July 21st, 2009

Vanitas desk

Book Itch

I didn't used to be the sort of person who could be in the middle of more than one book at a time. One book at a time, in sequence, that was me. Yet, here I am, in the middle of half-a-dozen. Some are non-fiction, which I normally read in sections, rather than all at once. Sometimes I don't even count non-fiction as books I'm reading, but these are good, thought-provoking, well-written ones. I often don't count non-fiction this way because I don't feel as if I've really read a book unless I've truly finished it, ideally appendices and all. Some of the books I'm stranded on are fiction, broken off before a trip and left behind, about-to-be-finished, but haven't been yet. Often, a book's too big to bring on a trip if I'm nearly done with it and will need to bring another one too; so I start a new one instead, forget I'm reading the first until I find it, abandoned in a pile, waiting.

My attention was wandering enough, the other day, that I went to the library, to help avoid buying more books. I came home with seven, nearly all of them of different styles and genres, the better to fill whatever it was I was looking for. It's not that I don't want to read; I do. I've been reading a lot lately. It's not that I'm giving up on these partially-read books; I rarely - sometimes - do, but not in these particular cases.

Sometimes, I wonder if it's the lack of furniture. We only have one reading chair, still, although we're intending to order a sofa before the end of the month, which would open up the number of decent reading places massively. But it's not an impatience I've had all year, just in the past week or month. If a book is worthwhile, I can read it on the floor or the stairs.

The bigger problem may just be that I want something compelling, a book to read all at once; but then the book is done, and I am back to all the others, a bit at a time, when there's a chair and some time and pages left.