December 26, 2016

Out With The Old in My "To-Read" List

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We had a great time with extended family. Now that New Year's is coming up, I've started thinking about resolutions and goals and those types of things.

Something I've tried to do the past couple of years is to go through my "to-read" list on Goodreads about this time of year. I specifically look at the books that have been on there for 2 years. I used to have books on there for 3 or more years at a time, but I decided that was a little ridiculous.

I mean really, if I haven't cared enough about it to get around to reading it in 3 years, then obviously it is not a high priority. So it's got to go. Fish or cut bait, you know?  I mentally put it into the category of "If I run across this at the library someday I'll pick it up," hit that delete button, and move on with my life. In a strange way, it can be a relief--releasing myself from that obligation.

So after a few years of this plan, I'm now looking at the books that have been on the list since 2014. In a few short days they'll have been on there for 3 years. It's time. There are 14 of them. (Next year I will have my work cut out for me, as the bulk of my *cough* 190! *cough* "to-read" items are from 2015. Oh dear!) 

Part of the reason I haven't read many of them is because I'm a cheapskate, basically. My library doesn't have them and I haven't wanted to fork over the cash to buy a copy--especially since I don't know how much I'll like any of them. I'm weird that way. If I'm going to pay full price for something, I want it to be a book I already know I like and will re-read.

All right, here are my decisions--since I am certain you are dying to know!

1. The Lincoln Hypothesis: A Modern-day Abolitionist Investigates the Possible Connection between Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, and Abraham Lincoln, by Timothy Ballard

Available at the library? Sadly, no. Not that I expected it to be, since it is pretty Mormon-specific.
Amazon price: $12.99 (Kindle), $14.04 (Paperback)
Deseret Book Price: $11.99 (ebook) or both of Ballard's for $19.99

Decision: Off the list. While this title still sounds fascinating, there's a good chance that either my parents or in-laws already have it (or plan to purchase it), or one of my siblings. I'm all about borrowing books from family when I can! Or I may be able to find it on sale at some point on one of our Utah trips. I'm not going to forget I wanted to read this one. I'll pick up a copy when I get a chance.

2. Hope Springs (Longing for Home #2), by Sarah Eden

Okay, this one should really not have been on here for 2 years! I own an ebook copy! I just haven't gotten around to reading it, partly because the subject matter sounds heavy--feuding violence, among other things--and I have not been in the right frame of mind....or something.

Decision: Off the list already! I'll get to it when I get to it.

3. Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo, by Lawrence Anthony

Available at the library? Nope.
Amazon Price: $9.99 (Kindle), $12.77 (Paperback)

Decision: Tempting! What to do?

* * *
Okay, in the end, I'm taking it off the list. I'm sure I would enjoy it, but it's one I'll pick up if I run across it. I mean, 3 years on the list. That's a long time.

4. Rounding the Horn: Being the Story of Williwaws and Windjammers, Drake, Darwin, Murdered Missionaries and Naked Natives--a Deck's Eye View of Cape Horn, by Dallas Murphy

Available at the library? No.
Amazon Price: $11.99 (Kindle), $12.47 (New Paperback), $4.98 (Used Paperback with Prime free shipping)

Decision: Off the list. Seeing that used copy really made it clear to me. Five dollars is well within my risk profile for purchasing an unknown book. When I still hesitated, I realized that while this sounds like it would right up my alley, I can certainly live without it for now. Done! Off it goes!

5. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride, by Cary Elwes

Available at the library? Yes! Wait, what?! They have an ebook copy? Since when?

Decision: I have now placed a hold on the ebook copy, so I'm going to delete it off my Goodreads list. Another one down!

6. Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur, by Carl Safina

Available at the library? No such luck.
Amazon Price: $9.99 (Kindle), $14.16 (Paperback)

Decision: I thought I remembered my sister-in-law had read this one. When I checked on Goodreads, she had, and she only gave it one star. I'm not going to pay $10 for a possible 1-star read. Off the list!

7. Twice Upon a Time (Half Upon a Time #2), by James Riley

Available at the library? Nope.
Amazon Price: $6.99 (Kindle), $7.99 (Paperback)

Decision: I read the first in this trilogy and really enjoyed it, then I actually found it at the thrift store! Score! So now do I get #2 (or 2 & 3--they're both the same price)?

* * *
Okay. I added them to my Amazon "Home Library Wishlist." Is that a copout? Yes, in a way.
I haven't given up hope of finding the other 2 more cheaply, but if I don't find them, I will suck it up and buy them at some point. Off the Goodreads list.

8. Kraken: The Curious, Exciting and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid, by Wendy Williams

Available at the library? [Yawn.] No.
Amazon Price: $12.99 (Kindle), $17.28 (Hardcover)

Decision: Off the list. This is a book I would happily read for free, and it does still sound interesting, but I just can't bring myself to shell out $12 for a book about squid. So long, Kraken!

9. Dragon's Bait, by Vivian Vande Velde

Available at the library? No. (They only have 1 of her books! One! It's a disappointment.)
Amazon Price: $9.99 (Kindle), $13.95 (Paperback)

Decision: Off the list. I know that I like her books and this one looks good, but I'm not dying to read it. (Obviously! Since we're coming up on the 3-year mark!) I'll just keep an eye out for it. I'm sure I will snatch it up the next time I come across a cheap or free copy.

10. And There Was Light: The Extraordinary Memoir of a Blind Hero of the French Resistance in World War II, by Jacques Lusseyran

Available at the library? No.
Amazon Price: $9.23 (Kindle), $9.72 (Paperback)

Decision: Okay, I still really want to read this one! According to Amazon, this was chosen as one of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century. Oh, the choices!

* * *
I'm doing it. Paperback copy headed my way. Woohoo! (And hence, off the list!)

11. While Beauty Slept, by Elizabeth Blackwell

Available at the library? No, no it isn't.
Amazon Price: $7.99 (Kindle), $11.30 (Paperback)

Decision: Tough one! I enjoy fairy tale retellings and the price isn't bad. Thinking...

* * *
After reading several more reviews of this one, I'm going to pass. There's enough people who thought it was just mediocre that I'm not willing to buy it.

12. The Unhappening of Genesis Lee, by Shallee McArthur

Available at the library? No.
Amazon Price: $9.99 (Kindle), $9.48 (Hardcover), $9.99 (Paperback)

Decision: Off the list. Interesting premise, but I've read a lot of dystopian teen novels lately. I'm not ready to pay $10 for another that could be just run-of-the-mill.

13. The Deadly Dinner Party: and Other Medical Detective Stories, by Jonathan A. Edlow

Available at the library? No.
Amazon Price: $9.99 (Kindle), $16.00 (Paperback)

Decision: Off the list. I would read this for free in a heartbeat, but to pay $10 for it? Um, no thanks. I'll live without it, I guess. (We have discussed how I'm a cheapskate, right?) Besides, there's always #14 to decide on, too!

14. The Medical Detectives, by Berton Roueche

Available at the library? No.
Amazon Price: $11.98 (New), $6.77 (Used but with Amazon Prime shipping)

Decision: This looks so good! Can I justify the purchase?

* * *
Yep, I guess so, because I just bought this! (Last one, off the list. Yes!)

* * * * *

So, in the end, I purchased #10: And There Was Light, and #14: The Medical Detectives. Amazon had a promotion running to take $5 off a $15 book purchase. I also had a $10 Amazon gift card. Using both of those, my total was a little over $7 for 2 books I have wanted to read for 3 years now.
YES! I feel like a winner! :) 

* * * * *

What is your process for clearing out the old books on your "to-read" list? Do you even think about it? For some reason it helps my sanity to not have too many lingering on there forever and ever.

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