Oh Sundays. They should be peaceful, restful sorts of days, shouldn't they? Mine are always filled with chores that don't get finished during the work week (even less so lately as my library is migrating to a new online catalog system which has required lots of work and lots of training and a massive backlog of book orders that I am not likely to work my way through for weeks and weeks to come--and it has worn me out even more than normal), getting prepared for the upcoming work week and hopefully a few nice things for me in between. Nice things like my short story reading (which I am looking forward to doing next), maybe doing a little needlework or a movie in the evening and well, that's about all I can manage to accomplish in an afternoon.
I walk every day. Either outside or at the gym or on a treadmill at home. I love walking and have reading while walking (of the treadmill sort anyway) down to a science. It's my one hour or so of uninterrupted reading time I know I am assured to get daily (maybe that's why I love walking so much?), and amazingly that is where I get quite a bit of my reading done--as strange as that sounds. I just finished a lengthy book (will write about it this week), so today was quite nice as I parceled out my reading time between two books with a little mental meandering in between.
Sometimes I feel like I think about books and reading more than I actually read said books. Well, surely that's not true, but you know what I mean? I mean I fill in all that wasted mental space--while cooking maybe or waiting in line for something with books I am reading or want to read. I have this enormous appetite for books and it gets me into trouble. Not real trouble, but it makes me the tiniest bit anxious sometimes. I think about all those stories I want to insert myself into--places and people's lives and historical events and end up feeling a little bit overwhelmed by it all.
While I was spending almost all my reading time last week with one book, and although I quite enjoyed it, the books on my nightstand seemed to begin multiplying. How did the pile become so massive? I guess this is why. There is such an abundance of things to read, readers sharing what they are reading and tempting me to read those books, too. I finally got around to opening up Google Reader, marking posts I want to get back to, and now I have a row of tabs opened across my computer screen of those that need immediate perusal. Alongside Google Reader I always have open my online wishlist to add titles to it. And I might as well admit it, I have fallen off the wagon and returned to my old public library-book-borrowing habit. The thing is--I am still reading from my own shelves (and will continue to do so as much as possible), I find myself buying more books rather than borrowing them and that's not good either. Better to borrow a few and give my pocket book a rest.
Oh, to be not so obsessive about books. But I can't help it. One book always leads to another. People keep writing about books that I find I want to read, and I have never been very good about being patient and waiting. So, here I sit at home with piles of new books, piles of library books, and piles of partially read books. And I am slowly, oh so slowly working my way through them, wishing I could read faster (not in a quantity over quality thing-but only in a--there's just so much I want to read sort of way).
My problem is I don't easily allow myself the pleasure of just kicking back and reading a book all afternoon at the expense of doing other things. I find myself saying things like--this gives me the excuse to read a book (fill in the blank here--whatever has tempted me most recently) I've long wanted to. Reading is what I love to do, but it always seems to be something I get to do as a reward for having accomplished something else--or it's something I get to do while doing something else (taking the bus to work or walking on the treadmill). I really hate this and wish I could give myself more permission to do things that are simply pleasurable without feeling like it is time wasted (not that I ever feel reading is time wasted but somewhere along the way I feel like it's almost meant to be a reward--the last thing to do on the list after I do all the other more importatn things)--if you know what I mean? Must finish necessary things first and then do something fun. Do you ever find yourself thinking this way? And how does one break themselves of the habit--find some happy medium between the two. It's really okay to sometimes spend an entire afternoon lounging on the sofa with a good book, really it is.
So, rather than sit here and think about it (I started off writing this thinking I would moan about how bad February was for me in terms of reading and finishing books, but it's the process and pleasure of being in a good book rather than trying to consume them all rapidly, right?), I think I had best just go and do it. So I am off to read my Persephone short story, and maybe a few other things as well. Will be back later today to tell you all about it.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone and hope you get in some good, uniterrupted reading time, too.