Confessions of a promiscuous reader

“I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time.”

~Virginia Woolf, The Letters of Virginia Woolf: Volume Three, 1923-1928

If it’s good enough for Virginia Woolf, it’s good enough for me.

I am what the New Yorker has described as a “promiscuous” reader. Meaning that I read more than one book at a time. Some books I read quickly with great lust. Others I read only in snippets, over the course of a year or two. I may read one chapter of a book, find myself bored, and then abandon it. Some I read over and over again, and keep close at hand for comfort. Then there is that pile of books impatiently waiting to be read. Those books fluster me the most, calling to me, distracting me from what I am currently reading. And so it goes.

In keeping with the new “bookshelfie” trend (more on that later), here are some of the books in my life…currently, planning to, or always reading:


What I’m currently reading:

  • The Spark by Kristine Barnett
  • The Importance of Being Seven by Alexander McCall Smith

What I’m always reading:

  • The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents by Deepak Chopra
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl

What I need to/want to finish:

  • time was soft there by Jeremy Mercer
  • Little Children by Tom Perrotta

Waiting to be read:

  • A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

What’s a “bookshelfie”? It’s the latest social media trend, in which people take a photo of themselves (a “selfie”) in front of their bookshelves, and submit it to Tumblr. For example:


Check out more bookshelfies here. And here, to see cats on bookshelves.

I would love to see Virginia Woolf’s bookshelfie (more on that coming up…).

What do you have on your bookshelf?


  1. Ha, a kindred spirit! I always have books every in the house that I am readng: books for fun and general interest, often ‘golden oldies’ (‘portrait of a country lady’, Edith Holden) something pleasant before sleeping (‘ the pigeon pie mystery’, Julia Stuart) something so pretty (‘oddfellows orphanage, Emily Winfield Martin) and something very serious ( the yellow birds, Kevin Powers)

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