Hurry Up and Wait!

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This is again inspired by Sara Nelson’s So Many Books, So Little Time. I know I’ve mentioned it quite a lot lately, but its written like one side of a conversation at a book club, and thats what I love.

     So here’s my half. She frequently makes references to the stack of books by her bed. I, too, have a book “stack”, but mine has grown so much that it has its own shelf. Top shelf, of course. Nelson actually references many of the books on there, which both excites and depresses me for the same reason. She has read a book that I have not, and I own it.
     That seems to be part of the problem: I own it, therefore it is always availible. I don’t have a due date, or a late fee, or an anxious friend attached to the cover. I look up there and think “I’ll get to it when I get some free time” but when I actually do get some free time, I browse the school library. Or I end up here, but thats a different story.
     A small, childlike part of me feels guilty for neglecting these books (both new and used; I love used book stores. Everything is previously-loved.) but the rest of me sticks to the notion that i’ll get snowed in someday and these will be my saving grace. I feel that each deserves to be recognized even though I havent read them yet:

The Human Comedy:  I got this from the estate sale of a beloved family friend. Its old, tattered, and I have never cracked the cover. I don’t know what its about, and I don’t think I’ll ever read it. For now, just having it is enough. 

The Pigman, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Handmaid’s Tale, Enchanted Castle, The Goose Girl, The Prophet, Heidi, Illuminatus! Trilogy: odd books that I’ve collected by various means. I don’t know what theyre about, and I think I will read them someday, when I am unable to find anything else.

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint: Nelson mentioned this book and said it was wonderful. I think I really will read it. I’m going to make it the first book I read in 2008. I think that’ll be a lovely start, don’t you?

The Phantom of the Opera:  My sister used to be hopelessly devoted to this book, fell in love with the Broadway production and enjoyed the movie. Buying this at a used book store was my way of paying tribute to her. I tried reading it, but its written in a dull manner, to be honest. More of a technical manual than fiction.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius:  Sara Nelson also mentioned this book, which I have gotten 4 chapters into but never gotten attached to. I’ll try again nxt year. She enjoyed it, and we’ve agreed on other books so far.

The Screwtape Letters:  I loved this book, although I didn’t get far into it. I tried reading it at the wrong time in my life, which I think greatly affects the opinion of a book like this. I can honestly say I’m at a very different point now, though not necessarily the polar opposite of where I was. I’m going to re-read three very important books before I tackle this one again.

The Great Gatsby, The Scarlet Letter, The Red Badge of Courage The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hamlet, Plato, Catch 22, Oliver Twist: Classics, I know. I own them, I just don’t know why. Are they any good? someone else thinks so. Do I? . . . the covers are pretty. these are the “maybe, someday” books.

Slut!: This is a nonfiction novel that addresses the American Sexual Double-Standard. Its a very easy book to get into but it covers the same points so many times that its hard to tell if you’ve gained anything as far as pagecount. But anyone who has ever been gossiped about can relate to some of the stories. As usual, I’ve never finished this book. Such is life.

     Here’s to you, all you fellow bedside-pilers or top-shelfers. Cheers to all the books we don’t know we love. Take care.

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Published in: on December 15, 2007 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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