Lots of unread books

I think that I at present have more unread [science fiction(*)] books than I've had in a long time. Probably since the 1980's when I recall that during the years I bought on average four books/week I had at one time 16 unread.

Now, it's only half a dozen, and it so happens it's those which don't have their backs toward us, but that's just because three of them are too large to fit upright on the "to read shelf" (those to the left I've already read, but will re-read).
For the last couple of years I've tried to read one new book and re-read one alternatingly and in the last weeks there's been a flood of new books incoming.

For the curious, these are the ones:

  • The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham
  • Rule 34 by Charles Stross
  • Embassytown by China Mieville
  • How to live safely in a science fictional universe by Charles Yu
  • The last two Merchant princes(**) books by Charles Stross
Some bought on recommendation (The Dragon's Path was suggested by Walter Jon Williams), some because I'm sure I'll like them (Rule 34) and some... not quite random, but not based on any reliable indicator. During the years I bought 4 books/week (I know from my records I kept that up for three years in the 1980's) I usually bought 1/3rd I knew I'd like, 1/3rd based on the author being famous or the book written about and 1/3rd almost random. Last was almost always second hand books but a rather large proportion of the first 1/3rd was too as it could be out of print books I'd been looking for a long time. The second hand SF book market in Stockholm today is not as good as 10 years ago. In fact, I don't even notice there is one anymore.

(*) It's easy to buy nice railway or aviation books, for example, with lots of photos but hard to find the time to actually read them. I recently found a book in my to read pile by the bed which must have been there since 1994. (But the bed isn't in the same part of town.)

(**) Now I'm halfway into the fourth. They're enjoyable to read, but not very likely to end up in a re-read pile. You read them fast and there're no scenes which grabs you and you go "Wow!". Back in the 80-90's I quite often re-read new books 6-9 month after the first reading, but it's soon time for Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams again.
About the Merchant Princes, there's one thing about the plot which strikes me: If I could, or if it could be proven to me that someone else could, move between this world and a similar one where the timelines diverged a couple of centuries ago, the conclusion I'd draw is "This cannot be real. This must be a simulation!". Possible the subject of another post.

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