I’m big on planned habit formation: swim a mile 3 times a week, go to the beach every day for a month, find a new beach each month of the year…
I’m not always big on the follow-through, but who gives a shit? I like trying to do stuff, and some of the habits actually take, at least for a while. I want to read books during my sabbatical, specifically books for pleasure. So why not a book a week, as a generic goal? Why not indeed?
I have books overflowing my house, and I strongly suspect I have termites in my bookcases. So I’ve put a temporary (maybe permanent) kibosh on purchasing new books of the dead-tree variety. I do read books on my various electronic devices, but I’m not so won over to e-books that I’m willing to buy the damn things. It seems to me that platforms change in the computing world with disturbing speed, and I’m not convinced that I will “own” any of these books in any meaningful way in ten years. So why would I pay almost the same price as a paperback? (And in fact, I don’t “own” them as meaningfully as I own a paperback, since I can’t lend them to a friend or donate them to a library if I want to.)
So… to the library. I’ve been getting the (very few) books I read for pleasure from the library for the past several years, basically since moving to a city in which I will clearly never be able to afford a large house with a dedicated “library room.” I should probably just trash / give away / donate the books that I do own, throw out the invested bookshelves, and reclaim a bit of floorspace. We’ll see. For now, I just check out a couple of books at a time.
I just finished this week’s book: Ophira Eisenberg’s Screw Everyone: Sleeping my way to monogamy. An embarrassing number of my “recent” reads have been by female comics. (Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Sarah Vowell’s Unfamiliar Fishes were in the rotation a couple of years ago. And, yes, that is sadly recent by my current standards.) The next book in my queue (already checked out! ready to read next week!) is as well. I’m not sure what this says about me, and really who cares? This isn’t about self-reflection; it’s about slacking.
(But as an aside: What happened to me, anyway? I used to love reading fiction. Good fiction. In college and for several years after, I always had a novel in my hand and two on my nightstand. But those days have long passed. I’m hoping to recover some of that during this year. I definitely still love reading. I devoured Eisenberg’s book in a few short days. But I just don’t gravitate towards Good Books (TM) like I used to.)
I thought I might write something about each of the books here, but I’m not sure what to say about this one. It was engaging enough. Funny enough (but not as funny as her comedy or Moth stories). But I couldn’t figure out why she ended up with her husband. She didn’t seem to like him that much at first. He just never did anything abjectly horrible, and somehow that was enough to win her over, to convince her to change her mind about marriage. I think if my husband wrote the tale of our coming together and I came across as dull and unmemorable compared with his earlier girlfriends, I would be more than a little miffed. I wonder how her husband felt about his portrayal?