Like many avid readers I used to rush out and buy a book title that sounded good. Maybe a fellow blogger raved about a recent read. Perhaps I listen to an author interview on NPR or sometimes a professional review moved me to try a new author. Often though, by the time I got around to reading the book, it no longer held appeal to me. I used to have a lot of books on my TBR shelf waiting to be read, yet the pile never seemed to go down, it just grew until the books flowed down to the floor and tucked into odd places around the house. Now I have a “wish list” spreadsheet where I place titles that sound good yet I hesitate to buy or order from the library.
I go through my wish list now and again looking to see if the titles still appeal to me. Sometimes they do, but honestly a lot of times they do not. This has saved me money and time and is working well for me. Just this week I found sometimes it pays to put off purchasing a new release.
A few years ago I came across a review for Henry Grunwald’s A Saint More or Less:
In 1594, Nicole Tavernier arrived in Paris, claiming to be on a mission from God. Her knowledge of Scripture impressed skeptical clerics, and her reputation for working miracles won over a populace ravaged by bloody religious conflict. Nicole joined the household of Barbe Acarie, a Parisian woman renowned for her piety and holiness. The two became fixtures in the streets of Paris, journeying every day to the hospital to tend to the sick and dying. But four years later, Barbe dismissed Nicole, claiming that she was a fraud. After undergoing a harrowing exorcism, Nicole traveled to Reims, where she ultimately married. Barbe Acarie was proposed for sainthood shortly after her death, but Nicole has been largely forgotten. From the scant facts known about the intersection of these two remarkable lives, Grunwald has crafted a rich and compelling novel about the meaning of faith and the limits of holiness. Was Nicole a saint or a fraud? Grunwald’s subtle narrative suggests that there may be less of a division than we think between those who doubt and those who believe
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
I held off on buying it because though it sounded good I did not want to buy a hardback written by an unfamiliar author. I held onto the review for 5 years, actually I forgot all about the review until I found it while moving my desk into my den. Yes, now that my son is gone I have the den all to myself! I read the review again and wondered if I could find the book on Paperback Swap. I love PBS because it more than any other online book swapping site, has saved me hundreds of dollars. Sure enough, not only was it available on the site I snagged a hardback copy! Yes, I added to my large TBR pile, but at least I am quite certain it is a title I will read.