Today on AAR, there’s a post about book hoarding. It’s the book equivalent of saving the cherry on the top of the cupcake for last: holding books you’re excited about in reserve for some particularly meaningful moment.
This hit home today because I’m finally reading Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours, which I’ve had sitting around for months now, waiting until I’d finished the Kenya book. I did the same with Jennifer Crusie’s Agnes and the Hitman, which lived on a pile in my bedroom for months, awaiting an auspicious moment. Georgette Heyer’s The Spanish Bride and Books Twoand Threeof the Hunger Games trilogy are still in the queue.
I have mixed feelings about book hoarding. On the one hand, sometimes saving that book means that you find it again at just the right moment. Some of my best reading experiences– Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden, Jen Lancaster’s Bitter is the New Black— have been on airplanes, since I so often save books for trips, in that special floaty place way above the ground where my ordinary cares and distractions have no place.
On the other hand, there’s always the danger of over-hype or forgetfulness. Especially with much-praised books, by the time I get around to reading them, expectations are so high that the book suffers by comparison. Often, it’s not the book’s fault at all. It’s just that it was meant to be Special with a capital S, to serve some need outside of itself. Other times, books sit around for so long that by the time I get around to them, I’ve lost interest. It’s the impulse read that catches me: the book purchased on a whim or rediscovered from an even older pile.
Do you hoard books for special occasions?