Book Confessions…

September 19, 2012 § 17 Comments

I want to read but it’s just not something you do in the middle of the day at your desk.
I want to read but instead decide to sleep on the plane.
I want to read but waiting ’til bedtime (11-ish) just doesn’t work out always when Morpheus comes flapping around doing his go-to-sleep-now thing.
I want to read but sometimes it’s just not polite, even if the conversation is boring, to pick up a book and begin.

I crave reading like I crave chocolate, or quiet time or a ride in the countryside.

Instead of reading right now, though, I’ll herein spill some book truths, confessions if you will..and you might want to pipe up on some of it..

FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen. More than 15 months since I started it, I still haven’t finished it. The suburban angst and the “drifting”around of characters is disturbing (and truthful) to me and not the escapism I’m likely to seek after a 10-hour work day.
But the writing is fabulous, full of writing language and human insight.
Plus, Franzen is from here, from Webster Groves.
Plus, I have it on my Nook.

I am only now reading THE BOOK THIEF.
I am reading it because I think I should. (I wrote that line 4 days ago.) But now, more than halfway through it, I’m liking it. There is some sharp and excellent writing in it.
It’s not (just) for young adults.

I am only 4 pages in to THE HUNGER GAMES. I am not yet addicted. I haven’t touched it in four months. I thought I’d be done with it by now, talking about it at the water cooler, yapping about the movie, but no. It’s still hovering near the TBR stack. Along with its two successors. Blech.

As for some of the hefty classics including  ANNA KARENINA, EAST OF EDEN, CUTTING FOR STONE, MIDDLESEX, HUCKLEBERRY FINN, DANTE’S INFERNO, THE ODYSSEY, ULYSSES, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, IN COLD BLOOD, and ON THE ROAD to name a few, I haven’t read ém and I don’t know if I will. Maybe with the change of the season… Though I’d say my heart’s not in reading them, I realize I might fall in love with them. That’s nice, to be on the precipice of (book) love, non?

I am hellbent to read the books that are in the house. However, I find my buy-books addiction leaking into the purchase of magazines instead. My habit has morphed.

The bottom line, though: if I’m reading, I’m not writing.


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§ 17 Responses to Book Confessions…

  • Richard says:

    It is all a give and take deal to me. Reading other peoples’ words creates a shared human experience. Writing your own may someday come to that sometimes, but writing begins as the most personal of outpourings. A give and a share….a sublime harmony and balance of uniquely human activity that is seemingly useless but ultimately very important! Thanks for sharing….

    • oh says:

      Interesting to hear your comments about reading and writing. A give and share – I like that. I have a lot of “giving” (writing) to do in that case!

  • Heather says:

    So many books, so little time. Submit to the fact that you will always have a TBR pile. Some books will grab you and take you to the end, other don’t (after a certain amount of pages). Some months you read a lot, some months you have other things to do. So it goes…

  • Care says:

    uh oh!
    I adored The Book Thief SO MUCH. But I can’t get into those classics you list. I have hopes for the audio of AK and I still may someday attempt East of Eden. I did enjoy Middlesex, now that I look again at that list.
    I can’t read at night. I find that I will put the bookmark pages past whatever I must have read but can’t remember so I get extremely disoriented.
    Good to see you hear again. ;P

    • oh says:

      aha! glad to hear your comment on the classics that were listed. I will however listen to your advice, comment, on AK. Funny about you reading at night, misplacing the bookmark amongst the pages! I find sometimes I can get thru onlly one or two pages. and if there’s no bookmark around and it’s my book, I’m likely to dogear. and some books have every page dogeared Those are the ones that were surely read late at night, marking my slow and sleepyg progression.

  • Typehype says:

    I relate so much to this post! And also to the “so many books, so little time comment.” Regarding your list of hefty classics, out of all of them, I LOVED Anna Karenina (a good translation is a must). On the Road annoyed me.

    There’s always a valid reason for not finishing a book. Don’t feel bad about it. You can always donate it to the library.

    Before dropping $25.00 in a bookstore, I first read several reviews of a book in publications I respect, then I go to Amazon and read a free chapter, and also check out some of the 4-star and 2-star comments (I suspect many 5-stars are friends of the writer). Or I’ll check the book out of the library. I’ve just reached the #2 slot on the library queue for the Cheryl Strayed book, Wild..etc. I’ve read mixed reviews, so I’m not rushing out to buy it.

    BTW, the main reason you can’t read as much as you would like is: you have a day job! It’s the worst time-eater — ever.

    • oh says:

      Whew! I feel better. Seriously. You’re right of course. Donate those I can’t finish or dwaddle over…and the library! but best of all, you main reason we can’t read as much – you had me laughing right out loud here- is the day job!!!!! How true, how true. Love the “worst time-eater — ever.” Yup.

  • marmeladegypsy says:

    I will never read all the books I want to read. Not do that and live the life I want. So, I plug along. The book club offering here, a mystery or bio there, something about Paris or England just because. In fact, I haven’t written on the book blog in six months, which would imply that I’m not reading (and maybe not so much as in the past or maybe just bigger books.) Maybe I’ll do a composite like you just did and try to catch myself up. Just when I was ready to get into a book of essays by Calvin Trillin, a writer friend has given me his second book to read and proof. It’s a zillion pages long. Maybe one Calvin story a night…!

    • oh says:

      Hey, Jeanie! I have a Calvin Trillin book of essays, too. The best thing? Pick it up, read, laugh, shake head at the truth he unveils and put it down ’til the next time. Yeah, you’re right – we must (happily) plug on!

      • marmeladegypsy says:

        He always makes me laugh. And really, it’s very easy to read in the bathroom or in the car while you’re waiting for a train or whatever!

  • shoreacres says:

    Well, you know – I’m reading more now than I have in years. Probably half of my reading is blogs, but I’ve left magazines behind (except for generally quick skims of The New Yorker) and the rest is books.

    You’ve heard me moan and groan about my lack of reading for some time now. I thought it was a time issue, and to some extent it was, since writing came first. But I’ve a new trick! I only read what really interests me. Generally, it’s books of essays, autobiographies, history and such, and generally the reason I head down a reading rabbit-trail is because of some writing project or other.

    But the days of picking up a book because it’s on some celebrity’s list or a best seller or because every says I really “should” read it are over. I can’t read all the books in the world anyway, so I might as well read the ones I like!

  • Arti says:

    Care to join us in our Anna Karenina read-along? I wouldn’t do it by myself, but if there are others, it’s more fun. 😉

    • oh says:

      Yes! coming over to sign up now!

      • Arti says:

        Great! Your leaving a comment there is already the sign-up. I’m so glad you can join us… I know you’ll enjoy the read and the camaraderie. Anna K. definitely is something you’d want to share with others and not just read it alone… Hope you can find a copy soon to start reading. Looking forward to chat with you come Sept. 30 😉

  • Ginny Caraco says:

    Wow have you missed some good books!

  • Wow! I can relate so much to this post, especially considering that I just attempted to clean up my many piles of books this past weekend! It has been taking me forever to get through books lately, but sadly, I’m not getting in as much writing as I would like either. I just need more time in my day!!

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