Thursday, 20 May 2010

Purchases, Challenges and books left on the shelf

After practically everyone who commented in my last post recommended Fingersmith by Sarah Waters I decided to listen to you and I have ordered it. This means that I might actually read it within the next couple of months.

I also managed to find and order an old childhood favourite. It is a book made up of short stories where I could quite vividly remember loving the book as a child, but could not remember the name of the actual book. The first story I remembered was about a girl who gets given a necklace for her birthday made up of raindrops. Every year gets given a new raindrop to add to the necklace which also happens to give her a new special power. One of the powers was that she could make the rain fall or stop just by clapping her hands.

Anyway I thought I would have trouble finding this book and decided to try my luck by typing 'girl with a raindrop necklace' in a search engine to see what it could come up with.

As you can see it found it (doh) Ill look forward to re-reading this one.

I also ordered Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell in order to take part in the read-along hosted by A Literary Odyssey in June. Its quite a short book really so just right for a summer read-along. A Literary Odyssey is quite an interesting blog even if you don't want to participate in any of the read-alongs (she is also hosting a Gulliver's Travels one) as Allie is working her way through 250 of the classics which she estimates will take her around 3 years. Rather her than me ;)

On the subject of challenges, I am working my way through all the books I own with around 500 plus pages and I started this with The Little Stranger. I noticed that the older books on my book shelf are all large books. The largest is American Gods by Neil Gaiman but there are a couple of other 600 plus ones sitting there and quite frankly they are bothering me. It isn't a chore for me to read them but I wonder why I have been obviously putting them off? I don't have any deadlines and once I start reading I enjoy a large book I can really emerge myself in but still I seem to leave them there. Does anyone else let a book size influence them when choosing what to read next?


  1. Hooray for Fingersmith! You won't regret that purchase! I haven't read Cranford yet, but I absolutely love the TV adaptation. It's been sitting on my shelves ever since I saw the first episode, but I can't seem to find the time. If you like the book and you don't know the BBC serial, then watch it, it's fantastic!
    And yes, I let myself be influenced by the size of a book. Wolf Hall has been sitting on my shelf ever since Mantel won the Booker. But the book is so chunky that I put it back on the shelf again and again. I like my books to fit in the bag I take with me everyday, without an aching back at the end of the day.

  2. Cranford is one my my all time favorite books - hope you enjoy it!

    The size of the book does influence me - books over 500 pages do intimidate me a bit unless it is a book that I have a compulsion to read. There are several "heavy" books that I did not complete, and I doubt that I will start one until the kids are older!

  3. I love that Fingersmith cover! A raindrop necklace -- very intriguing!

    I'm in the Cranford read-along, too. I have to be in the right mood for a chunkster because I typically only like to read one book at a time. It does feel like an accomplishment, tho, doesn't it?

  4. Unfortunately, book size does influence what I choose to read next. It's not that I'm intimidated by large books or don't like them--one of my favorite books is Les Miserables! I don't know why I sometimes gravitate away from large

  5. I'm glad you ordered Fingersmith. I hope you love it.

    Size definitely matters to me. Most of my books that have been on my TBR shelves the longest are the chunky ones. Even if I'm dying to read them, they still get pushed to the bottom of the pile. With two small children to look after and a university course, I always feel like my brain isn't able to withstand the concentration needed to finish a large book (my definition of large is over 300 pages, so not *really* large at all)

    I do recommend American Gods. I did prefer the sort-of sequel, Anansi Boys though.

  6. Doorstep books are intimidating in their thickness - but only in that they require lots of time to read them, and that means less time reading other books. However you'll likely read around the same number of pages. Sometimes I deliberately choose a slim volume so I can space blog posts out. However, the recent LOTR readalong where we split the books over 4 months worked really well with posts in between ... So it works both ways!

  7. I'm glad I'm not the only one that gets put off by large books!

    Susi - the size of Wolf Hall is the only reason I haven't brought it. I think for a book to be that size it has to be the best book I've ever read if that makes sense. If I read Wolf Hall and didn't like it then I'd be more annoyed than if it was a 300 page book.

    The Book Mole & Kim - I think yeah its because I only read one book at a time they put me off. The two oldest books on my shelf are American Gods and East of Eden.

    Zara & Annabel - if I ever see a read-along for Les Miserables I think Id sign up. I think the only way I'd tackle it is reading it slowly over a few months like you did for LOTRs.

    Clover - I think for me the perfect book size is 300 pages, enough to get in a good story but not too long I'm put off. Plus I can get more books on my shelf that way ;)

  8. So the pressure got to you as well. After reading so much about Fingersmith and being encouraged to read it by so many I requested a copy at our local library - there is a huge queue ahead of me however so I may have quite a wait. Looking forward to both your thoughts on it.

  9. The necklace of raindrops story rings a bell, except I remember something more sinister like a necklace of souls or something that were strung by a witch... very vague memory though. I wonder if it's a similar story.

    I get annoyed with heavy books when I struggle to hold them up when reading in bed. I like a book that I can hold open with one hand while eating, as well!

  10. I do let book size effect what I choose to read. I know it's just one of those psychological things where I know that big books are going to take me a long time to read so I don't pick them up. I'm with you though - I generally enjoy reading long books. I love getting lost in a fantasy world for days. I think the flip side is if it's a book I'm not getting into, them I'm not sure how much time I'll spend on it before I give up. I don't want to invest that much time for nothing.

    I also have Fingersmith on my shelf waiting to be read.

    It's very neat that you found the book that you were looking for. I have a couple of books from my childhood that I can't find and haven't had any luck with online searches.

  11. Thank you for posting and signing up! I am looking forward to reading your posts.

    Btw, I love your blog title. As someone who works at a park, I appreciate it!

  12. Petty - ah it'll be interesting to see what we both think of Fingersmith now, do you think its been hyped up to much on these posts now.

    Marieke - yeah I do like drinking tea when I read and it is annoying when I cant hold the book with one hand. Just one reason I avoid hardbacks.

    Alyce - I really do have higher standards for larger books, I am much more forgiving if a book is only 200 pages long. I think hey if I going to spend a week reading this thing, it'll better be worth it.

    Allie - my husband Chris takes full credit for the title, its a line in a Simon and Garfunkal song but I haven't a clue which.

  13. I just posted today about how I do the exact same! I don't know why, really, as I do enjoy a good long book. But I always hesitate to start them for some reason.

    Enjoy Fingersmith! It's my favourite Sarah Waters novel, and that's saying A LOT.