Gratitude Reading

I have enough: Books

One part of me realises the futility of this exercise, but we’re going to try. Maybe it’s the part that tends to lie to me.

As mentioned in my last post, I lost my job. I also have a lot of debt. And a thing for spending money. Now that I’m on mood stabilisers, I am doing much better, but I’d wager it will always be a problem. A while ago I read a quote in Your Money or Your Life (a book that everyone should get and reread like gospel at least once a year):

Indeed, some people would say that once we’re above the survival level, the difference between prosperity and poverty lies simply in our degree of gratitude.

While I can understand how that might not always work that way (enter survival mode for example, which is not always connected or even intertwined with financial matters – you can be sprouting dolla dolla bills from your arse and still feel like you’re hanging by a thread), it is a statement with a substantial amount of truth to it. And gratitude, especially for small seemingly nonconsequential things, will make one a better person and will improve one’s day, even if slightly.

So here we are. Treat these as extended gratitude lists about one thing in particular. In no way am I bragging. For some people the amount of certain things I own will be overwhelming. For others dumb, for somebody else interesting, enviable, or confusing. I’m not a fan of “it is what it is” – but it is what it is. I’m not a minimalist. And whilst at this point in time I can imagine myself having only two mugs (more on them later), I can’t imagine having two books. Let’s talk about them.

I have a lot of books. Most of my library is inherited from parents, grandparents, and their parents, but I bought quite a few myself. I remember having a weird dream (as in wish) of finishing all of the books in my home library, but that is simply not possible. Well. It is. But it is not probable. Highly unlikely. Because at least in this moment in time I have little desire to read up on *zooms in* the history of soviet civic aviation. I also wouldn’t touch that particular philosophy textbook with a six foot pole. Never again. *shudder*

Plus my library is not finite. I may have titled this post ‘i have enough’, but I know that at one point in time I will go out and buy more. I feel calm right now, and also oddly satisfied with the selection available to me at the moment (big thanks to z library for that, I might add), but it does not mean that I don’t want to own all the six volumes of Heaven’s Official Blessing, or the next Rowling book, or a bunch of manhwa, or the next Hunger Games, or yet another dystopia, or a cookbook, or a spellbook, etc., etc. E-books are a big part of my reading habit, largely because shipping endless amounts of overtly commercial fiction printed in the English language to the lands I inhabit will never be financially sustainable, but I will always and forever prefer paper. I’m very tactile, I’ve come to realise. I like tangible things. A big part of the charm of listening to music for me, for example, is CDs, records, and even tapes. I like the sounds the record player makes. I like pressing buttons. I like the whirring sound of the CD or the tape.

But back to books.

My lifelong affinity to all things paper tells me that I will never not want to buy paper books. Few things compare to the satisfaction of turning the last page on a paperback, and then just sitting with it for a while, flicking pages, recalling some paragraphs. Touch screens and swipes just aren’t the same. Tucking in receipts, pieces of paper with notes, an occasional real bookmark, maybe a postcard, a bus ticket, or a photograph, then finding all of this years later. What am I supposed to do with a Kindle that feels the same way? Glue stickers in layers and then peel them off?

But at this point in life, for my purposes, and for my current goals, I have enough. I have enough classics to occupy me for years. I have enough modern literature and non-fiction, bought, downloaded, and bought and downloaded to keep me entertained and out of a bookshop. One day I will be back, and fingers crossed this day will come soon, but for now I’ll stick to my shelves, pretending that I’m browsing a store or a library. Certainly my delusions are powerful enough to handle this assignment.

Lists Reading

what I’m reading; Q4 2023

As I have mentioned in this post, I’ve always read more than one book at a time. My ‘sweet spot’ is around 10 books, not including daily devotionals, textbooks, and several – plenty – “text with pictures” (comics, manga, webtoons, etc.). However, sometimes I lose sight of that “sweet spot”, and end up starting 60 books at the same time. Not even exaggerating. I mean, the list below is an honest one.

My usual method of prioritisation is to knock out the ones that are closer to being done. Once the books have all about the same amount of pages left in them, I just randomly pick one, because if I concentrate too much on the choice, I go into a stupour and get no reading done at all. If I am not in the mood for a story, I’ll choose non-fiction.

I separated this list into four categories – ebooks, paper books, audiobooks, and ‘text with pictures’. Other than that there’s no rhyme or reason. I just wanted a public record of it. I think I’ll also make a similar list for the shows (which will be shorter), and moving forward I’ll post an updated list for both books and shows every quarter. This time I omitted derivative works (doujinshi; fanfiction), because there isn’t anything long that I’m reading in that department, so I usually finish them in one go. I also haven’t included any textbooks or workbooks, because obviously those would be ongoing if I’m currently studying something.

Once more: There’s absolutely no order to this madness. I read in several languages, too. The list is in English for convenience.

(Links are Amazon affiliate links. I am currently earning no commission, but I would like to get to the earning point.)

(Before we go any further: I’m an adult who reads things intended for adults. I do not provide ratings here, but proceed with caution, and verify you’re of age in your territory. Also, some subjects may be triggering. I do not provide content warnings either.)

ebooks, mostly Kindle

I have two e-readers, both old generation. Lately, though, I’ve mostly been reading on my phone, and also on my monitor at work.

  1. Your Money or Your Life; Vicki Robin
  2. Confessions of a Sociopath; M.E. Thomas
  3. Daily Magic; Judika Iles
  4. Religion and the Decline of Magic; Keith Thomas
  5. The Body in the Dales; J.R. Ellis
  6. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes; Suzanne Collins
  7. Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living; Melusine Draco
  8. Shadow of Night; Debora Harkness
  9. 2022 Witches Companion
  10. The Duke & I; Julia Quin
  11. Happier at Home; Gretchen Rubin
  12. Wintering; Katherine May
  13. The Spell Book of a Wicked Witch; Thalia Thorne
  14. Meghan and Harry; Lady Colin Campbell
  15. Hoodoo Book of Spells for Beginners; Layla Moon
  16. Green Witchcraft for the Kitchen Witch; Misty Kinsman
  17. Think and Grow Rich; Napoleon Hill
  18. Daily Joy
  19. Witchcraft for the Home; Mystic Dylan
  20. The Daily Stoic; Ryan Holid
  21. Everyday Witchcraft; Deborah Blake
  22. Everyday Food in War Time; Mary Swartz Rose
  23. Women; Charles Bukowski
  24. Hide in Plain Sight; Marta Perry
  25. The Goddess is in the Details; Deborah Blake

Paper Books

  1. Slow Boat to China; Haruki Murakami
  2. 100 Years of Solitude; Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  3. Triptych; Karin Slaughter
  4. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry; Fredrik Backman
  5. The Girl on the Train; Paula Hawkins
  6. The Secret; Rhonda Byrne
  7. Stardust; Neil Gaiman
  8. Modern Girl’s Guide to Working 9 to 5; Ada Adverse
  9. A Life on Our Planet; David Attenborough
  10. Dandelion Wine; Ray Bradbury
  11. The Door into Summer; Robert A. Heinlein
  12. Broken Homes; Ben Aaronovitch
  13. What Could Possibly Go Wrong; Jeremy Clarkson
  14. Second Chance for a First Impression – a Coco Chanel biograhy
  15. Cozy; Isabel Gillies
  16. The Kitchen Diaries; Nigel Slater
  17. The Ink Black Heart; Robert Galbraith
  18. Selected Poems; Rabindranath Tagore
  19. The Setting Sun; Osamu Dazai
  20. To Let; John Galsworthy

That’s not all of them, but others I’m just about 10-15 pages in, so I won’t count them as “currently reading” for the sake of this post.

Audiobooks & Podcasts

This is the smallest list of all – basically, not a list – because I don’t really do audiobooks. I pick a random one to accompany me when I’m cleaning or doing some menial tasks, but other than that I read with me eyes. I’m not very good at processing audible information, my mind’s too easily distracted from listening unless my hands are moving.

  1. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe; Fannie Flagg

Text with Pictures

Here, I have left a comment if the series is completed or ongoing, and for ongoing I also noted if I’m catching up to the current chapter, or if I’m just reading as new chapters are getting published. For manga, I usually read new chapters whenever they’re published as a volume. For webtoons, if I started it in early stages, then I’ll probably read it whenever a new chapter goes out. Sometimes I wait until there are several chapters published and we have at least some resolution to an overly dramatic arc – or I just want to have a longer reading session, and one episode doesn’t do it for me. If the story has been going on for a while or is completed, but it’s a recent discovery for me, it might take me a while to catch up, because I try to read legally as much as possible (sometimes it is honestly not possible because of the territory I’m in), and if I were to catch up on ALL THE STORIES, I – and most importantly, my cats – would have nothing to eat.

  1. Wild Eyes – completed; catching up
  2. Blind Play – completed; catching up
  3. Honey Trouble – ongoing; catching up
  4. The Oiran Marionette – ongoing; catching up
  5. Doppio Senso – ongoing; catching up
  6. 29 Years Old, Single, Living with the CEO – completed; catching up
  7. Mad Place – ongoing; catching up
  8. Heart Racer – ongoing; catching up
  9. Penthouse XXX – completed; catching up
  10. Pearl Boy – completed; catching up
  11. One Small Step – completed; catching up
  12. BJ Alex – completed; catching up
  13. Low Tide in Twilight – ongoing; season hiatus; caught up
  14. Shutline – ongoing; catching up
  15. The Beast Must Die – completed; catching up
  16. Love Me Not – ongoing; catching up
  17. The Ghost’s Nocturne – ongoing; catching up
  18. Smyrna and Capri – ongoing; catching up
  19. The Unquenchable Mr Kim – completed; catching up
  20. The Dangerous Convenience Store – ongoing; catching up
  21. Cover-up – completed; catching up
  22. Kill Me if You Can – ongoing; catching up
  23. Full Volume – side stories ongoing, catching up; main story completed, caught up
  24. Between the Lines – ongoing; catching up
  25. House of Desire – ongoing; catching up
  26. Painter of the Night – completed (? author teased possible fifth season <3); catching up
  27. Limited Run – ongoing; catching up
  28. The Third Perspective – completed; catching up
  29. Steel Under Silk – ongoing; catching up
  30. Speak of the Devil – ongoing; catching up
  31. Payback – ongoing; caught up
  32. Beasts of Desire – ongoing; catching up
  33. Mary Jane – ongoing; catching up
  34. Jinx – ongoing; caught up
  35. Yours to Claim – ongoing; catching up
  36. Winter Wolf – ongoing; caught up
  37. Placebo – ongoing; caught up
  38. Define the Relationship – ongoing; caught up
  39. Cry Me a River – ongoing; caught up
  40. Beware the Ides of March – ongoing; season hiatus; caught up
  41. Instant Family – ongoing; caught up
  42. Opposites Attract – ongoing; catching up
  43. Love History Caused By Willful Negligence – ongoing; caught up
  44. Yakuza in Love – completed; catching up
  45. Lifeless Man – completed; catching up
  46. No Reason – completed; catching up
  47. Carry Me to Paradise – ongoing; catching up
  48. Love On My Terms – completed; catching up
  49. Love Level Up – long hiatus; catching up
  50. Legs That Won’t Walk – ongoing; catching up
  51. Matchstick 20 – completed; catching up
  52. Business Performance – ongoing; catching up
  53. Lady K and the Sick Man – completed; catching up
  54. Under the Oak Tree – ongoing; caught up
  55. Jujutsu Kaisen – ongoing; catching up
  56. Tokyo Ghoul – completed; catching up
  57. Sailormoon – completed; reread (this is my ‘security blanket’ of a story, I often rewatch or reread it)
  58. NANA – long-ass hiatus; reread
  59. Love and Let Lie – ongoing; catching up
  60. Oh! My Assistant – completed; catching up
  61. The Duke and the Tutor – completed; catching up
  62. Under the Green Light – ongoing; catching up
  63. Tadano Renai Nanka de Kikkonai – completed (I think); catching up
  64. The Way of the House Husband – ongoing; catching up
  65. The Boy and the Wolf – ongoing; catching up
  66. Lend Me Your Lips – ongoing; catching up