Hi. My name is Ealasaid, and I’m a bibliomaniac.

Happy New Year, all!

So, the lovely Kyeli has instituted a Book-Buying Ban for 2011. She owns a number of books she hasn’t read yet, you see, so she’s going to read them this year instead of buying new ones. She posted a pic of some of her unread books, and I couldn’t resist responding here with a photo of mine:

My To-Read shelves
My To-Read shelves

Yeah. I have kind of a lot of books to read. A total of 175, actually, I just ran and counted. Plus the 10 books I’m reading right now (ten, wtf, that’s a little ridiculous, even for me), and a small handful of comics. I own more unread books than some folks’ own books, period. Sheesh.

A while ago I tried instituting a sort of half-ban on buying books. I decided that for every 20 books I read and removed from my to-read shelves, I would allow myself to buy a few books. Not too many. It didn’t work. See, I included a loophole for authors I collect and subjects I collect, and I could make a justification for almost anything. Plus, at that point people tended to give me books or bookstore gift cards for presents. The only reason I have fewer than 200 books on those shelves is I did a purge a couple months back. Any book I wouldn’t be willing to buy if I didn’t already own it went into the get-rid-of pile. It wasn’t easy.

And, well, almost immediately after doing it, I went to Powell’s Books up in Portland and dropped about $300 on another 21 books. I sometimes joke that I’m doing better than I did back in college, when I had a $30/week habit, year in, year out. The college and university bookshops were my Kryptonite, man. So many awesome books!

I briefly considered doing some kind of similar ban to Kyeli’s, but quickly decided not to. I don’t do resolutions for New Years, and that kind of flat out denial doesn’t come easily. I am, however, making a conscious effort to read more. Yes, I probably already read more than the vast majority of Joe Schmoes, but I don’t read as much as I wish I did. I love reading and I have spiffy new reading glasses, so I’m’a get my read on in 2011. No specific goals, just the intention to churn through the unread shelves a little.

How many unread books do you have as we start the new year?