I’m trying to keep my book buying to a minimum this year while I catch up on reading what I bought last year, but of course, there are always exceptions. Part of the problem is that I refuse to stop borrowing books from the library (and other sources) even as I’m trying to eliminate unread books from my shelves, and thus as I’m introduced to more new books that I’m borrowing, I discover more that I want to add to my own collection. That was my biggest obstacle to restraint this month
- The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, consisting of Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess. Since I last read any of these books, the new paperback versions with the cool spines came out. When I started rereading Cassandra Clare this year and loved having my own copy of City of Bones (even though I have the original, less attractive copy with the torso on the cover) and wanted to buy more, my first thought was to purchase this trilogy because I remember liking it even more than the Mortal Instruments. Also because then I would have the set in time to read my own copies when I got around to these three in publication order.
- The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, consisting of City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire. I loved the new paperbacks of the other trilogy so much, and I still had four books left to read in this series by the time I found a good sale and ordered these, that I decided it was worth the cost to own them all. I’d almost forgotten just how much I loved the first three books in this series, and I’m loving them even more this time around, so I needed my own books. (Needed. Ha.) I did consider not buying City of Bones because I have an old and beloved copy (it was the first Cassandra Clare book I read), but (this is weird:) I didn’t want the shadowhunter on the new City of Bones spine to feel left out of the group by being shunned from the collection. Also the background image spans all six books, so the picture would have been incomplete without it. Other than two books from the Harry Potter set, City of Bones is now the only book I own two copies of.
- Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. This was my February Book of the Month Club pick. I was in the mood for a thriller and this one was labeled as a thriller with such a great twist at the end that it was impossible to see it coming. Since I love books that are unpredictable, this sounded perfect. I’ve actually just finished reading it so stay tuned for my upcoming review!
- All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. One of my favorite perks of Book of the Month Club is that every month two books can be added to the monthly box for only $10 each–any hardcovers from previous months that are still in stock. I have a feeling that by the end of the year I’ll be utilizing this extra feature regularly, so I’m trying to take it easy as the year begins, but I couldn’t pass up their limited edition publication of BOTM’s 2016 book of the year. This one was already on my to-read list, and I know I’m not going to be able to get around to reading it until probably summer at least, but I’m glad to have this special edition of BOTM’s first ever book of the year on hand for when I find time to start reading it.
- The Girl Before by JP Delaney. Again, I will admit I’ve been in a thriller mood lately so as I’ve had my eye on new releases, this one stood out. I managed a pretty good discount on this one with my Barnes and Noble membership, so I couldn’t resist the purchase. Although there wasn’t room for this one on my official TBR for next month, I’m hoping I’ll find some extra time to fit it in sometime in March or April, while it’s still pretty new. It has something to do with a strange house or apartment or some place of residence where the new girl living there is learning strange things about the girl who was there before, and of course finds connections between them.
- Every Day by David Levithan. I picked this one up on the same Barnes and Noble trip. I’ve been seeing this one around for years, but something about the title and the cover art just never drew my attention enough to actually look into its plot. When I took the time to read its synopsis lately–a boy who wakes up every day in a different body, in love with the same girl in the same body–I realized it was actually a perfect choice for me as I fit more of the YA I’ve missed in the last few years into my reading schedule. There’s nothing actually wrong with the cover art, of course, so I picked this one up for its story and I have a feeling that the cover will grow on me. Also, David Levithan is a pretty big name in YA fiction, and I’ve only read one book he’s co-authored (Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which I liked but didn’t love, also written by John Green). If I end up liking this one as much as I expect, I’ll probably branch out to more of Levithan’s work.
- The Fireman by Joe Hill. This one has been on my radar for months, ever since I realized that Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. I like Stephen King’s books (mostly, based on what I’ve read) and I admire his writing style (even in the books I didn’t like as much), so the fact that his son is also a writer immediately caught my interest. This was the first Joe Hill title I looked at, and based on the synopsis I knew I didn’t have to look any farther for a first Hill read. It’s been a few months now, as I’ve mentioned, so I don’t remember much about it, but I know it’s the same sort of horror/sci-fi genre that I loved from Stephen King’s books and the protagonist sounded particularly intriguing. I think he has some kind of special superpower/talent related to starting fires. Even when I like Stephen King’s plots, I often dislike his protagonists, so I couldn’t pass up one that sounded so promising. When I read this, I’m going to make an effort not to form any opinions about it based on my already-established Stephen King opinions, and I did think this story sounded immersive and unique enough that I won’t have to struggle with that too much. I’m highly looking forward to checking this one out more in depth.
And that’s a wrap on my February book haul. I would have been pretty proud of my restraint if it hadn’t been for the Cassandra Clare books. Most of those were available at my library, so buying them all was a true moment of weakness. No regrets though. Even those I found on a good sale through Book Outlet, and the other books were free/cheap from my BOTM subscription and mostly covered between my Barnes and Noble membership discounts and a leftover gift card. So I feel like I made smart book buying choices, at least, which is probably more to the point than just cutting myself off completely.
How do you make yourself stick to a book-buying ban? Is there such a thing as too many books? Is that even a possibility…
The Literary Elephant