But it isn't enough, see, to have that pile in front of me, as compelling and satisfying as it is to have enough to read.
I have joined three groups of bookcrossers who share books through "book boxes". One book box is virtual: we all listed three books we are willing to share, then each in turn got to choose what they wanted from the box and replace the ones we took with the same number of additional books. I have given away a number through that box and have received two, as I recall (I wasn't as interested in what others had to offer as they were in what I offered).
The other two book boxes are actual. One was waiting for me when I came home from my Thanksgiving trip. I immediately chose four from the group, the best I could find in there. And frankly, there were some dogs in there - a Readers Digest condensed books copy, f'rinstance, and a mystery I chose that was falling apart. I did my valiant best to tape it together but I do not think it's worth offering to anyone else. It might be best to recycle it, in fact. I think some people use book boxes as a way to get rid of junk, frankly. They put in junk and take out pearls.
I replaced the books I took with four decent ones, good quality fiction. I sent that box on its way to the next person yesterday. That same day I picked up the second book box from my mail box. This book box is different. It is called the "every one's a (prize) winner" book box. Every book in there either had to win a prize or be written by someone who has won literary prizes or be a runner-up. So I wanted almost all of them. I have really been struggling because I have given away almost every decent book that I don't intend to keep and have read, so I only had a few to offer.
So I sit here with a pile of five that I want to keep and three that I have to offer. I would actually like to take a couple more, making my shortage even worse. So I am going to do what many others do: find more books to trade. I'll go to the library to see what books they are selling first. Then I might go to a thrift shop, one where I have found decent-quality books before, and see what I can get there. I hate to admit that the used book store is the last place I would go because of the prices they charge. Still, it might be good to go there to pick up one or two copies of books I have already read. See, that's what I want: books I have already read. Otherwise I will feel compelled to read them before I send them on.
This quandary, of course, allows me to avoid doing what I should do first. That damned to-do list has stuff on it I prefer to forget.