Thursday, June 28, 2007
It's funny, but as much as I read, and as much as I like to talk about books, I am not, nor have I ever been, in a book club. I like the idea - it sounds like fun. But I don't know...there's just something about having to read a particular book and having a deadline to finish it in. Maybe it's because I was an English major in college, and there were always so many books to read, and never enough time to relax and enjoy them.
One of my favorite things is when I've finished a book, and it's time to choose a new one. What do I feel like reading? Am I in a mystery mood, or do I feel more like reading a fantasy, or a memoir, or a nonfiction book? For children, adults, or young adults? Is it time to pick up a book in a series I'm enjoying? Or should I try something completely new? There are always so many choices, between my stack of library books and ones I've picked up here and there, waiting on my bookshelves.
There's something about having to read a book that makes me feel like not reading it. That makes the other books in my book piles so much more attractive and alluring. I want the book I'm reading to be the book I want to be reading. Not a chore or an obstacle. Reading a book at the wrong time can totally ruin the experience. There are books that I have tried to read but could not get through, but when I gave them a shot years later, I was unable to understand what the problem was the first time around. I think that for me, having to read books increases the likelihood of "right book, wrong time" syndrome. And I think I'm just kind of ornery about the whole thing.
A few years ago, I transferred my "books I want to read" list from my notebook to the computer. And as I added books from time to time, the list grew from a single page to many 2-columned pages. One day it struck me that it is highly unlikely that I will live to finish all these books I've put on that list. Not that I'm that old, but there are just so many books on it, and I read lots of other books besides. It made me more determined than ever to make these books I really want to read a true priority.
At times, though, I do feel a bit wistful. If I had a group of friends with similar reading tastes to mine, would I consider it? I don't know. Maybe. If good food were involved, that would be a definite plus! But then I finish a book, and there's the delightful which-book-should-I-read-now time, and know that if I had a mandatory book to read, I'd be feeling cranky about it.