drowning in books

i love to read, and i used to read SO MUCH when i was a kid. my mom, my sister, and i would go to the library every single week and come home with a stack of books each. we'd take them back the next week and repeat the cycle, all summer long. i started reading (or at least recognizing letters and words) at a super-young age, and my mom loves to tell the story about how i would read people magazine to my sister in her playpen (i was 3 years old). reading, it is in my DNA.

but wow, i started grad school and all of my leisure reading ground to a halt. i started to feel like if i had time to read, i'd better be reading my books and articles for school, and that feeling never ever went away. boo. the unfortunate thing is that i still want books. i see books all the time that i want, and i put them on my amazon wishlist, and my family buys them for me at christmas or my birthday, and so i have an entire bookshelf of books i haven't read yet. it's lame and kind of depressing.

similarly, i get really really behind on my magazines, so much so that i've cut down all the way to one: VegNews. it is only published every other month, and guess how many issues i have waiting on the coffee table? five. i tend to only "let" myself read them when i'm on a plane, and i haven't travelled much lately at all. 

i've tried to be a little better about it; i mean now i'm a bona fide grownup and i even have tenure (AND i'm on sabbatical!), so it seems like i could cut myself a little slack and read, right? i have a massive stack of AR-related reading, and also some popular press relationships stuff (because i'm both curious and i like to integrate it when i teach), and i'm making pitiful progress overall. the most i've done is read all of the harry potter books and all of the twilight books, and i think i only plowed through those because: (a) they're such easy and fun reads, and (b) i have the weird pressure of being "caught up" with everyone else. every other book i crack open typically takes me months to finish. i'm so embarrassed. 

the reason i bring all of this up is because my sweet sister gave me two more books for christmas this evening, and i wondered silently what year i'd actually end up reading them. i have the best of intentions, really! one of them i want to read quickly and then pass to a friend (because i think she'd probably get even more out of it than i would, actually), and the other one i'm dying to read because it covers a debate that i'm not sure where exactly i sit yet… but i can't decide if these books should go to the back of the line and wait for the other books who have more seniority. heh.
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2 comments

  1. i had that same problem in college…only felt i should be reading textbooks and not the fun books because i only had time for one or the other. (which only led me to not read either kind!)
    if you push them to the back of the list, you’ll never get through them. just read whatever you are in the mood for, that is what works for me these days. then at least you will have finished something. i’m reading two books right now, one i am in the mood for and one i just cannot get into.

  2. Hi, I just found your blog, and I love it! I can totally relate to this post; I used to be an avid, insatiable reader–until I graduated from a “Great Books School,” and now, every time I pick up a novel, I can’t help but think, “Shouldn’t I be reading some Greek tragedy or post-modern philosophy?! I don’t have time for this!” So, instead, I haven’t read a book for pleasure in months!

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