But what most impressed me were the stacks of books every place. Not just any kind of book: hardcovers. That spoke to me more than anything else.
Flash forward: now my house is stuffed with books. As a freelance reviewer for the Oregonian, I get far more books than I could read cover-to-cover. (And many of them are not going to be to my taste, but I do feel I should at least dip my toes in.) Plus there are books from various conferences I've attended. The bookseller ones have the best loot. Even though your badge identifies you as a lowly author, by the end of the day on Sunday, when the reps don't want to pack up one more thing than they have to, they are happy to give you free books.
And my eyes are far bigger than my free time. I still have an ARC of Bel Canto, by all accounts a wonderful book, that has come out in hardcover, trade paper, mass market - and all of that happened several years ago. But I _definitely_ plan to read it.
I'm hoping that once I get past this deadline hell, I'll actually have more time to read books that aren't to be reviewed, or blurbed or anything. Just to be read.