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I can’t stop buying books

Seven months ago, I got back into reading in a big way. The bad news is that I’ve already boxed almost all my books in preparation for a planned move. I suppose I could unpack the boxes and find something to read, but it’s easier to just buy another book. And that’s what I’ve been doing.

I’ve purchased 49 books in the last 30 weeks, including 31 paper (physical) books and 18 e-books. I still prefer the physical book, but the e-books come in handy when traveling or after lights out.  I’ve read to completion 25 of the 49, and have started four others. Another five titles are lined up on the TBR (“to be read”) shelf, and I am eager to dive into them. I’ve already consigned to the DNF (“did not finish”) shelf three books that did not hold my interest. Nine are reference books, not meant for cover-to-cover reading. Numbers 47-49 will probably sit on my shelves, awaiting their turns until the end of time.

All of the new books are non-fiction. Almost all of them, in some way, were added to my reading pile with the idea of learning something about overcoming some of the hurdles I am currently facing in my writing, such as tackling unsolved historical true crimes or determining how best to handle significant gaps in the historical record. I also chose most of them because they looked like good reads.  Most are narrative histories, but the titles include: analytical history; case studies of the reshaping of history for dramatic and political purposes; the interplay of history, legend, and myth; and books about writing and publishing history. This last category includes two very different volumes I’d like to recommend to writers of history.  The first is How to Write History That People Want to Read, a book that is the subject of my next post.