Books cost too much!

As the titular Academic of this blog, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love books. I will read almost anything, and have been doing so since the age of 3 (longer if you count my parents reading to me). One of the best parts of having an affiliation with a university, which I always will thanks to my shiny Master’s degree, is being able to check out almost any book there could possibly be (and for those other books that I can’t find at AU, I also have a Library of Congress card. The picture of me on it is what people in Spain would call fatal). If you take a look at the right-hand side of this blog, you will see a widget that lists some books I have read about Spain, both fiction and non-fiction, and if you click on the book covers, you can see the reviews I have written about the books.


Unfortunately, you also might notice that there are only 5 books in this list. Despite being in Spain for over 4 months now, and being a prolific reader, I haven’t been able to read more than 5 books on Spain that I can share with you all. This is wholly because and in spite of my Kindle. I got the Kindle as a present a few years ago, which I thought was kinda cool, but I knew I would always prefer physical books. I still do prefer physical books, but the Kindle has been indispensable here in Spain for two reasons: It gets the Internet and it connects me to books in English. The library here in Alcalá is great and all, and its selection of books is admirable for such a small center, but it has exactly 3 books in English. One is by Danielle Steele, and one is a John Grisham book I have already read. The particulars of the third book escape my memory right now because I was so depressed at the emptiness of the “Libros en inglés” shelf that I went back to the history section.


So, after a day of speaking in Spanish, reading signs in Spanish, watching TV in Spanish, and thinking in Spanish, I often want to read books that are not in Spanish, so I download some on my Kindle. You would think that I could download books in English ABOUT Spain, and I certainly have (4 of the 5 books in the sidebar are in English), but in a fit of organization, I put all my Spain books in a folder called “Spain” (hello, Captain Obvious), and now I can’t see their titles. When I start up my Kindle, all it says is “Spain (16)”, which is like saying, “Here are 16 books having to do with Spain. Please, try to read them after a whole day of speaking in Spanish, reading signs in Spanish, watching TV in Spanish, and thinking in Spanish”. My mental answer to that is typically “No way, Game of Thrones sounds WAY more entertaining”.


I would promise to try harder, but I know that if I do, it’s going to make reading and writing about Spain and Spanish authors seem even more like homework. Plus, slogging through an endless list of books on Spain that no one else will care about seems fruitless. What I need is focus, so I’ll turn it over to you. Are there any aspects of Spanish history, culture, politics, travel destinations, etc. that you are dying to know about? I am sure I have a book written down on a “to-read” list somewhere which I can read and recommend to you . Conversely, does anyone already know of a book about Spain that they would like to recommend to me?


One Response to Books cost too much!

  1. AlcalaBob says:

    They really are being very naughty in the library. About 18 months ago, we gave them something like twenty English books, mostly recent good novels, and we were assured that they would put them on the shelves. Antonia was the librarian then but someone else is I think running the show. No excuse though for not making those books available. Give them a bit of ear… :)

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