I am a major bibliophile. I have been all my life. When I was potty training, I had a stack of Golden books on the toilet tank. I would 'read' them for hours. My parents had to threaten to take them away if I didn't get off the pot. Actually, my parents threatened to take away my books all the way until high school. I always had my nose in a book, often (in my parents' opinion) to the detriment of chores, social interaction, and other activities. With so many kids that HATE to read, it's hard to imagine a parent needing to limit a child's reading time! Before I started knitting in earnest, reading was my main hobby. I still enjoy a good book, but I take my time and really enjoy it now. I have knitting to pass the time!
In all seriousness, I can read a novel in a day. Two days if I have to work. I would go to the library and check out a stack of books - literally - and bring them back a few days later. It is an awesome free service! The problem for a bibliophile is that the book isn't yours. You don't get to keep it. It is gone forever once you take it back. Yes, you can check it out again, but it still isn't in your collection. Sitting in front of the collection and scanning the titles is as good as actually reading.
So, as you can imagine, my collection of books has grown and grown... and grown. It probably doesn't help that I married a bibliophile. We enable each others book collecting something fierce. Almost any topic can be met with the phrase "I read a book on that" or "I have a book about that." Come to think of it, it also doesn't help that I am in a field that I need a vast amount of period research at my fingertips. This is why I have books about the history of the outhouse and decorative finial designs.
What does this have to do with knitting? You didn't think it stopped at research and novels did you? Oh my no! Knitting books - I haz dem. I have vintage ones, new ones, history of ones, stitch dictionaries, easy pattern ones, hard as hell pattern ones, hardcover, softcover, falling apart,.... I could go on. My point is, I have a lot of knitting books.
I have read all my knitting books - cover to cover. Not just the descriptions and intros and useful information sections. I've read the patterns. Beginning to end. Every one. Even the stitch dictionaries. Why? why not? I like to read how each one is constructed, where the needle sizes change, what the designer's idea of body proportion is, and so on. I knit each pattern in my head as I read, making a little three dimensional knitted thing in my head. I always read the parts with unique shaping/ construction multiple times. (It's the best part!) I realize that this might border on insane, but I liken it to reading recipes and imagining how all the flavors will fit together.
Unfortunately, I discovered that I have a lot of books that I have never even knit one pattern from in my collection. This shouldn't bother me as much as it does, I don't think. But, for some reason, this is a REALLY BIG DEAL to me right now. So, I made a list. I love a good list!
When I made the list, last week, I had 32 books on it. (eep) Since then, I have knocked two off. (yay!) I still have 30. 30!! Now, according to my SnB friends, I don't need to count the books I bought as "work research" (i.e. vintage pattern books) or stitch dictionaries. Great!
I still have 25. Crap. So I picked a project from each book. If I make a list, I'll stick to it! (maybe) I totalled the projects up. (this is funny)
on the list are:
5 large lace shawls
3 baby items
7 pair of socks
Now, dear readers, I ask you this, "What are my chances of knitting all of these things before I buy another book?"
secondly, "Since this is impossible for me to do, as I love books too much, and am afraid I'll just buy more magazines to keep having patterns to read, how long should I try to not buy more books before I can claim success?"