Wednesday, July 06, 2011

So Many Books...So Little Time...

“An ordinary man can... surround himself with two thousand books... and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.” ~ Augustine Birrell



I am back from conference in New York City and wow – what a whirlwind. I’m still exhausted. Conference was, as usual, a fascinating and awesome experience. The keynote speeches were inspiring, the Literacy for Life book signing jam-packed (What does that mean, anyway – jam-packed? Who packs jam in things?), the workshops endlessly helpful, and my editor and agent appointments successful.

But here’s the thing about conference – there are books everywhere! There are books to buy at the Literacy for Life signing, free books in the goody bag you get at registration, books given away at the keynote speech luncheons, books to buy at the Book Fair, books given at the publishing housing book signings, and there are often free books at the Publishing Spotlights. At least there was at Sourcebooks which was the only one I made it to and was very glad I did.

Now to any writer and avid reader, the idea of all these books is enough to send you into a blithering state of euphoria. The only problem with this is, I only brought one suitcase and one carry-on and neither had a whole lot of room to spare, and shipping the books home was too expensive an option. So I told myself, “Self, you will not go hog-wild. You will take home only the books you truly, truly want.”

Wise advice. The only problem with this is, I often truly, truly want every book I see, because each book holds the potential of an awesome story I have not yet read and what if I leave one behind that the one I leave behind is THE one that could ultimately move me, change me, alter the entire course of my life?! I mean, my God! The ramifications!

You see my dilemma. Needless to say, I ended up wearing several layers of clothing for the trip home in order to fit my books into my suitcases. And even then, I managed to control myself somewhat. I bought 3 craft books: one on characterization, writing a first draft in 30 days (after my editor/agent appts this will be essential), and revisions (where most of my writing time is spent). I picked up a couple of books at the Sourcebook spotlight. I kept the books from one keynote speech and bargained with my roommate to borrow the other ones from her. I went to only two publisher book signings and picked up only 3 books (one being Jennifer Crusie’s new book which I feel was more than justified!). I purchased 4 at the Literacy for Life signing (hey – it’s for a good cause!).

So now my TBR pile has grown yet again. Which is a bit of a problem because my reading time has shrunk somewhat to give more time to my writing because after said editor/agent appointments I have much to prepare. Plus I need to do revisions for Harlequin and I need to get the second book that follows The Outlaw Bride off to Carina.

Ack! I need to find more hours in the day and more days in the week!

10 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

Glad you had a great time! When I went to England years ago, I actually had to buy another bag to carry home all the stuff I bought (including books!). But that was before airlines charged you an arm and a leg for extra baggage.

Bev Pettersen said...

Kelly, you're making me smile in bliss. It is heaven with all those books and I loved being in a hotel room with books EVERYWHERE. But packing to fly is tough. Maybe e-books will make this all much easier. Sounds like you have a wonderful time. Good luck with all the requests.

Julia Smith said...

So I told myself, “Self..

LOL! All those books are like crack to a conference full of writers who are of course readers. I'm glad to have been able to feed my addiction with such a dazzling array.

Donna Alward said...

Well at least you weren't at the check in desk wondering whether or not it was worth it to pay the $75 because your bag was overweight (and yes, I did leave books behind!) and then opening your suitcase to the side to "reallocate" things to carry on. I still have the groove in my shoulder from my carry on strap. And I thought I'd done so well, taking everything out and repacking the night before at 1 a.m.!!!!!

Kelly Boyce said...

Donna - ouch! I think I ended up repacking my bags 5 times before I finally realized some of the books would have to stay behind. It was a sad moment...

Jennie Marsland said...

Such a dilemma, but it's sweet torture, isn't it? Congrats on having a fun and successful conference - and on your self-restraint.

Jennie Marsland said...

Such a dilemma, but it's sweet torture, isn't it? Congrats on having a fun and successful conference - and on your self-restraint.

Stella MacLean said...

Hi Kelly,
Like you I had too many books, and had to weed out those I could not possibly bring with me. In the end, the housekeeping person on our floor took some of them, and my room mate who was traveling by train rather than plane took the rest. I still ended up with a HUGE pile, all of which are stacked desk high in my office!
Stella

Anne MacFarlane said...

Kelly, sure wish I could've brought every book home but like you I had to practice restraint.

Michelle Helliwell said...

Kelly - can't wait to see those craft books. Hope you bring 'em for a show and tell in September.

Know you had a great time (and a productive one) - between the writing and reading will you be able to squeeze in any time for work? ;)