When you work in a bookstore1 and spend a lot of your life entrenched in the book community, you have the opportunity to obtain a lot of free books. Some of them get stacked up in the backroom and left for you to take what you want. Some you win in contests. Some are handed out as party favors or thank you gifts, and you take them to be polite. Some get thrown at your face with a Post-It note taped to the front that says READ ME!
Since I love books, I rarely pass up an opportunity to come home with more books than I left with. However, this has resulted in me having a lot of books on my shelf that I have not read. They are all books I want to read. I don’t accept a free book unless it is on a subject or has a plot I am genuinely interested in. However, these books tend to get pushed down my to-be-read list in favor of library books, which come with a deadline, and books I had to read for school, which come with a different sort of deadline.
But school is now over. And I have so many library fines I’m no longer allowed to check out books.
So I have decided that this summer, I am going to dedicate myself to what I’m calling PROJECT: BOOKSHELF. I am going to read every book on my bookshelf2. There are a wide range of titles waiting for me—children’s, adult, young adult, fiction, nonfiction, poetry—and enough to keep me occupied for four months in spite of the fact that I read very fast.
Now here’s the really exciting bit!
Last summer, you may remember the Four Book Friday blog series, in which a series of lovely guest posters talked about the four books that changed their lives. I loved this series, and got a lot of positive feedback from readers who also loved this series. So this summer, I’m starting a new blog series in the vein of Four Book Friday. At the end of every week3 I will post my personal PROJECT: BOOKSHELF wrap-up—what books I read from my bookshelf, how they came into my life, what I loved about them, what I did not. Along with this wrap up will be a guest post from a reader or writer. They will share with us what their bookshelf looks like, how it’s organized, and what their highlights are—maybe a rare copy of Jane Eyre, a special message from Neil Gaiman scrawled in the front of Coraline, a tattered copy of One Day carried around so much the cover is missing4. Basically they will tell us what their bookshelf says about them as a reader.
Hopefully, I will also mix up these posts with some giveaways too, because I love giveaways and now have a lot of free books that I would like to pass on.
So what do you think? Are you ready to take on PROJECT: BOOKSHELF with me?
- I should probably mention—I switched bookstores! The store in Harvard Square is no longer. Now I work at a lovely little independent one T stop further away from my apartment. I am continuing to get jobs further and further from where I live. But the bookstore is so lovely and I’m sort of in love.
- And try and refrain from getting too many new ones.
- Likely on Friday, because I’ve got a thing for consistency.
- None of these are arbitrary examples.