The books on the shelf

Bloggers note: I wrote this post originally in January, but never posted it for one reason or another. I haven’t posted anything to this blog since earlier January. Am I reviving it? I don’t know, maybe. To update this post, I’ve read some of those books on those book shelves, including the Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron biographies. I started The Natural, but put it down after about 20 pages (I’ll get back to it). And I’ve bought a lot of new books (most from the local book store and not Amazon because Amazon doesn’t need my money), many of which I have read, some I added to the the shelf to be read. 

There is an identical bookcase to this full of books on baseball, basketball, philosophy and civil rights. Oh, and another one in the dining room full of books on running, writing and whatever else.

Two of my most prized possessions are the handcrafted bookcases my father built for me. They are about 3 1/2 feet tall, about 3 feet wide, 9 inches deep and stained a dark brown. There is a decorative trim around the top and along the front of each shelf. Each shelf holds 25-30 books.

They are beautiful.

And they are overflowing.

Oh, and I have another bookcase out in the dining room. This one belonged to my grandparents’. I remember it sitting in their living room, filled with pictures and coffee table books Pop picked up at some yard sale or another.

It might look like I have a problem with books. I haven’t counted, but I’m guessing I have close to 200 books on those shelves. And I usually don’t hesitate to buy a book I want. If I’m listening to a podcast with an author being interviewed about his or her book and it sounds like something I would be interested in/get value out of it, I’ll probably order it. If I’m at the local bookstore and a see a baseball biography about someone whose story I’m interested in, I’m probably going to spend the 28-30 bucks (if it is a hard cover) to pick it up. If Stephen King or Ryan Holiday has a book coming out, it will show up in my mailbox the day it comes out because I preorder all of their stuff.

Of those 200-ish books, there are 40 or 50 (more?) that I haven’t read. I’m a slow reader and I don’t read as much as I feel like I should, so I’m slowly working my way through my collection. And like I said, I seldom hesitate to pick up a book if I want to buy it. In each of the last two years, I’ve order 15 books from Amazon alone. That’s 30 books, about half of which I have read.

I’m not really concerned or upset with the number of unread books on those shelfs, but there are some of them I keep forgetting that I own that I really do want to read. Seth Davis’ book “When March Went Mad” has been sitting on my book shelf for eight or nine years. I have owned “The Long Ball” by Tom Addelman, about the 1975 baseball season, for at least 15 years. I bought it because I’m interested in that Red Sox team but don’t know very much about it because I was one year old at the time. I own biographies on Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, George Steinbrenner and Stan Musial I’ve been meaning to read. I have two books of short stories by Stephen King I have yet to make my way through. I still haven’t read “The Natural.”

My goal in 2020 is to work my way through those books in my book shelves. I’m not necessarily going to limit my book purchases, but I want to make my way through those books I really do want to read, but have been left on the shelf because I was distracted by something else.

In the meantime, it might be time to ask Dad to build me another bookcase.


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