I’ve got 99 problems and at least ten of them are books

Probably not the most original title, but what can you do when the topic for Top Ten Tuesday is Bookish Problems?


1. South Africa, my bleeding heart

I love my country but it is so HARD being a bookworm here! New releases take an age to reach us, books are really expensive because they are taxed, giveaways often don’t include us… meh.

photo3500 (1)2. My country doesn’t read

So it kills me to admit this, but our stats show that only 14% of South Africans are active readers and only 5% of South African parents read to their kids. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO HAVE INTELLIGENT BOOKISH CONVERSATIONS, PEOPLE?!?!*

3. NetGalley

I love the opportunity to read books in advance but I have a few real problems with the platform, not the least of which is publishers approving galleys mere days before they are archived.

4. Bookcases

It’s not an uncommon problem but it’s new to me: I don’t have enough space for all my books. I just recently moved back home for work, and I have significantly less space for books now. Although, having too many books is kind of a nice problem to have.

5. Greed

Now that I’m employed it’s really hard not to buy whatever book my heart desires. I really need NOT buy more books before I’ve read a few of my own but… grabby hands!

6. Letting go/sentimentality

Is this a problem? I don’t think it’s a problem but people say it’s a problem. Should I just give some of my old books away? But they’re mine. All mine!

7. I can’t find my books!

This comes with living in a bigger house now. When I lived in dorms, my books had a limited space in which to disappear. Now they could be in the lounge! The bathroom! The kitchen! The fridge even! (That happened.)

8. Time

Workingย is taking a lot more time than I envisaged. Even though I no longer have to study every night, the commute and other grown-up things are stealing my precious reading time.

9. Keeping track of quotes

I love quotes! I highlight them in my e-reader and underline in my books, but what I really want to do is transcribe them to my pretty quotes book. Except, I’m a little lazy.

10. Keeping it all in perspective

Sometimes I have a big existential crisis where I wonder what the point of reading is. Why do I do it? Am I missing out on life? Isolating myself? Addicted? But then I pick up a book again… and it all feels better.


* One of my biggest dreams is to be involved somehow in a project to increase reading in South Africa, but I’m a little stumped as to the hows of the matter.ย 

Do you have any solutions to my #bookwormproblems?


  1. 2. AHHHHH! I’M SO SORRY. Internet to the rescue.
    7. My books have to be in really creative places…’cause no room. Not enough bookcases. THEY ARE VERY SAD CREATURES.

    1. I feel it’s pathognomonic of larger problems in our society. For example, why would a mother buy her child a book when they live in a tin house with no place to keep the books safe? Or if she is afraid that her teenager will use the pages as cigarette paper? Or for that matter, when would a mother read to her child if she is working most of the day just to fill his tummy? It depresses me too but I’m worried that it’s a lot harder to solve than I’d like to think.

    1. It is shocking but not too surprising. It’s from the South African Books Development Council report of 2012. I don’t know if anything more recent exists. I haven’t critically appraised it though so I can’t guarantee that it is 100% accurate though.

  2. I have a solution for you! Are you familiar with the Reach Out and Read model in the states–docs give free books to tots at well child checks. It emphasizes the importance of feeding the brain along with the body, and ensures that every home has a book for parents to read to their kids. You can set up a chapter at your hospital!

  3. “Sometimes I have a big existential crisis where I wonder what the point of reading is. Why do I do it? Am I missing out on life? Isolating myself? Addicted? But then I pick up a book againโ€ฆ and it all feels better”

    This sums up life for me. And I am not talking about books. Well said mam

    1. Thanks dear. I tried commenting on your blog but there seems to be a little glitch with my username so I don’t know if it went through, but I wanted to say good luck with finals and results… I know you can do it!

  4. I share so many of these, but especially the time, letting go and perspective ones.
    I find I’m often plagued with guilt if I take too much time to read “fun” books because I could be using that time with people or studying or other productive things. I also worry that I’m not reading enough for fun or that my missing it is a sign of addiction. But, like you, I pick up a book and it all feels better.

    1. Yes! I think it’s really bad to always feel guilty about SOMETHING but it is my exact problem too! I have to keep reminding myself that I have a duty to myself, my loved ones and my patients to be well.

  5. Living in Finland I sort of get you because so few books are published! And sometimes they stop translating in the middle of the series! O.o #2 is bad though, glad you read! ๐Ÿ™‚ start some book club maybe? ๐Ÿ˜ only hmmm errr solution proposition to #9, Goodreads offers nice way to like Quotes

    1. I switched from the Afrikaans translation to the English of Harry Potter in the middle of the series when I was younger because they were taking too long with the translation, so I can relate to that struggle! I would love to start a book club but I hardly have the time. I do use GoodReads for quotes but I think a quotes book is so cool! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’ve never left a book in the fridge before but I am constantly losing my bookmark or the pen I’m using to take notes. I sympathize with your number 10, I’ve also been there and you’re right, picking up a book and falling in love again makes it all better.

  7. I use Goodreads to keep track of my quote! I’m still in the process of unearthing quotes I written down and highlighted years ago, but it’s nice to have a version online that can be accessed with a click of my phone (:

  8. Great list! Last year I actually decided to keep all my favorite quotes in a journal, so I’ve been successfully doing that for a while. It’s pretty handy and every once in a while I’ll just sit and read through them all and it makes me happy. Thanks for sharing!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  9. I loved your post title! ๐Ÿ™‚ I always take it for granted that I live in the US and books are so readily available. I don’t mean to, but I do. Definitely the internet has got to be your go-to for book conversations, but nothing is the same as having a real life friend who also reads. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I have a hard time keeping track of quotes too. Great post! I can definitely relate to your “problems”.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  10. i live in Nairobi as well so i most definitely relate with this post especially on the whole no storage for my books debacle since i also stay with my parents (i keep some of my books under my bed, next to my shoe closet, drawers, i sometimes feel like Lane from Gilmore girls only i’m not hiding music CDs and magazines but i’m hoarding books) Also the bookstores and libraries in Nairobi are under-stocked. only way i get to read the books on my TBR is when my sisters in the US and UK feel generous enough to mail me a dozen twice every year.

    p.s love your blog

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