Monday, January 24, 2011

A good problem to have

Last night, I experienced something that without a doubt indicates how big of a nerd I am (and my boyfriend, too, because he experienced the same problem). I had just finished the last of the Betsy-Tacy series (more on that later!), and it was that exciting moment in which I choose my next read. Except...I stood in front of my shelves, full of dozens of titles waiting to be read, and I couldn't choose. Did I want to read something long or short, frivolous and entertaining or deep and serious, foreign or domestic, something that'd been waiting on my shelf for a long time or something brand new? Then I had to go through my mental reading schedule of things coming up—I'll start my next book club pick, The Imperfectionists, next week; then I'll start Wolf Hall as my England choice for the World Reading Challenge, and that's long so maybe I should pick something short; and when am I ever going to get around to the New York epic?

It is a horrible conundrum when you can't decide what to read next.

My biggest problem with reading is that I don't have enough time to read all I want to read. And it's not a bad problem to have, really. Just frustrating when I spend 8 hours a day sitting at a desk in front of a computer when I'd rather be reading (or running, or playing Mario Kart) and finally moving some of those titles from 'to-read' to 'read.'

But, it made me realize that, above anything else, reading for me is fun. My mood is the biggest factor in deciding which book I pick up off that shelf, but I choose a book from the pile because I want to read it—because it can take me to a place or time I know little about, open my eyes to a different way of life, invoke a setting I want to be a part of. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with all I want to read that I get a bit stressed, but reading should never be stressful. Forget the schedules, the blog posts, the review copies—I have to remind myself to have fun with it. Because I'll never have the problem of what to read, only what to read next.

New on my list of exciting to-reads: Paris Was Ours, Just Kids, Stones Into Schools, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, Wishin' and Hopin', The Summer Book, The Swan Thieves, Fifth Avenue, 5:00 AM. (5 out of 8 are nonfiction!)

What's running through your mind when you pick a book up off the shelf?

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