Grit Blogs > The Open Book

Too Many Books!

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: books, reviews, cookbooks,

So many books, so little time. I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – so many books, so little time!

My desk, and the pile of books currently in residence.

Not only are my shelves at home overflowing with books I have yet to open, my work space is being threatened by piles of books on my desk. Currently, I have three cookbooks in a stack – Mennonite Country-Style Recipes & Kitchen Secrets, The Good-to-Go Cookbook (Take-Along Foods, Quick Suppers, and Satisfying Snacks for On-the-Go Familes), and The Joy of Jams, Jellies and Other Sweet Preserves – in addition to the copies of Joy of Cooking and The Fannie Farmer Cookbook nestled among my reference materials.

A few cookbooks to review.

The hope is to review those cookbooks for this blog, though it may take me a while.

Other tomes grace my desk as well: a gorgeous coffee-table book, American Farmer, also to be reviewed at some point in time; Who Laughs Last, a small fictional delight I’m looking forward to digging into; Dirty Bow Wow, a tribute to dogs and the objects of their affection; and The Kitchen Linens Book, by the author of The Apron Book, both of which would make good reviews for GRIT readers. I also have Fish & Tips, a recipe booklet for healthier, delicious seafood that might make a good addition to a future Comfort Foods or Recipe Box.

Books awaiting reviews.

Book publishers have found my e-mail address, too, and there are several such messages (usually about novels) that I’d like to follow up, both for my own enjoyment and for review purposes.

Of course, my desk would be empty without the catalogs. I’ve lost track of the number that reach my inbox. At the moment, I have catalogs from The Harvard Common Press, Cumberland House Publishing, Firefly Books, Travel Publishers Association, Rodale Books (Fall 2008, Winter 2009 AND Spring 2009), Pelican Publishing Company, Ivan R. Dee, and a postcard from Herald Press that spotlights Simply in Season and Simply in Season Children’s Cookbook. Whew!

A few of the catalogs from book publishers that currently grace my desk.

The catalogs are the worst – I can’t throw them away, and I have page after page earmarked. I just might want to review that book one of these days! Well, I’ll do that, right after editing articles/pages, selecting photographs, filing recipes, writing food articles/letters/blogs, reading/editing blogs, attending meetings, answering e-mails, etc. And while I enjoy doing everything, it all takes more time than I think it will. So, the catalogs stay in a pile, because I can’t make up my mind as to which books to order review copies and I know I won’t have the time to review them if I do order them.

Wonder if I can set aside a day and go through all these books in one setting? Like I said, so many books, so little time!

My reference library includes Joy of Cooking and a tattered copy of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

hank will_2
2/19/2009 2:56:58 PM

OK you guys, it's a well known fact that stack filing is incredibly efficient ... until the stacks fall over ...

jean teller
2/19/2009 2:43:43 PM

Ah, KC, your desk isn't that bad - indicates a busy work life! I've heard that the messy desk is a sign of creativity. Yeah, that's it. I'm surrounded by creative types! Oops, but what does that say about me?! :) It's about time to help a certain someone with the stacks of stuff on his desk. I'll add that to my to-do list!

kc compton_2
2/19/2009 2:38:00 PM

We aren't even going to mention the state of a certain Grit editor's desk. Wouldn't say a THING about Hank's desk if someone held hot coals to my feet. No sireebob, wouldn't say that he leans his elbows on a two-inch pile of paper just to type on his keyboard. Wouldn't say that on my LIFE... :=] Besides, if I did, someone might then come in MY office and out me for the slob I actually am. Right now I have four distinct piles of books on my desk: A batch to judge for a statewide writing contest; a batch to consider excerpting; a batch I think I SHOULD read to be a better person ("Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity")and books friends have written and I really want to spend some time looking over. Good thing I have a big desk ... KC

jean teller
2/16/2009 9:59:41 AM

Hi, Kathy, wonderful slide show on your blog! Yes, there's a growing pile next to my couch in my house, the stacks on the to-read shelf keep growing and every room has shelves of some type full to the brim. So far I'm keeping things in check, but the books threaten to take over every day! And I wouldn't have it any other way! Take care (and watch out for avalanches)!

jean teller
2/16/2009 9:43:59 AM

LOL, Cindy. Yes, my desk can actually be seen. Tho I have to be a tattletale - that isn't the case for everyone on our staff! :) I try to clear the desk off before I leave each day. I also have to confess that I cleaned up a bit for the photo! And since I posted, I've added another book to the pile. Yikes! And that doesn't count the books that are calling Hank's desk home!

kathy turcotte
2/14/2009 1:14:08 PM

I had to laugh as I read your blog. I am a book reviewer as well as a freelance writer and I have a used book business. My house is literlly overrun with books. Sometimes the pile next to my bed gets so tall I think I might get injured in a book avalanche. LOL. Kathy of the Enchanted Wood

cindy murphy
2/14/2009 9:49:43 AM

What really amazes me is that it all looks so neat and organized. Look - you can even see your desktop! Spill your secret, Jean; I really want to know. I've always likened the stuff that accumulates on my desk to being the Kudzu of the North. It grows and grows out of control until it spills off the top, starts covering the floor around my desk, and threatens to take over the room. And it seems impossible to eradicate!