On Surviving a Semester and Reading Piles

While I was drowning in the ocean of journal articles for my research proposal I found myself reading less  and accumulating more books. How did that happen? I do not know. Don’t ask. It’s certified that I’m suffering from some disease. I wonder if DSM-V will ever write this as some sort of addiction. Last Monday I was afforded some time to tackle the mess that is my room. Having accumulated enough paper to start a huge bonfire I knew it was about time to clear out the trash.  In the process of cleaning, I decided to ‘organize’ my bookshelf. Organization meant putting into cardboard boxes the books I have read and displaying those I need to read or pending review.


For Review
One of those Boxes

‘lo and behold I discovered the enormity of books on my ‘to be read’ pile!


Some of those books waiting to be read

Being a self-professed Obsessive-Compulsive upon seeing my shelf I felt an urgent need to read and by read, I meant read fast. Being the shamefully book-buying addict that I am while the thought of speed reading crosses my mind, so does the ‘oh-i-need-to-get-myself-a-copy -of-this-book’ casually floats in.  Some of those books involve the NYRB reading challenge, sequels to series books and long over due books I’ve been dying to read.  I blame this site for being an enabler to the addiction. Ok, I know that’s an excuse I’ve just thrown in there. I’ve always been addicted to books.  I can hear my mom complain every time I ship my boxes of read books to our house in Paranaque.

“Where? Where will I put those books of yours?”

” Keep them in the boxes?” I reply.

In my family I think my dad, brother and I read the most books. However, my dad’s reading is mostly within the business realm. My brother’s reading is quite erratic in subject and habit. I on the other hand accumulate most of the fiction books in our household.  All my siblings read, but they aren’t as enamored by books as I am. I can spend hours in a bookstore sifting through shelves and more shelves of books. I can stay the whole day in a library. It’s possible that most of this is a result of having learned the magic of reading a little later than most of them and finding sanctuary in books during some of the most dramatic moments in my life.  One day I do hope to have my own private (or maybe public) library where I can enjoy solitude, words, and a cup of coffee.

Right now, I’ve decided to juggle a few book to enjoy while I’m on my break from graduate school. Here’s what I’m reading:

  • The Diary of a Nobody by the Grossmiths
  • The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
  • The Faith of a Writer by Joyce Carol Oats
  • Then some NYRB Books

I hope to finish all this reading this October through the first week of November. If I can get to read more then I’ll be in bibliophile heaven.

So what are you reading now?

8 comments on “On Surviving a Semester and Reading Piles

  1. myragarcesbacsal

    Hi Mary! Glad to see you well and alive after end of sem – take heart in noting that after you have labored in writing your gradschool papers, your teachers are now the ones struggling and literally drowning with marking (i should know hehehe).

    I am reading the following books:
    1. Paula by Isabel Allende
    2. Pirate Diary by Richard Platt
    3. Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood and Duchess Jane Northumberland


    • Mary of GatheringBooks

      Haha. True. Its even more torturous for teachers I guess since they have to read and mark every single report.

      I’m going to look for Richard Platt’s books. I think my nephew will enjoy it. Poision Diaries sounds interesting.


  2. I can’t keep my books in boxes!! I’ve been itching to buy a new shelf for my new place. I don’t want my books to suffocate. Lol. I can’t wait to buy you a book this year. 🙂


    • Mary of GatheringBooks

      Strangely I only saw this reply today.
      I’m a perpetual nomad. I grew up without a permanent address, so I’m used to boxes. It doesn’t bother me much. I can’t buy too much furniture (like shelves) as that would mean more things to dismantle and bring to another place. Boxes are easier and more practical to free up shelf space.
      Hahaha. BUY ME A BOOK! Yipee!
      Oh right…new place? cool. congrats on moving out.


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  5. I am reading Loving Frank about Frank Lloyd Wright. Just a pleasure reader.


    • Mary of GatheringBooks

      Hi mathster,

      thanks for dropping by this old post. I’m not quite familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright and have yet to venture into reading biographies/autobiographies. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing what you are currently reading. 🙂


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