I go to NY and not visit the last surviving establishment from Book Row and traipse about their 18 miles of books?  Even with aching feet (the new Steve Madden boots helped, but we still did A LOT of walking), such a proposition is pretty much my idea of heaven! (more…)

21st October
2009
written by Steph

Is it still bad if most of these were free?

Is it still bad if most of these were free?

Now before y’all go calling me on the fact that I’ve fallen of the wagon yet AGAIN, I’m going to point out that this month, I’ve only gone book shopping at the shelves at work.  Which means I didn’t pay money for most of the books I’m showing you here today, so don’t get all up in arms! (I say “most” because Tony was away on business and bought a book or two as a gift for me/us, which doesn’t really count, does it?  I was hundreds of miles away and had nothing to do with it!!!)  While I admit that I still have a problem when it comes to acquiring books – seriously, I’m reading as fast as I can in an attempt to make a dent in our stacks - doing so when they’re free is far less worrisome than when they’re not, right? So, as we’re almost done with October, this meant that the September shelves at BookPage needed culling to make room for new stock (I believe I replenished those barren shelves with February books), and I nabbed two books from there, but my big jackpot this month was the “finished books” shelves down in the foyer, where we display all the books that are sent to us in finished form that were not reviewed in the magazine.  These are free for anyone to take and ultimately get donated to a library every few months.  Normally a steer clear of these as I have my arms laden down as it is, but I stopped to snag a copy of Long Past Stopping by Oran Canfield as a gift for a friend who was down visiting us this weekend (said friend is a fan of Augusten Burrows, and when I paged through LPS a few months ago I immediately thought of him, and her!).  Since I was already there at the shelves, I did a quick perusal and consequently managed to find another seven books to bring home…  Here’s how it all broke down: (more…)
29th September
2009
written by Steph

What was the first step again?  Admitting I have a problem?

What was the first step again? Admitting I have a problem?

No seriously.  I clearly have some kind of problem when it comes to book buying.  Why is it that I cannot go more than three weeks before entering McKay’s only to leave with more books than I entered with (in this case, I didn’t even trade anything in!), when I have more than enough books in our apartment to last me for at least a year?  Why did I go when I had just finished saying to Tony that I need to read through some of what we have so that we can reasonably make space for new stock?  And yet I go and buy 17 books (and this is after – and I kid you not – I put back at least 10 other books).  Clearly this is now verging on a certifiable addiction, right?  I knew I shouldn’t have gone into McKay’s at all, but my reason for doing so was that I just finished reading the most recent Douglas Coupland novel, and it was so AMAZING (and that is really all I can say for now, because I am reviewing it for BookPage… but stay tuned for more on that some time in November) that I had to go out and buy more Coupland.  Like right away.  Because I kind of wondered how the heck it is I had gone so long without reading anything by him, and I worried that I might somehow cease to exist if I didn’t rectify this by reading everything he has ever written.  So I told Tony I wanted to go to McKay’s to check and see if they had any Coupland and that was all I would buy… and then as you can see from the picture, clearly things went terribly wrong (or did they go terribly right?), because prolific as he may be, Douglas Coupland has certainly not written 17 books.  Ahem.  After discussing this most recent binge with my friend Taryn, I have decided that probably my first mistake was taking a cart with me while browsing.  Obviously I need to stop doing that. Do I get any leeway given that our grocery bill for the week was only $34?  Surely that balances out this spree somewhat, right? After the jump, we examine the damage!
12th September
2009
written by Steph
I bet you don't hear that often, right?  And from a grad student no less!   Well, if you recall, I'm a grad student by day, while I do an internship with BookPage, also by day, but just one half-day per week.  Anyway, as an intern I have a variety of tasks that I perform, like writing copy that no one else wants to, proofreading and some mild editing, opening mail (which is like Christmas, because every envelope is filled with books!) and also the manual labor no one else wants to do.  Because it was recently the start of a new month, this meant that one of our bookcases was now out of date and needed to be purged.  Most people avoid this job because it involves hauling books up and down a flight of stairs, but I love it because it means I get to take home any books that I'd like, and all for the price of FREE.  (Well, I suppose I pay for it in carpal tunnel syndrome and sweat, but it's totally worth it!) Now, I really do try to limit myself when it comes to taking books home from work, since I have to be realistic about what I actually want to read (and then again, what I actually will).  Since price is no object, it's really about what I know I want to read; sometimes this means sticking to titles I already knew were coming out and will read anyway, but of course one of the greatest things about the Shelves is that you can discover so many great books that you never knew existed. Here's a picture of what I brought home yesterday:

Top Row: Howard, Dicks, Schmitt, Bernstein; Bottom: Updike, Levine, Kokoris, & Coupland

Top Row: Howard, Dicks, Schmitt, Bernstein; Bottom: Updike, Levine, Kokoris, & Coupland

After the jump, I break it all down for you... (more…)
8th September
2009
written by Steph
For people who own a television but who don’t have cable (or even rabbit ears), Tony and I do pretty well when it comes to keeping current with must-see tv.  Just to be clear, we don’t eschew cable because we’re those snotty folk who turn up their noses at television; far from it!  Mostly we don’t have cable (or as we refer to it, “don’t have tv”) for two reasons: 1) the local cable provider here is SUPER expensive (in Toronto, I recall not having to pay more than $60/month for cable AND internet; here a comparable package would set us back some thing like $100… I am not willing to pay that kind of money for tv... or really any monthly service); 2) it is probably for the best we can’t just watch tv whenever we want, because we would literally watch it all the time.  Buh bye reading time.  Say hello to the glazed look that I inevitably take on after having watched 5 hours of HGTV or Animal Planet straight. (Seriously, so little is my self-restraint when it comes to watching the idiot box, I will watch hours worth of “When Animals Attack”, which pretty much no one should watch.)  Essentially, it’s in our best interest to have our tv watching limited to what we can rent through Netflix, or watch online (and with Netflix’s “Watch It Now”, Hulu, and all of the major networks streaming their stuff, we’re not doing too bad!). Anyhoodle, normally Tony and I take the summer to purge bad shows from our repertoire that we no longer enjoy, and to seek out potential replacements.  Often times this involves us cottoning on to shows that are long since done, but that’s what DVD is for, right?  This summer found us watching: (more…)
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