What’s 746 books all about then?

417522_10151020332211589_1679697183_nMy name is Cathy. I am a 40-something mother of 7 year old twins who loves buying books.

I am addicted to buying books of all types; real proper books, second hand books, borrowed books, books for Kindle, books for iPad….
In 2013 I realised this madness could not continue, so I set myself a challenge. I counted all the unread books in my house and it came to 746.

It was frightening.

What was even more frightening is that I didn’t count the unread books that are packed away in boxes in the attic and have been since we moved house, 17 YEARS AGO. Nor did I count the books that belonged to my father that have been in storage for the last 4 YEARS. Plus, I didn’t factor in books of my husband’s that I’ve been meaning to read as well. But 746 books was what I had to hand, and 746 was where I started.

In the last year preceeding my challenge, I read 36 books. Continuing at this, let’s face it, not very inspiring rate, meant that it would take me 20.72 years to read everything I have in the house. I’ll be 63. Bloody hell.

So, I decided to stop. Since that day I haven’t bought myself any books. I do allow myself bookish gifts, publisher’s ARCs and the occasional library trip, but I have stopped buying and am reading and reviewing from my mountainous TBR pile!

I am also passionate about Irish Literature and host the annual Reading Ireland Month in March. Click on the Irish Literature section to see news and reviews about the exciting work coming from Ireland. Each month I focus on a writer from Northern Ireland and you can check those reviews out in my Northern Exposure series.

I work full time as the Arts Programmer at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy where my compulsive reading is seen as a transferable skill! I review theatre for the Irish entertainment website No More Workhorse and have taken part in the Belfast Book Festival, Dalkey Book Festival and Jaipur Literature Festival in India.

You can follow my progress on Twitter @cathy746books or email me at cmac2708@yahoo.co.uk

267 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Hi Cathy! I landed here from Marina Sofia’s blog. I’ve not counted my unread books, but I must be in the same situation- problem is, I can’t stop myself from buying yet more, I cheat by buying ebooks so there’s no evidence… Pleased to meet you, Marina

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Cathy! My name is Aya, and I am a fellow book blogger. I was wondering if you’d be interested in participating in a small project that I am doing. I wanted to ask a bunch of bloggers (49, to be exact :p), to give me one of their favorite book quotes. I’m going to compile them all in one post and then post it on my blog on the 22nd of this month. It’d be fantastic if you would be a part of this. Just let me know by this Sunday, please, so that I have plenty of time to compile and/or ask someone else. Thank you!
    P.S. You are the 48th blogger to be asked!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christ is Risen!
    Hi Kathy, just discovered your site thanks to your interview of BookerTalk, a favorite book blogger of mine. I realize you follow my Orthodox blog, which has so far so few posts… and a few other Orthodox blogs! Are you Orthodox?
    Otherwise http://wordsandpeace.com is my “profane” book blog.
    Matushka Emma

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Cathy, I just stumbled across your blog via your 20 books of summer challenge (I’m joining in with 10 books myself). I have also made a no-more-book-buying pledge, although mine is only for the remainder of 2017 (if I’m successful I may allow myself to buy a FEW books as a prize and then continuing the challenge in 2018). But your plan is awe-inspiring! 746 is a very large number. I hope you can do it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have over 1,000 unread books on my Kindles as well. But it’s funny, they’re all present in my mind somehow and I keep rescuing them from oblivion when the right time comes (when I research something or go through my folders searching for certain kinds of books). And yes, I still buy books, both ebooks and paperbacks 🙂 But I have to say I have lots of DNF books. But then there again, the funny thing is that I’ll be reminded of a book I began and start at the beginning again and finish it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I found a link to your website over at Thom’s blog, The Immortal Jukebox. Good luck with your reading project. I’m impressed with your determination and your taste in books.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cathy, am in same predicament as you and many on the post. Just can’t stop buying books from Charity shops and second hand bookshops. You have inspired me to at least count my stock and then maybe I will set myself a target for the winter! Betty

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve made me fee so much better! I counted my books a while ago and found out of them over two hundred were unread. I now see that is nothing to worry about and it’s fine for me to accumulate a few more, ha haa!! 😀


  9. Hi Cathy! I came across your blog through a comment you left on Bibliobeth’s recent post – what an incredible project you’ve got on your hands here!! Looking forward to poking around a little bit and seeing how you’re doing 😉


  10. Oh my gosh the unending book collection…I know this well. I too have books from family members, and more than enough of them are ambitious ideas based more on curiosity than a real desire to read THAT book. I wind up thinking, well if it weren’t for this book I’d never even think to read this subject/book/author, so I better hold on to this so I remember to. 😉 Oh dear… Awesome project you’ve embarked on, best of reading to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: