Books: Stacked.

The other day a friend asked me how I “prioritise my stack” of books, and I thought it might make an interesting blog post, if only so I can navel-gaze at the books, magazines and articles piling up on my bedside table and bookshelf as opposed to offering any valuable insight into how I get through them.

’Cause the answer is, there is no system to getting through them. If anything, more books, magazines and articles are added to the piles than what is taken away from them and filed neatly in the bookshelf or recycling bin.

My friends often tease me ’cause it usually takes me several months to get through a book. The book I’m currently on, My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike by Joyce Carol Oates, I started over two months ago! I try to put away a few chapters each night, but this is in addition to the probably 500 other pages of content I read per week. Blogs, magazines, articles. If you ask me, that’s a pretty good effort. I wonder how many of the haters get through a 500 page book per week :P.

My love of taking in anything and everything in the feminist blogosphere is both a blessing and a curse. I love that there’s always new content and I’m always being informed, but at the same time, it would be so easy to just curl up in bed with a good book and turn my brain off for a few hours. Then again, if I really wanted to turn my brain off, I’d carve out a nook in the couch and flick through channels all night. And who has time for that?

Currently in my book stack, I have three books that were gifts from my birthday last year, and winning a worst dressed contest (Fables comic book, The Big Book of Small Business and Self-Publishing for Dummies); three that are borrowed (Walt Disney’s biography by Neal Gabler, Russell Brand’s second memoir and Kristin Chenoweth’s autobiography); two I bought from Amazon in January (Marilyn Monroe’s Fragments and Sloane Crosley’s second book of essays, How Did You Get This Number?); and the rest (The Night Listener and Maybe the Moon by Armistead Maupin, Brock Lesnar’s Death Clutch, Less Than Zero and Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis, Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth and Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile) I’ve bought in recent months, mostly secondhand.

And the magazines and article stack, which is a complete eyesore on my bedside table, consists of several Vanity Fair’s, some Monthly’s and… to be honest, I don’t actually know what’s in there! When I go on holidays next week, I aim to get through that stack, and it will be a veritable treasure trove! Like Christmas morning!

Seeing as I can offer absolutely no substance to “how do I prioritise my stack”, I’m handing it over to you. Does anyone have any tried and true methods? Here’s one, at the suggestion of my friend Clare: stop buying books til I’ve finished the ones I already have. But they’re too good!

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 14th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Bad Taste Foxymorons.

New Weekly Post: My Week in Pictures.

The morning hot air balloons.

You know it’s early when the hot air balloons are still up and about. This is the view from my street…

… while this is the actual view from my apartment window.

A few weeks ago I posted the view from my street, but this is the view from the corner of my loungeroom window.

The birthday girl.

You might remember Zoe from her George Michael paper dolls, or the new artwork for this here blog. Last Friday was her birthday and we celebrated by going out for drinks and dinner.

The bath.

Almost every second Saturday I come home after a hard day of interacting with the moronic general public and collapse into the bath. It’s starting to become a ritual…

Rock of Ages.

On Tuesday night, myself, my friends Eddie and Clare, and Clare’s family, went to see Rock of Ages at the Comedy Theatre. It was very funny, self-aware and had some great tunes. Review to come next week.

The stack.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 14th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 7th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 1st July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] George Michael Paper Dolls in Independent Zine ZINm.

New Weekly Post: My Week in Pictures.

It’s week three of “My Week in Pictures”. Still not much feedback on if it’s something you’d like to keep seeing at The Early Bird Catches the Worm, so let me know in the comments.

 

The soft sand jog.

I’ve been wanting to go for a soft sand jog for months now, and I finally made it out to Brighton Beach on Sunday morning with a friend. It was freezing, windy and I got a headache, but it was worth it to do two laps of a tiny little stretch of sand and then collapse. Also, to perve on all the posh puppies with perfect posture. Now say that with a Prue & Trude-esque accent!

The book.

I’ve been stuck on this book for a close to two months now, not because it’s not good (it’s excellent! But it’s Joyce Carol Oates; how could it not be?!), but because I’ve just had so much other reading material to plow through (to not much avail). Plus, it’s 562 pages long. 260 down, 302 to go!

The Wheeler Centre.

On Tuesday night I went to a Meanland collaborative talk on “The Blogging Economy” and how to make money from this thing we call the blogosphere. Notes to come next week.

The stack.

Hopefully the fact that I didn’t buy any substantive monthly mags this week will give me a chance to get through the copious amounts of blog posts and articles I have waiting for me…

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 7th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 1st July 2011.

Event: Clunes Back to Booktown.

Last weekend I went to Clunes for their annual Back to Booktown event, encompassing more than 60 booksellers in almost every store on the main street, plus churches, historical buildings and marquees erected especially for the weekend.

As I’ve blogged about here and here, I’d been wanting to attend for the past two years, but the lack of public transportation and friends willing to drive there (as I don’t have a car nor a license) meant this was the first year I could go.

My friend Andrew and I trekked the two hours from Melbourne to the country town located somewhere between Ballarat, Creswick and Maryborough; a town so small it defaults to Ballarat when looking it up on a weather website. (It was sunny and 11° on Saturday. Brrr!)

Honestly, I was surprised by the sheer amount of booksellers. I was expecting a couple of old buildings and trestle tables and that was it. Granted, the town is small, but there’s a reason people flock from far and wide to Clunes for a weekend in May.

I managed to unearth a couple of Bret Easton Ellis books for under $10 each, a copy of The Catcher in the Rye for $12.50 (steep for a secondhand copy, but c’mon, it’s J.D. Salinger!), and Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile. I also saw a copy of Perfect Murder, Perfect Town by Lawrence Schiller on the JonBenet Ramsay murder, but I wasn’t sure I could commit to a book that thick on a subject I already know a lot about. Plus, I already have Joyce Carol Oates’ My Sister, My Love ready to go after I finish The Great Gatsby, which is a fictional account of the crime. Alas, when I decided to go back for it it had already been sold. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

There were also some fabulous food stalls at Clunes, with baked potatoes and Dixie cups, but I was most impressed by Widow Twankey’s Lolly Shop & Ice Cream Parlour, which sold the cheapest lollies and cakes in town (or most towns, for that matter!). Of course we stocked up on Red Skins (the racist lolly of the masses), Fantails, boiled candy and Toffee Apples. Yum!

While I was planning on picking up a few more titles than I did, I will definitely be making an appearance again next year, and I urge you to, too. Book lovers will feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven.

[Back to Booktown 2011] Homepage.

[Widow Twankey's] Homepage.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Go Back to Booktown This Weekend (2011).

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Go Back to Booktown This Weekend (2010).

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Getting Our Pirate On, Christmas Party Style.

Book Shop: Book Now, Bendigo.

So this review was originally going to be about Bendigo’s Book Mark, which still remains the best secondhand book store I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.

Such gems I’ve managed to find there are Mick Foley’s rare first novel, Tietam Brown, and a $7 copy of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk. I scoured the shelves for over an hour looking for that one. When I took it to the counter, the man who served me marveled at it being left on the shelves; he’d put all Jackson-related literature on their website to be sold at an elevated price after his sudden death.

But perhaps my friend Hannah and I left it too late on a Saturday afternoon to visit the shop: they close at 4pm and we got there at 4:05!

So we decided instead to venture over to Book Now, located at 1 Farmers Lane, opposite Rosiland Park. There’s no denying I’ve gotten some good titles there before—a first edition of The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving springs to mind—but I find it a bit stuffy and overpriced for a secondhand book store.

However, this weekend’s trip yielded some fantastic finds for both me and Hannah. Hannah is studying to be a doctor in Russian history and social sciences, so she took home a book on Nicholas II of Russia, and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, parents of Anastasia of Russia, and Atonement by Ian McEwan.

I knew Book Now has a large collection of Joyce Carol Oates books, so I rummaged through them in the vain hope of finding My Sister, My Love, a recent novel based on the JonBenet Ramsey murder. And low and behold, I did find it resting on a shelf right up the back of the shop.

My Book Now trip was pretty much complete after that, however I did spot some Armistead Maupin titles, and picked up a few of those. (To be honest, I own so many of his books I wasn’t 100% sure that I don’t already own The Night Listener and Maybe the Moon. But at $6 a pop, who am I to complain if I do?!) Finally, I stumbled across Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth and decided to add that to my ever-growing pile.

So what began as a somewhat disappointing afternoon when Book Mark wasn’t open, ended as a surprisingly great one, with four new additions to my bookshelf.

Bendigo only has a few really good bookstores, so if you’re ever up in Central Victoria, visiting the Bendigo Art Gallery (stay tuned for more this afternoon) or the Golden Dragon Chinese Museum, pop on over to Book Now or Book Mark.

I know I will on my next visit.

[Book Now] Homepage.

[Bendigo Book Mark] Homepage.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Evolution of the Bookshop at the Wheeler Centre.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Loving… Mick Foley.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving Review.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Is There Really a Beauty Myth?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Armistead Maupin in Conversation with Noni Hazlehurst.

Image via Book Now.