Tetris + books = my life

I’ve been trying to figure out how to illustrate what I feel like my life has become: a cross between Tetris and books.

Unfortunately, I’m not an artist, so I can’t just draw it, and I don’t have any great skills with Photoshop, and I just didn’t feel that one of my typical MS Paint mashups was going to do this justice.

I’ve obtained a lot (and I mean A LOT) of new books lately. This is on top of already having a bunch of things that I haven’t read yet (and yet I keep thinking, “I love humorous non-fiction; I bet I will really like that book I bought when Borders went out of business and everything was 70% off”).

But then a couple weekends ago, I bought 7 or 8 used books at the library book sale, and I think I’ve only read about 3 of them.

I even checked out three books that day, although who knows why I felt like that was necessary.

I got books for my birthday this weekend (thank God some of them are for kids, so they’ll go quickly).

Although one of them is the FOURTH Game of Thrones book, and I have yet to start the third one! (Which I’m dying to do.)

I bought Jonathan’s book club book off of him, because he was just going to return it to the store. (But it’s The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta! I didn’t know anything about it when I turned over the cash, because I just have faith in Tom Perrotta, but it’s about the Rapture, and I don’t know if you know this about me but I’m kind of into Rapture stuff.)

And then I have to purchase my own book club’s next book, which I plan on doing from Amazon, but then I’ll want to add something else so I get to $25 so I have the free shipping.

It’s just a torrential downpour of books, and there’s no way I can keep up with them all. It’s like one of the later levels on Tetris, but instead of pretty colored shapes, it’s all books. But they’re piling up so fast!

At least books fit together well. Until you run out of space, that is.

Oh, I get it – it’s just like Tetris only none of the layers disappear when you fill them in. I guess that would happen if I actually read things, and then gave them away.

Why did I used to have so much time to read? I guess in New York I had the commute every day, and then both my roommates worked a show schedule, so I spent a lot of time alone. (Not in a sad way.)

But now, I just don’t have that same amount of time.

Although, I’m doing a cameo in wardrobe at Marin Theatre Company this weekend (started last weekend), and there is PLENTY of time to read then. Partly because the show is super easy (yay!) and partly because the show is short, so the break between shows is hours (yay!). So I’m going to try to get through as much this week as possible.

I would say, “And then I’m going to try to lay off acquiring books for awhile,” but it’s just not that easy.

That being said – anyone reading anything good lately?

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40 Comments

Filed under Awesome, Being a girl, Books, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction

40 responses to “Tetris + books = my life

  1. Nice Post, enjoyed how you compared Tetris to your unending pile of books. LOL but they don’t disappear when you make a line. I thought that was very cute :)
    Cheers,

  2. It’s hard to pass up books. I have so many laying around the house that I bought at once on a weird day. This sounds great and all, but I have to fight the urge to start reading all at once. I am finishing up the Hunger Games trilogy and am really enjoying the series.

  3. I’m currently working on my own book, so most of the books I’m reading are non-fiction “how to market your own book” type books.

    Very meta.
    ;)

    Tetris and new books — could be worse, right?

  4. I loved City of Thieves by David Benioff :)
    also, try iBooks, or Kindle?

    • While a Kindle makes sense to me logically, I just can’t wrap my head around where I would use it. I really love having the physical books… I know I’m not alone in that. There should be a support group for Kindle holdouts.

      • I was a Kindle holdout for quite a while . . . until I found myself moving every 12 months for school, work, work, and school again. For me, Goodreads let me act out my compulsive need to rearrange my bookshelf and soothed the ache of letting physical books go. Now I can have my “collection” and read more, too!

      • I’m still a physical book lover. I have a long commute on a bus everyday to work, so I converted to a tablet, and use Google Books, nook, and kindle. It’s great to have options. However, it becomes almost worse than book-Tetris, because you pile up more and more books saying, “It’s just digital space,” and then forget about it as more books become available. Also, digital books are far less tactile. Physical books look at you from across the room and say, “Hey, remember buying me in the 75% off bin. I was such a bargain. Why not look at what I have to say?”
        Verdict: Both have pitfalls. It just depends whether you fall over a pile of books, or have the books pile up in the digital ether.

      • That is a really interesting point that I have never considered. I think it would be easy for me to forget about digital stacks of books…and that does sound like something I would do.

  5. So funny! I am an artist and I also work at a public library part-time (love it!)… so as you can guess, I am constantly checking out books and buying old ones at the sale. When I find myself in a book store or at Amazon.com, I start thinking, “Am I crazy or what?!” I am around books every day at the library and in my spare time I go to a book store??? But luckily I have my art habit to support and spend time on. I, too, feel like there just isn’t enough time to read all the books I want to read. Maybe that is what retirement is for!

  6. I’m about halfway through The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, which I bought on impulse because one of the main characters was named “Minnie” (one of my nicknames) and tried starting A Clockwork Orange, which I’ve been wanting to read for forever, but the immediate jump into his made-up language makes it tedious to read. Hopefully i’ll get through it though.

    Also, I have my books doubled up in the bookshelf. I don’t think it’s going to help the problem of having too much to read. :P Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  7. I recently read “The Tao of Pooh” – a quick read but thoroughly uplifting for any reader. Also, I always have to plug “The Glass Castle” because… yes.

  8. I love the mental image of book-tetris! It’s been years since I last played tetris (it was quite the fad in grammar school, playing tetris on our calculators), but I can see it so clearly, the books piling up higher and higher… now I will never look at my bookcases the same way again!
    I’ve been reading little this summer, but now I bought three books in about a week, and I might go to the flea market tomorrow, and poke around the bookshops on the way, and…
    And an e-reader is so not an option for me (just blogged about that a couple of days ago), and giving away is hard, so they’ll continue to pile up, read or unread…

  9. cmathewjones

    I enjoyed reading this; thanks to you I have a great metaphor for my neighbor who has an apartment full of books (literally, floor-to-ceiling). The book I’m reading now is How To Win Friends & Influence People, but I’m also halfway through A New Earth.

  10. Denise

    O, this is me to a T. The T is for Tetris. Book Tetris to be specific. I have started delaying my gratification for budgetary reasons and so the book LIST is the thing now. But the list is 300+ titles long now – an impossibility. Even-so I bought new bookshelves recently but still have Tetris on my bookshelves.
    I really loved this post. Thanks!

  11. littletash

    I feel your pain. It was my birthday at the weekend too and I just ordered 21 books with an Amazon voucher someone gave me. That’s on top of the books my fiancรฉ gave me, the pile next to my bed and the three library books due back next week… I know I only have myself to blame and I wouldn’t change it because I’m excited to read every book individually, by thinking about them all together is quite terrifying!

    Congrats on getting freshly pressed, though I imagine you’ll have even less time to read now. :(

  12. Oh I have the same problem…”what if this book isn’t here the next time I come to the shop?” I’ve embraced it. I lend books freely, if they don’t come back to me, I am hoping they are loved in their new home and I will replace them with something else. It’s the only way to deal with the space issues. That and donations to charity. Books aren’t cheap. I figure the more I send out into the used, secondhand and free universe, the more people will learn to read. It’s a rough theory. I’m still working on it.

    As for recommendations – I have a growing blog of them and it sounds like we may acquire them similarly so maybe you’ll find something there you like. Kurt Vonnegut biography by Charles J. Shields is pretty incredible if you’re a Vonnegut fan, which I hope you are if you’re an english major in the USA :)

  13. A wonderful take on too many books, so little time & space. I’m picturing the tetris of books right now. Doing some of my own read and give away right now. Thanks for your unique perspective!

    Kary

    http://runningintolife.wordpress.com/

  14. I’ll say it’s not easy to keep from acquiring books! Right now I’m reading all-at-one-time a 366 day devo by Joni Eareckson Tada–one of my favorite writers when I need a hope-filled look at pain and trials.

    Next, I have two questions:
    1) What is tetris? I thought this post would explain it a little, but instead it just made me more interested. :)

    2) What does this interest you have in the rapture look like? Do you plan on being one of the raptured, etc?

    • 1. Tetris is an awesome game that I remember playing on my brother’s GameBoy in the 90s, even though I just learned from Google that it was created in 1984.
      2. I guess that’s kind of a personal question – and may be better answered in a subsequent blog post, than in a comment…

  15. So funny! And it’s not like you can read a solid row of books and have them disappear instantly. Then again, why would you want them to do that? :)

    If you need any books to read, have you given Terry Pratchett a try?

  16. Aaaah Games of Throne! Everybody’s status update seems to be about GoT these days (the tv show) so before I jumped into the tv show, I decided to give the books a try. I’ve started reading the first book on my Kindle. I’m not very far into the story and I was very confused with the multi character perspective but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.

    And I am just as guilty about acquiring books. It has been more difficult for me to acquire English books the past 2 years since I’ve been living here in Madrid. Every time I was in the airport, I would buy 1 or 2 books. I amassed quite the collection and I’m actually moving back to the States soon. Luckily a friend of mine took some of the books off my hand… but some of the books (like the ones I used for my thesis) I can’t get rid of. I think I will stick to a Kindle now most of the time. I don’t need anymore paper books (for now!).

    • Game of Thrones! I watched the first season (a couple times through) before starting the books, which I think helped me. It’s not really the kind of thing I would normally pick up, so having some perspective when starting the first book was useful. I read the second book before watching the second season, and am now almost done with the third book. SO GOOD. I’m obsessed.

  17. I remember, as a teenager, looking with such derision at the people who no longer “had the time to read”. Alas, and alack, I have succumbed to the same predicament! And like you I can’t seem to stop collecting. When I was younger I decided to start my own library and had over 100 books and growing. 2 moves later I may be down to 30ish. It was so hard to get rid of them because you’re right, they pack together well. To a point. Then when the layers don’t disappear and you’re drowning in books…you take them to the used book store for trade in credit, and get more :)

    http://dyefeltsool.com

  18. Well, at least I am not alone. Hello, I’m Martie and I am a total bibliophile and bookworm with bookcases and baskets and boxes and piles of books that must be approaching library proportions or maybe it just feels that way. As for Amazon’s Kindle, it has simply given me a more convenient way to carry around thousands of classic books that I will finish reading someday… as soon as I stop collecting them! (Needless to say, I enjoyed your post!)
    -Martie

  19. Great post! Reading Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending. It’s fantastic.

  20. I just bought two books lately, I know it’s not much, but i still have 5 more unread books in our cabinet. And I have yet to finish this 300-pager that I have with me for years, and only started reading it January, brought it with me in all four of our holidays, and until now I haven’t finished reading it. I used to read a book overnight before and I have lost it. I need to renew my love for books, now!

  21. Good post like it very much…

  22. Before the internet arived, books helped glue the world together. I wish I could read faster (I’m very slow), there’s so much to learn and absorb through reading books.
    Maybe the fact that I draw a lot compensates me for what I miss out on with reading.

  23. I have no idea what you like to read, but if you haven’t already, you may want to check out The Raw Scent of Vanilla, by Emilia Bresciani. Also excellent is The Diary of Opal Whiteley by Opal Stanley Whiteley. I hope you read them. Both fantastic reads.

  24. I also splurge on books rather than any other things on earth. It doesn’t make me feel guilty.Not having the “much needed time” to read them makes me feel terrible though. My current read is “The Lord of the Flies” , you can add it to your tetris-file-like of books. :)
    I love your post! :)

  25. Great way to compare your book overload to Tetris. I just finished reading Punching Out by Paul Clemens. It is a non-fiction account of the closing of the Budd Company that began in 1919 in Detroit, Michigan. He observed the dismantling of this one automotive parts factory and the implications to American industry in general. Everyone in the Detroit area seems to have a least one friend or relative that worked at Budd during its long and busy tenure and can relate to what this factory meant to Detroit.

  26. Really nice blog , I like that types of topic…….

  27. 1. I am a major Tetris nerd that has spent far too many hours using ‘writer’s block’ as an excuse to play it.’
    2. In my apartment, I built shelves out of cardboard and duct tape to create ‘mini-shelves’ and add however many books I could.
    3. I now avoid bargain bins and discarded book give aways because I have no space, and have a stack of at least fifty books yet to read.
    Thanks for the post.

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