In which I explain my OCD reading habits.

A Real Conversation with my Husband

Me: Sigh. You can only have 15 holds at the library at once.

Him: Heavy sigh.

Me: Can I put 15 holds on your—

Him: NO.

Backstory: According to Goodreads, I’m currently in the middle of eleven books. This includes one book of poetry, four books that are being held captive by the library and holds system, and five that I own. (Was very recently six, plus another library book, but I finished those.)

Anyhow… I was wanting to start Tiger’s Curse, because he bought it for me for Valentine’s Day (along with Sapphique, the sequel to Incarceron, which I loved so much I was tempted to buy Sapphique from the UK Amazon) (Yes, I know I’m lucky.) Then I made the mistake of explaining to him why I fall into the trap of reading more than one book at a time—generally either because one is slow but fascinating, I’ve misplaced the book, or yes, it needs to go back to the library and I haven’t finished it.

I then made the further mistake of explaining to him HOW I read multiple books at one time. Basically, I line whichever books I have up by order of date that I started them (This obviously does not include books taken back to the library unfinished. It does, however, include books that are misplaced.), and then I pick one book as the “A” book, or the Alpha book, I guess. What I mean by this, is that I pick a book that I can read straight through if I wish to, then whenever I want to turn to something else, there’s a set rotation I have to follow. The Alpha book is either a book that I’m particularly hooked to, or a book that I’m bribing myself through, because it’s interesting, but other books are far more interesting. After the Alpha book has been assigned, I read through the books in order, one chapter at a time. If the Alpha book isn’t super great, or great-but-not-insanely-greater-than-the-other-books, my reading pattern is decided for me. With letters assigned to titles for ease of explanation, it reads a bit like a complicated poetry scheme:


I have siderules, also. Of course. Because I’m just that crazy.

#1) Once a book is in Alpha position, it must stay there until it is completed. (For exceptions, see Rule #5)

#2) If there is no Alpha position, chapters read ABCDEABCDE, etc. (Yes, I know there’s still an A there, but now it’s just another letter.)

#3) In most cases* a book cannot be added unless another book is finished.

#4) No book can be moved to the Alpha position on its first round.  This means if I’m in the middle of a round when I start a new book, I must finish that round and read through another full round before the new book can be given the Alpha position. Except:

#5) Library books are automatically given Alpha position. This means that any book that was acting as Alpha now goes back into line. This is the only time an Alpha book can be taken away from its Alpha position without being finished. When the library book is finished, assuming the other book is not, it moves back into Alpha position.

#6) (This is a new one) These rules apply only to physical copies of books.

#6a) I am allowed to have ONE of each: 1) an audio book for when I’m doing stuff with my hands but my mind is free 2) a book on my phone to read when I have no other books available to me, and 3) an ebook on my computer.

#6b) I can use the same book for all three devices if I choose, but cannot read a secondary book on any of the devices, even if all three are the same.

*This rule excludes library books and long-time favorite authors’ new books.

Understandably, my husband demanded that I put a stop to the insanity. He withheld Tiger’s Curse from me until I at least get down to 3 books (physical… he agrees with me on the techie side of things, yay!) but I think I’ll let myself get down to two, and read two at once… that’s usually my goal, one Alpha, and one to string along… I don’t know.

Anybody else out there read in completely obsessive-compulsive ways?

New Spin on Vamp Books?

Or maybe I should say… books about vampires that I actually WANT to read?!

Because I DO. Oh I do.  There have been not one, but two vampire books that have caught my attention in the past couple of days that I just… want. Is it because they promise more Edward-Cullen-esque smolder?  Nah… I was always a Jacob Black fangirl, thanks very much. (Not that I don’t like Edward… I just get sick of him easy).

So why do I want to read these books?  Because I think they are a brilliant response to the flood of vampire books that have been well—everywhere. I did say flood, right?  Right.

Book Number One: Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney

Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls.

Awkward and allergic to the sun, sixteen-year-old Finbar Frame never gets the girl. But when he notices that all the female students at his school are obsessed with a vampire romance novel called Bloodthirsty, Finbar decides to boldly go where no sane guy has gone before–he becomes a vampire, minus the whole blood sucking part. With his brooding nature and weirdly pale skin, it’s surprisingly easy for Finbar to pretend to be paranormal. But, when he meets the one girl who just might like him for who he really is, he discovers that his life as a pseudo-vampire is more complicated than he expected. This hilarious debut novel is for anyone who believes that sometimes even nice guys-without sharp teeth or sparkly skin–can get the girl.



I think this is brilliant.  I admit, I was hooked from the first three sentences. SUCH a smart pitch! I would LOVE to read this book, and it is definitely on my TBR list.

Book Number Two: Fat Vampire by Adam Rex.

Doug Lee is undead quite by accident—attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night. But it’s just not the same.

Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her—hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her. But like the laws of life, love, and high school, the laws of vampire existence are complicated—it’s not as easy as studying Dracula. Especially when the star of Vampire Hunters is hot on your trail in an attempt to boost ratings. . . .

Searing, hilarious, and always unexpected, Fat Vampire is a satirical tour de force from one of the most original writers of fiction today.

I actually like the summary on the back much better, but that’ll do.  Again, a brilliant twist on vampire-mania. I saw this idea toyed with on the short-lived show Moonlight (Oh hai, second Jason Dohring TV show that cancelled on me way too soon.) (Bitter? Who me?) but this novel promises a much more in-depth approach to the idea of being fifteen and awkward… forever.  I was hooked at the tag-line: “A Never Coming of Age Story.” I couldn’t help but  think how poignant that was. A critic quote on the back of the book makes it clear that this isn’t just a satire, either, but a rich full story that’ll make you hurt and laugh. I so want to read it.
The thing that gets my goat? These ideas aren’t far-fetched or even particularly ground-breaking. What they are, are great examples of taking something that’s been done to death (or undeath, if you will! I’m all about the side-comments tonight, hm?) and spun them on their head, attacking them from a different, original angle. Something not like the piles of vampire books that line the romance and YA shelves at Barnes & Noble.  They don’t just make a mockery of the genre either, though… they’ve found good, legitimate reasons for hitting a subgenre from the side and turning it into something new. And I think that’s brilliant.