Priorities, priorities

janprioHere’s how you can tell if you have officially earned the reputation of a legit bibliophile: when people give you nothing but books for gifts, no matter what the occasion is.

I decided to look around and scavenge through my monstrous, forever unmanageable TBR pile lately to pick the books I’d like to prioritize for the first quarter of 2015. It made me realize how almost all of my new acqusitions from the latter half of the previous year are gifts from family and friends and I’m feeling somewhat smug because I don’t know if I have grown to be the the sort of person whose love for books was so transparent that people around me have eventually deemed my desires downright predictable, or if I have reached the zenith of the nerdland hierarchy and unlocked geek-extraordinaire status in successfully brainwashing the world that I will accept nothing but books.

Anyway, it comes down to this: People know what I want. And they’re right. I want books, books, books.

On my twenty-third birthday, my best friend stalked my online reading wishlist and bought me the full colored remastered edition of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, and I remember being reduced to a heap of tears and thankyous because goddamn, I’ve wanted that book for so long, which is woefully ironic because it’s been over a year now and I haven’t even torn its plastic wrapping yet. Sometimes we are never ready for our wishes coming to life, I guess.

 When I turned twenty-four, my brother gave me a Fully Booked Gift Certificate worth a thousand bucks, which I used to purchase Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One,  a cult favorite among pop culture enthusiasts that I have heard nothing but great things about, Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, also a book I’ve had on my wishlist for years, and  the wildly popular YA Romance novel Stephanie Perkins’ Anna & The French Kiss, because they don’t have Daniel Handler’s Basic Eight on stock, and well, no one hated this book, so I thought, meh, why not. My sister also gave me a self-improvement/inspirational memoir  by Mandy Hale entitled ‘The Single Woman’, which she totally picked as a joke and a jab at my perpetual single status. I’ve already read it last year so it’s no longer part of my TBR pile, but boy, what a delightful surprise that book was. As a rule I try to stay away from self-help books as far away as possible but that book was so zippy and fun and just extremely feel-good and brimming with positivity that I think I have actually forgiven my sister for her weird choice in literature.

On that same month, I also won an online writing contest judged by one of my favorite YA authors, AS King, and she sent me an advanced reading copy of her recent release, Glory O’Brien and the History of the Future, which I’m really psyched about because she even wrote my name on it and signed it. Hands-down the ASDFGHJKL moment of my previous year in books.

jannnn

For Christmas my baby brother gave me an apt and adorable gift: Lemony Snicket’s Who could that be at this hour?, which is the first installment from his new middlegrade series, All The Wrong Questions, and I remember hugging my baby brother extra-hard because WHY IS HE SO CUTE OMG.

And my other brother gave me another round of Fully Booked gift certificate worth another thousand bucks, which I then used to buy AS King’s critically-acclaimed Everybody Sees The Ants, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries because I’ve read such great rave reviews about it and that beautiful book cover is just too hard to resist. Seriously, I cannot fathom how in the world did I deserve the good fortune of having siblings who spoil and indulge my bookish cravings on the regular, even if I’m their oldest sibling and they’re all a few years younger than me. I don’t know in what universe does that logic work,if there’s even one to begin with, but that’s how it is in our family, and I mean it with all the fibre of my being when I say: GOD BLESS THEM SO FRIKKEN MUCH.

The only book that I have bought with my own money is my own Christmas present to myself, Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved, which I literally grabbed from the shelf and purchased in the blink of an eye because I madly fell in love with Hustvedt’s writing after having read her novella ‘Sorrows of an American’ last year and there’s no way I’m gonna pass up on an opportunity to snag another one of her works. Also, I think a huge part of the blame goes to the ridiculous sale at the local bookstore during that time, but aren’t we all weak for bookstore sales by default?

So these are all the books that will hopefully begin and make my 2015 a splendid year in reading. One of the best problems in life is looking at your growing unread books pile and choosing what to read next. There’s always a comfort in knowing that we always have this spare worlds we can escape to whenever the world becomes too dull and dreary, and I say: bring it on, 2015. I’m ready for you.

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