Jessica Day George

Monday, September 14, 2009


I have a leetle problem. A problem called S.A.B.L.E., or Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. This term was coined (to the best of my knowledge) by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot. It refers to having more yarn stashed in your house than you can reasonably knit in your lifetime. Now, I am a knitter, and I do have a hoard-- excuse me, STASH-- of yarn in my basement. But that's not the stash that's gotten out of control. If I bought no more yarn for a year, I could probably knit up what I've got down there and be fine. No, I have a different kind of stash.

It's books.

Two kinds of books.

The ones written by other people, and the ones in my head waiting to be written by me. This second stash bothers me with a sort of gentle nagging in the back of my head. I came up with a book idea just last night, for instance. I'll write it down in a minute, and that's great, but when will I actually get to write that book? I have over twenty books waiting to be finished. Over twenty. And no time to work on any of them, it seems like. I fully expect to die and leave behind a rich legacy of unpublished genius. Whoever they hire to ghostwrite these little darlings had better be good. . .

But anyway.

What's really staring me in the face right now is the other stash. The books by other people. I own a lot of books. I mean, a LOT of books. Occasionally I try to count them, or catalogue them, but I never make it all the way through. Yep, that's a lot of books, I think, I' rather read one of them than keep counting. . . and I wander off with a book in hand. I receive books as presents, I buy them for myself, I pick up things at library sales, I get advanced reader copies from friends and publishers. And now I've reached the point where, if I never add another book to the shelf, never go to the library, and never reread a book, I could go for YEARS on just the books in my house. But wait! How could I contemplate not getting books for my birthday and Christmas? I shudder at the thought! Think of all the new shiny books coming out this year! And the year after! Who knows what riches lie in store? And I'm currently hooked on the M.C. Beaton Hamish MacBeth mysteries, and the House of Night series, which I've been getting from the library! I can't stop reading those! Right this minute my love-worn copy of The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams is sitting at my elbow, because I decided to go for some comfort reading on our vacation last week and reread the Greatest Fantasy Series Ever, and I'm not even done with the first book yet.

So if we add in all the books on my Wish List, all the books I've been hankering to reread, upcoming books . . . well, friends, we've got S.A.B.L.E. On the one hand, it's comforting to know that I will never be without a good book. On the other hand . . . WHAT IF I DIE BEFORE SANDERSON FINISHES THE WHEEL OF TIME?!