Ten Book Related Problems I Have

Top Ten TuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday from our friends over at The Broke and The Bookish is ten book related problems I have. Here we have five problems I do have, and five problems I’m happy not to have.

Five Problems I Have

Teenagers who don’t appreciate books.
I think I did a video once (I can’t find it) about what not to do to books just because I watched my 8th graders do these things to and/or around books that I own. Like eating hot Cheetos. Or laying on them. Things that they were never taught about how to treat a book (or something that belongs to someone else). NOTE: This doesn’t apply to all of my students.

Keeping my students reading once they leave my class. 
I am notorious for handing book after book to a student. When one of my students finished Thirteen Reasons Why last week and wanted another book “like that,” I brought her a crate of books to choose from. But when they don’t have someone to do that, and there are limited options for procuring books outside of school…

Having too many books/not enough bookshelf space/bookshelves that are falling apart.
Tracie and I are in the market for new bookshelves. Here are the two in our bedroom. She dislikes them because the books go every which way and therefore are not in an order that makes sense to her. I dislike them because the books go every which way and I’d like them to be in straight rows (I put them in their places so I can find things fairly easily).

The current state of our bookshelves. We might need more book space.

A photo posted by Eli (@thebooksupplier) on Feb 16, 2015 at 6:56pm PST


Too many books, not enough time.
I’m sure lots of people have this one. And advantage – it takes me an hour to get to work every day. . Audiobooks are amazing time fillers. My carpool is listening to Insurgent (one of my mates finds Tris to be insufferable, but she still wants to hear the end). Although lately I’ve been using that time to write Feature Shelf instead of reading…

Balancing the desire to reread with the desire to read new things.
I’m dealing with this right now by not rereading, which is unfortunate.  I’m in the place where I need some Harry Potter in my life. I also want to reread More Than This by Patrick Ness and Red Glass (which will appear in Thursday’s Feature Shelf) by Laura Resau.  But I also want to read more Nnedi Okorafor. And I want to read more Marissa Meyer. And, yeah. So I’m reading the new things. BTW, Akata Witch is awesome.

Five Problems I’m Happy Not to Have

My partner doesn’t read.
I’m so happy I don’t have this problem. For some, I realize, having a partner who doesn’t read is not a problem, but I’ve dated non-readers before. Because reading is such a big part of my life, I’m glad that Tracie reads. And I’m even more glad that we read a lot of the same things. I’m also glad that we read different things. It makes for great conversation.

My town has a crappy library.
I think that’s self-explanatory. I’m not saying that the library in my town is great. It’s nothing compared to the library in Indianapolis, but it’s better than the one in the town I used to live in.

My town doesn’t have a bookstore.
I lived in a town from 2006 to 2014 that did not have a bookstore. I am glad that is no longer the case.

Can’t find other bookish people to talk to.
I heard an episode of Dear Book Nerd about this sometime last year. I’m thankful for the blogsphere, for book tube, for the other reading teachers and authors I follow on Twitter, and for my online book club. It’s awesome to have the opportunity to engage with other readers. Oh, and I can’t forget my IRL friends. They’re awesome, too.

I can’t find books that represent my experience.
This has been a huge conversation in the book world lately. I’m so glad that it’s a conversation in the book world.  I remember being a kid and going to X-pressions bookstore after church on Sunday – a bookstore that sold books and art by Black authors. I didn’t really realize how important that would be later on. Now, with all the conversations about diversity, I’m happy to have access to books that reflect my experience, and books that reflect experiences different from mine. True, there were a lot of books that I read as an adult that I wish I’d had as a teenager when things were all messed up and I couldn’t figure them out. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I can hand books to students who need them like I needed them. That, in and of itself, is awesome.

What book related problems do you have? 


  1. My students are 5th and 6th graders and some of what they do to the school library books makes me cringe.
    Also, my town doesn’t have the best library and there is no bookstore either. 😦 It is terrible.


    • It is. I still teach in the town where I used to live and it’s such a tough thing to encourage students to read when there’s little going on in the community to support. I feel your book pain.


  2. I like your approach – the problems you have and the ones you’re happy not to have. And I love it that you’re so passionate about getting kids to read and appreciate books. That’s something I feel strongly about, too, though I’m no longer a teacher. I loved getting my students excited about books, though – often through reading aloud to them, something most of them hadn’t experienced since they were really little. (It was a private school, so most of them probably did get read to at least sometimes when they were younger.)


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