The Serial Book Borrower

KBB_the_serial_book_borrowerThere’s something special about borrowing a book from someone in this day and age where so much of what we read comes from a screen. I’ve never really been a fan of e-readers (you can read my full confession here) and lending someone your Kindle doesn’t feel quite the same as having someone pull a volume off of their shelves for you, knowing that it’s something you’ll love.

It’s always interesting to see what someone has put aside for you because they think you’d enjoy it, or because they wanted to gauge your reaction. There’s a lot of books I never would have read had someone else not insisted that I read them. It’s funny how word-of-mouth is still the best form of advertising if you want to get a book read.

Expanding your reading repertoire is easy if other people know how much you love books. It isn’t unusual for me to leave a friend’s apartment without a stack of books in my arms. (I’m a also a bookshelf snoop, which doesn’t help.) I used to be such a serial book borrower that at one point in time the entire top shelf of my bookcase was devoted to stacks of books I had borrowed from friends and family, organized by original owner.

There’s even a few books of my own that I have loaned frequently to other people. They must have been so good that they have yet to be returned.

I’m always insisting that friends and family read the book before seeing the movie, so my copy of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is off floating around somewhere, as well as my copy of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, although I must admit I haven’t seen the movie yet myself.

I’m bananas about books with interesting narrative structures and reading Jane Austen left me with the taste for epistolary novels (a rare art form these days!). As such, Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer are missing frequently from my shelves.

Sometimes a book has to be recommended to you by multiple people in order for you to bring yourself to read it, like Getting Things Done by David Allen (which I reviewed for the blog here). I had to read it twice before it finally “got it”; I’ve been lending it out ever since to anyone showing the slightest interest in it.

It’s amazing how another person’s perspective can transform you all in the simple act of borrowing a book. It’s fun to watch other people react to your choices, and react to theirs in turn. I end up reading so many things I wouldn’t have touched- books about politics, religion, science- and in some cases these books have inspired me to do more research on my own, or explore new territories I never dreamed would interest me.

If you’re looking for something new to read and you find yourself in a reading rut, I highly recommend adopting the attitude of a serial book borrower (like myself) and start asking people what they love. Join a service like Goodreads (it was life-changing for me, and I didn’t even get paid to say that) or simply start snooping their bookshelves. (Ask before borrowing!)

Who knows? The next book that someone picks for you might turn into something wonderful.

KBwB-BFlower-50Do you love reading as much as I do? Snoop my virtual bookshelves over on Goodreads, or visit the Book Section of my blog where I talk about all the books I’ve been reading- the good, the bad, and the non-fiction (which I read more often than you think!). All of the books I review are available on my Amazon store, where I do receive a small kick-back if you decide to purchase one. It helps keep food in my dog’s bowl, so she says “woof!” which I think means thank-you.

You’re probably far away which means I can’t lend you a book, but we can pretend like we can all the same. Comment below or drop me a line and tell me about the book you borrowed that changed your life.

Summer 2015 Reading List

KBB_summer2015ReadingListOne of the many reasons that summer has always been my favorite time of year is because it represented a freedom for me from the constraints of schools and schedules, where I’d be able to spend hours doing whatever I wanted. And what I wanted, dear readers, was to read. All the time. I’d come home with armloads of books from the local library and read them everywhere- in the car, in the bath, sitting perched in the crook of the ancient tree in my backyard growing up.

My obsession with reading as many books as I could during the summer was usually encouraged by all of the gift cards I would receive for the bookstore for my birthday. I usually love seeing the titles someone picks out for me, but there’s nothing like the feeling of walking into a bookstore with license to buy pretty much whatever you want. It’s enough to make heart start racing.

So with summer looming on the horizon and some vacation time ahead, I’m planning on taking frequent breaks from my laptop to enjoy the sunshine on the patio and treat myself to some new books on my birthday- two new ones from some of my favorite authors, two of my sister’s favorite books that’s she been begging me to read for ages, and one brand new one that’s got everyone talking (so of course, I had to jump on the bandwagon).

1. All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (great Canadian author!)

2. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

3. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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Psst- wanna see which books have previously graced my bookshelves? Click here. Want even more fun reading recommendations? I’ve got some for you here. Don’t forget to find me on Goodreads so we can snoop each other’s bookshelves and dish about our favourites.

Spring 2015 Reading List

Spring 2015 Reading ListOver the winter a lot of my friends and neighbors go into hiding but as soon as that sun starts peaking out from behind those wintry clouds, we do whatever it takes to get out there and absorb the outdoors as soon as humanly possible.

Getting reacquainted with the people in my neighborhood has given me more incentive to try and finish up my reading list from this winter (let’s not even talk about how far behind I am on that one) because I’m getting so many good book recommendations! My lovely dad, purveyor of all things witty has donated his copy of A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson to my bookshelves. I’m looking forward to having a good laugh. You Suck by Christopher Moore promises to put a smile on my face as well- I’m a sucker for unlikely love stories. (Too much?)

I have to confess that I’ve already started Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie, but I got out-voted one movie night and had to skip some of the titles still on my winter reading list to make sure I could compare notes while the movie was still fresh in my mind.

It’s a good thing the weather is getting nicer every day. It’ll be perfect for getting through some of the last titles from the giant stack of books my sister loaned me this past winter. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland are oldies but supposedly goodies, and The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper is all the rage right now. (I always like jumping on the bandwagon, even if its only to see what all the fuss is about.) All of three of them look like they could be kind of dark though, so sunny afternoons here I come! You’ll find me sitting outside reading and working on my T-shirt tan.

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Psst- wanna see which books have previously graced my bookshelves? Click here. Want even more fun reading recommendations? I’ve got some for you here. Don’t forget to find me on Goodreads so we can snoop each other’s bookshelves and dish about our favourites.