Reading Better | April.

I added 27 books to my shelves in April (all my 2022 books are shelved here on Goodreads). Three were poetry collections and a few more were really short … still 🙂 It was a lot to absorb and it took me most of last week to get my thoughts together in my book journal:

  • Eight of those were 5-stars; and the rest I mostly Loved or Loved A LOT. Here’s my Instagram post with quick reviews of the 5-star books.
  • 15 (56%) were paper, 10 (37%) were audio, and two were ebooks.
  • 16 (59% – same as last month!) were borrowed, one I owned, and ten were purchased (eight new and two used).
  • 17 (63%) were fiction and the rest were spread across poetry, memoir, spiritual growth, and general non-fiction.
  • My intentions were (again) very evenly represented with nine check marks each for Diversity and Growth, and ten for Connection (nine books didn’t check any of those boxes – they were simply Delightful). Two books (both for bookclubs) checked all three boxes:
    1. The Island of Sea Women
    2. On Fragile Waves

Here are the qualitative ♥ notes from my journal:
♥ Really enjoying my completist journeys through Louise Erdrich and Maggie O’Farrell.
♥ Beth O’Leary, Deanna Raybourn, and Jodi Taylor are now my go-to smart (and a little sexy) fun.
♥ Exploring poetry.
♥ Exploring backlist – 15 (a little more than half) of those 27 books were published prior to 2021.
♥ Reading on paper is my favorite way to start the day. I still love audio for keeping me company while I knit, walk, and do other stuff. I also enjoyed reading with my eyes and ears for Lady Susan and An American Sunrise.
♥ Growth. I learned about the Trail of Tears, Austen’s juvenalia, refugees in Australia, mental illness, perception/bias about race and mental illness, new ways to read scripture, and haenyeo in Jeju, South Korea.
♥ Connections with (daughter) Katie, especially The Swimmers, Bomb Shelter, and Sorrow and Bliss. These are all great books to read and discuss, and we especially loved the mother/daughter connections.
♥ and again, having a monthly TBR worked great. Here’s an update (you can click to embiggen):

I just picked up the last two May books (Mary Lawson’s Crow Lake and Road Ends) at the library today; I have them until June 9 … and I’m thinking it might take me into June to finish this month’s list!

What are you planning/looking forward to this month? do we have any plans in common? I do love to connect about books!

And finally, many of y’all asked about “library hold jail” in response to my last post. Here’s the scoop for everyone: my library limits holds to 15 physical and 15 Libby (ebooks or audiobooks) holds at one time. When I hit that limit (which seems to happen at least a few times each month), I can’t put any more books on hold. It’s especially bad when I have a stack of physical books come in because they’re On Hold until I check them out (I checked out a stack of five today … so now I have more room on my Physical Hold shelf). I have a handful of new releases on hold, too; the library hasn’t even received their copies yet, so those books could be holding a place for weeks. It’s certainly a first world problem 😉 It’s also been interesting to hear back from several of you about your library’s hold policies … from Carole’s which has no limit … to Bonny’s (she has multiple) which all have limits of ten.

11 thoughts on “Reading Better | April.

  1. No limits on holds here but I have been trying to use my For Later shelf more these days because I don’t want to keep others from reading a book if it is on my shelf and I don’t have time for it. There are definitely a few books in your photos that are on my For Later shelf.

  2. I read The Island of Sea Women a few years ago for a Summer Book Bingo square (A Country You’ve Never Traveled To, I think it was…), and I can still call up so much about that book. It’s one of those that has surprised me with how long it’s stayed with me…

  3. Even though I remind myself repeatedly that you do not have small children or a full-time job, I am always amazed at how many books you manage to go through — it’s something to aspire to when my kid is grown and I retire! I have only read a handful of these, but some are on my TBR list.

    I actually have never filled up my hold list because I’m too scared of getting too many books at once. I don’t think I’ve ever had more than 8 books on hold at once!

  4. I feel I should clarify and say that, while we don’t limit the number of holds a patron can have on physical items, we do limit the number of holds patrons can place on ebooks to 6 at a time.

  5. Oh my… I have poetry books that I use every morning for my meditation time. I dislike reading a book of poetry quickly… for me it leaves out the thinking time.

    Your vast number of books is a bit mind boggling…wow!

    And I am with Sarah… I fear the Library Hold Avalanche… so I never have a full slate!

  6. I’m also amazed at how much you manage to read in a month, but glad you are presumably out of hold jail! (I had a mental picture of you in a striped prison uniform!) I got a lot out of Sorrow and Bliss and still find myself thinking about it weeks later. I loved The Fell, and am still thinking about it months later.

  7. Ha- same ;-). although recently I felt like I had just picked up one of the books and it’s already over due- need to set up my game it seems!!

  8. Wow – I am always so amazed that you can make a plan… and stick to it! What an inspiration! And so many 5 and 4 stars books. Sorry Glass of Blessings wasn’t more enjoyable for you!

    I’m impressed that you’re able to have so many holds. My Libby system allows me to have 3 books checked out a time and only 5 holds at a time. But my library allows for a limitless amount of books checked out and on holds. (and holds are never really a big deal there either… I’m typically the first or second person on the waitlists.)

  9. You read the most interesting books Mary and are so organized about it too. I’ve not heard of most of the books you’ve shared either. I haven’t been to a library in years and really don’t have one close by to visit. I prefer to buy books and listen to books via Audible, all though I have used Libby and LibriVox. Enjoy your reading!

  10. You read more (more quickly?) than I do by far. I might make it to eight, maybe 10, books this month and the books are all short!

  11. Relieved to find out what library jail is – you had me worried there, in case you were barred from borrowing! And ’embiggen’ is new to me – I always learn something when I come here :).

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