Friday, August 5, 2011

So Many Books…So Little Time

Many readers keep a journal or list of books they haven’t had a chance to get to, but hope to read in the future. I started such a list about fifteen years ago but, for the sake of my sanity, gave it up after about a year. I soon realized that I would not be on this earth long enough to read everything on a list that grew exponentially each month.

Now I take a more “short-term” approach. As new books become available I try to at least look at each one that I’m interested in and make the decision while holding it in my hand whether or not I actually have the time and desire to read it right away. Because life slows down a bit during the winter months, I also select 3 or 4 books, different from my normal reading tastes, to read each winter holiday season. Even though the summer is not quite over I’m already considering some titles for this year: Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: the Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences by Kitty Florey; Emily Alone by Stewart O’Nan; Embassytown by China Mieville. There will probably be a few more titles I’ll think of before making my final selections in November.

Then there is the continuously shifting mental list of books I would like to read (or listen to—the only good thing about a long commute!) that maybe I just won’t get to…ever. One of these is The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. I really enjoyed Collins’ The Woman in White but it was long and difficult and it took some effort to finish. Then there is The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens which I would follow up with Drood by Dan Simmons.

When I’m in the mood for something humorous I could read Boomsday or Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley. How about fantasy in the tradition of JRR Tolkein? I’m sure I’d enjoy books by Guy Gavriel Kay, such as Tigana or A Song for Arbonne. Of course, I’ve always meant to get back to the Sharon McCone mystery series by Marcia Muller. I read the first one, Edwin of the Iron Shoes, years ago. Number two, Ask the Cards a Question , and the 26 (!) others are waiting for when I have the time.

This list could go on and on but you get the idea. It’s one of a reader’s greatest frustrations: so many books, so little time.

Maryellen @ Warrenton

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