Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Confessions


Top Ten Tuesday is a wildly popular weekly meme hosted by the talented folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. Check out their blog to see what scores of other book bloggers came up with for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday.

I’ve been blogging for over two and a half years now, and most of the writing I do about books is pretty tame. However, if I were to have – like Dorian Gray – a second blog that I kept locked in the attic with a screen over it, these are some of the things that would be posted on it…


Bookish confessions:

1. I once used an old textbook as a coaster(!) I know, I know, it’s horrendous, but – if you knew my landlord at the time, NOT using a coaster may have led to an even hotter eternal damnation. Honorable mention here goes to the fact that I almost burned my Economics textbook in college.

2. I’ve never read any of the following: Ulysses, Sense and Sensibility, Don Quixote, Little Women, The Grapes of Wrath, Catcher in the Rye, etc. etc. See the Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels of All Time for another fifty or sixty. Fortunately, this list is getting shorter.

3. I have well over six hundred books in my house about one subject – chess. (I used to have a problem) In my defense (as if that statement were defensible!) I used to only have about half that many, but about ten years ago bought a fellow chess addict’s entire library when he was strapped for cash. I assumed he would buy them back at some point, but not yet.

4. I actually read “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Just the first book. It was written horribly enough that I didn’t go on. It had just become popular, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Sometimes this works out (e.g., Hunger Games, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) but sometimes it doesn’t.

5. I have so many books at my house I sometimes (well, often) can’t find one I’m looking for. Catcher in the Rye? The Great Gatsby? Hemingway’s short stories? Where, oh, where are you?!?

6. I am unable to listen to audio books while commuting back and forth to work. I envy people who are able to do this. Me, I’m just trying to “stay alive on I-465.”

7. I have books that people loaned me that I never returned. The opposite of this is also true. (Does that make it right?)

8. I am, for being an otherwise reasonably intelligent man, a pretty damn slow reader. I hate this.

9. I once hated reading about Greek and Roman mythology. (it was because I was being forced to read it for fifth or sixth grade when I wanted to be doing other things) I still can picture that onerous blue-covered edition of Bullfinch’s Mythology. Of course (happy ending), I love it now. I even was a Classics Minor in college.

10. Speaking of college, it’s time for my worst confession. My senior year I took a really neat class in medieval and middle English literature. I had a really weighty textbook for it that was chock full of some of the great works. Shakespeare, Chaucer, Beowulf, etc. Between the time of my last class and graduation, I sold it back to the bookstore so my fraternity brothers and I would have more money to buy beer.

Well, thats it. Guess I’ll see you “in the fires” – as Johnny Cash would sing.

What about you? Do you have any bookish confessions you’d like to make? It’s good for your bookish soul. Do you feel a little bit better about yours now??



  1. Nancy said,

    August 28, 2012 at 8:17 am

    The 10th confession provoked a lot of question and exclamation marks alternating each other, but numerous nevertheless. And it made me smile because I did the same thing, but not for beer; I sold a couple of pretty good books so I could get a new pair of shoes. Patience for a college kid is not exactly a virtue (as if that statement were defensible, if I am to echo what you said). 😀 You have a very interesting list here; I found myself nodding in agreement to some of the items.


    • Jay said,

      August 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Nancy,
      Number 10 is probably the source of more remorse for me (today) than anything else I did (or failed to do) during my college years.


  2. Risa said,

    August 28, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Wow! Have you read all those chess books? Does having over 600 of them help your game. I find it very difficult to comprehend….

    And I’m an incredibly slow reader too. I don’t mind though…I like to savour and ponder over everything I read. 😀


    • Jay said,

      August 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Risa,
      I don’t mind being slow from the savoring standpoint, I just wish I were faster so that I could read more books. 🙂

      I’ve probably only read (in the traditional sense) about 25-35 of the chess books. Most are for reference (I.e. how should you play with the black pieces against the Velimorovic Attack in the Sicilian Defense, etc., etc. – pretty esoteric stuff). A couple of the boxes I bought from my friend I haven’t even opened. Gasp! – I guess I’m just assuming there really are books in them! 🙂


  3. Jane said,

    August 28, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Hilarious Jay. Got my morning off to a good start! 600 books on chess alone…Wow


    • Jay said,

      August 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Glad I could help. 🙂 (As I said, I used to have a “problem”)


  4. August 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Your final confession made me giggle a bit. I’ve definitely sold books to get cash back, and I’m sure some of that cash went toward beer or wine, but I can tell this was traumatic for you! Now I want to hear the full story about your economics textbook. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your TTT!


    • Jay said,

      August 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Taryn,
      Thanks for visiting Bibliophilopolis. Well, since you asked, Economics was my most hated class of my entire college career. I think I even got a “D” in it. I remember very little about it accept the professor was horribly boring, and spoke in barely a mumble. When he would pause to ponder a question, he would hold the piece of chalk he would write on the board with vertically against his upper lip and below his nose. By the end of each class, he would be sporting a kind of “negative image” Hitler mustache. I stopped going to class and rationalized, “I’ll just cram for and ace the final.” I passed, but when I was cramming I hated it so much that I swore to my friends, “After this final, this book is going in the fire!” Either I was talked out of it or came to my senses. Maybe I was remembering Harrison Ford’s anti book-burning rant in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade… 🙂

      P.S. I once read a book titled “Taran Wanderer” by Lloyd Alexander. Is that a coincidence?


  5. August 28, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Oh, Jay, it makes me sad that you can’t listen to audiobooks! Keep trying. They may lower your blood pressure in traffic!


    • Jay said,

      August 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Okay, I promise I will make another attempt. Maybe I can do it on the mornings I go in early and traffic is lighter… 🙂


  6. Carmen B. said,

    August 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Haha, I’d rather use a textbook for a coaster than a novel ^^” I can also empathize with wanting to burn your economics textbook since I hated that subject when I had to take it. And number 10 made me laugh, even though it’s a pity or all that Shakespeare…

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier 🙂


    • Jay said,

      August 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Carmen,
      It’s funny, but I recently considered going back to school for another degree (my company offers tuition reimbursement) and I was going to choose Economics (since it’s related to my line of work) but thankfully I came to my senses. 🙂


  7. Dale said,

    August 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I almost did my own top ten list, but I couldn’t think of enough. I use books as coasters all the time. I read all four of the Twilight books. If there is a book that everyone else has read that I haven’t it would probably be Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander (including Taran Wanderer) – my favorite series when I was a kid! I have very fond memories of those books!


    • Jay said,

      August 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Dale,
      Well, you are one of at least TWO who haven’t read Hitchiker’s Guide… (and everyone tells me that I’ll love it, too!)

      Ah, The Prydain Chronicles… I grew up with them too. Probably read them three or four times.

      As for the Twilight books, I think you should be granted a dispensation, since you could say it was your parental duty to have read them (?)


  8. August 29, 2012 at 2:43 am

    I feel your pain about the list of books you “ought” to have read. It’s a lengthy list for me as well, but I’m also trying to narrow that gap!


    • Jay said,

      August 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks for the visit & comment, Caitlin! Off to read your list now… 🙂


  9. Tomo said,

    August 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

    My confession involves a copy of James Myers Thompson’s novel, “The Getaway.”

    When I discover that an interesting movie that I have enjoyed has been adapted from a novel I make an effort to read the story so as to probe the depths of character development, actions, or plot etc. Having seen both Hollywood theatrical releases of “The Getaway” I jumped at the opportunity to buy a paperback edition at Half Priced Bookstores marked at $1.

    A book for a buck ya can’t go wrong!

    Wrong is right! Apparently Mr. Thompson decided either to go on the drunk of a lifetime or an acid trip before completing this ‘Cops and Robbers’ work and turned the story into an episode of the “Twilight Zone.”

    Enraged, by the author’s betrayal I tore the paperback into shreds and tossed the pieces into the trash where the book belonged with the other garbage as compost.


    • Jay said,

      August 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Well, Tom, I’m glad you’ve calmed down now. (You have, haven’t you?) 🙂 I find it’s often true that books and movies ruing ‘each other’ for their counterpart.


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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: