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I’m totally stealing an idea from British author Clare Dudman, of whom I am an unabashed fan and hope someday to meet. Clare likes to post pictures on her blog, Keeper of the Snails, of the piles of books she intends to read. Here’s one such post.

Now, then, here’s my picture of the stack of books I recently purchased:

I hope I made Amazon happy with this purchase. February 2011.

I hope I made Amazon happy with this purchase. February 2011.

I don’t think I’ve ever bought this many books at once, unless it was at a library book sale, where the books are fifty-cents or a buck a piece.

As you can see, they are all writing related. I’ve been outlining a class on how to help people improve their writing skills and I was attracted to these for what they might hold in relation to that task. I had read two of these books, “Sin & Syntax” and “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers,” prior to making this purchase and knew they were good. I’ve since read “The Art of War for Writers,” also a great book, and have started “The Writer’s Little Helper.” I’m most excited to read “The Nighttime Novelist,” but am torturing myself by holding off until I read some of the others.

Writing books are very much like self-help books. After you’ve read so many of them, you discover the repetition between books, but there’s always some new tidbit or the rephrasing of a concept that gives you new insight into the process. Plus, it’s goshdarnit fun to have the promise of future reading arrive with new books in the mail. Oh, yeah, baby. It’s Christmas in February.

Have you ever made a bulk purchase of something you love? If so, what did you buy?