Sunday, June 08, 2008

We have a reading problem

I took a little time this morning to organize the magazines and books in our house. This is when I realized that we have a problem. We have hundreds of books and magazines lying around our house. Some are in the to-be-read pile:

Some are in the to-be-sorted-and-filed pile:
This is L's pile...

And this is my pile...

This is the basket of books that are in my to-read section:

This is L's basket of to-read material:

As if that weren't enough, this is the pile of books & magazines that need to be returned to the library and filed on the bookshelf downstairs.

And, just to be inclusive of the entire family, here is the bookshelf in the living room with the books for our girls. CC likes to pull ALL of the books on the floor. As soon as we pick them up and organize them nicely, she crawls over and pulls them off again. It's currently her favorite game.

Here is the not-so-organized bookshelf next to ES's bed. Yes, if you look closely, it is a wooden play-stove. I'm not even going to explain...

And just when I thought I was done, here is the pile to be donated, given away, or last resort, recycled:

Oh, and a random pile that hasn't been organized at all on one of our dressers:

I've spared you a photo of the over-packed bookshelves downstairs. You get the idea. We are magazine-book-w.ho.r.e.s. It is out-of-control! I currently subscribe to:
Money Magazine
Parenting (I don't read either of these parenting magazines, but we get them.)
Mothering (I love, love, love this one:)
I have a few random copies of Yoga Journal, Yogi Times, Shambala Sun, O Magazine, Herb Quarterly, & Herbs for Health.
I just subscribed to O magazine for $2 a year. (crazy, I know, I couldn't pass it up.) And, I just ordered Working Mother Magazine using some Continental miles that I'll never use for a free flight.

L subscribes to Family Handyman, Paste, This Old House, & Mother Earth News.

With all of the books I read, you are probably wondering how I could possible read so much. Well, the reality is that I don't. I want to, but there just aren't enough hours in the day to work full-time, parent full-time, be a wife, cook, and housekeeper. That's why we have so many piles of things. I keep them thinking that some day I'll get to it. Or, I'll keep them as reference. I just can't throw away any Mothering or FamilyFun magazines because I know I'll flip through them again. I also can't seem to throw out Yoga Journal. If we ever move out of this house, I vow to purge all magazines!

I also have a book problem too. I don't buy books at full price, but it's so hard to pass them up for $1, $2 or $3 at the thrift store. For some of my favorite books, I'll buy extra copies when I see them because I love to pass them on. (I have a copy of You Are Your Child's First Teacher and The Heroine's Journey if you want one:) I've found a few treasures at the thrift store. I have a Julia Child cookbook that I found for $7, score!

I know that no one can have a problem bigger than mine. I even read blogs like mad too! But, what magazines do you read? Subscribe to? Do you purchase books? If so, what kind? Reference books? Novels? Inquiring minds want to know.


Natalie said...

Cookie (letting my subscription lapse)

Mothering (love this magazine too. I keep getting emails about going ditigal and I just can't do it. I love to sit in bed and read magazines)

Rachael Ray (got it as a gift - and love it)

Simple Living (gift too - really like this one too)

We too have books all over the place. And, I have a few drawers filled with magazine pages cut out or magazines needed to be sorted. I like to cut out pages of interest and then recycle the rest. Though, I always keep Mothering. With the inhumane birth practices in Portugal, and short duration of breastfeeding, I should really copy some of Mothering's articles and leave them at local doctor's offices.

acumomma said...

I am organizing/decluttering and surprisingly - it was easy to get rid of clothes. But the books! the kids have way to many and I can't seem to part with them? I put all of my 20 month olds in baskets (as she has also been doing the pull them off the bookcase game). I refuse to buy books - but I love my library! I read the other bolyn sister along with her other books.
Must reads: Julliet Marrieller, Rosalind Miles (her nonfiction - who cooked the last supper - is great but nonfiction!), I loved her Queen Guenevere trilogy. Isoland and Tristan triology is great too!

sf mom said...

Thanks, acumomma, for the book recommendations. The list goes on....

Jessica said...
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Erin said...

I can totally relate. I currently subscribe to Real Simple and Runner's Word. I used to subscribe to more but found that I just couldn't keep up (In Style, National Geographic Traveler, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Glamour...) This is what I do to minimize the piles because you are so right once they start to pile up, it can be overwhelming. When a new issue is delivered I make it a point to go through the old issue and rip out the pages that I would like out of the magazine. If there is an article that I haven't read yet but still want to, I rip that out and I have a folder of articles to be read (it takes up a lot less space than the magazine itself). I usually take that folder with me to a coffeeshop or the nail salon when I need some light reading. The other pages that I ripped out I divide them up and assemble them into the following simple binders. Food/ Recipes, Exercise& Fitness, Travel and finally House & Home (You could have one for Kids & Family)

As far as books are concerned after moving my life twice in the past year and realzing how heavy books are to move I've developed a new philosophy. Share and let go! I am only keeping books that fall into the following 4 categories... A) I LOVED them and can't let and will probably read them again. B) They have sentimental or monetary value. C) Reference and D)Haven't read them yet... The other ones I pass along or donate. I used to ask for all of my books back after I lent them to a friend. But then I realized WHY??? especially if I don't plan on reading them again. Set the book free and tell whomever you lent it to to lend it someone after they are done. It gives the book and the story a life of it's own and that is kind of beautiful, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

I could have written this post myself, and you can imagine how much worse it's getting with three child readers around here too! And since I don't have to pay fines at the library, since I work there, it's disgraceful how much I check out. Our library remodeled last winter and they encouraged us to check out books so that they didn't have to pack up so much. I warned them, but I don't think they expected...I had 172 items checked out at once!

We don't subscribe to too many mags because I can get a lot at the library...We do Countryside and Backyard Poultry and Organic Gardening. Where did you get the $2 subscription for O? I would love to get that one again. I just can't justify buying at the newsstand...