What Happened to Reading?

Can it be true that I’ve only read three books this year?

How can this happen? I’m thinking I need to run out and buy some flimsy paperbacks. Maybe a thriller or murder mystery or a young adult book with vampires or dragons. Just to remember the feeling of finishing a book again.

Right now I’m reading Accordion Crimes by E. Annie Proulx which fulfills one requirement in that it’s been on the shelf for years. Besides I love Annie Proulx. I also haven’t totally given up on The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem even though I’ve been reading it (or not reading it) for roughly 2 months now and I’m only on page 67. I took it to NYC thinking maybe that would get me in the mood but I never had time to read on the trip and when I did, I was usually reading the travel book and wishing I’d picked it up earlier.

The problem with Fortress is that I need to quit because it’s just not working for me. Two months and 67 pages is enough. However, Lethem is the Arts and Lectures person on Thursday and if I really like him I may leave it on the nightstand and make one more try. The problem with Accordion is that even though I’m enjoying it, it’s not the kind of book you can just pick up and read a page or two and it’s hard to read when one is tired or has had a couple of glasses of wine which is me at least 7 nights a week.

[Update: I just checked and I wrote the exact same thing about Fortress 2 months ago except I was on page 60. What is wrong with me? I think the NYC trip convinced me to keep it on the nightstand. Maybe I’ll pose this during the Q&A on Thurs: “I’ve been trying to read Fortress of Solitude for over three months and can’t get past page 67. Should I quit trying?”]

On my days off I like to read in bed in the morning but if Bob is around he likes to talk to me and also, reading in bed all morning tends to start the day off on an unproductive note. I then proceed to an uninspired yoga practice that I quit early, daydream during my meditation, flip through the newspapers, catch up on a TV show or two and so on like this.

When I’m in the middle of a fantastic book that I can’t put down I carry the book everywhere and read before work, at lunch hour, after dinner. I haven’t carried these books around. My other problem is almost everything else on my “to read” shelf is a heavy literary tome so I’m not in a hurry to pick up something new. How did reading turn into a job?

I need to finish Accordion, preferably this weekend and then regroup on the reading program meaning I need to find some books I’m excited about.

On a quick side note: Bob and I watched Borat this weekend and I did not love it. Sure I laughed. I laughed a lot. But some of it was uncomfortable laughing. Short review: too mean. Related: one of our favorite food vendors at the Farmer’s Market is from Kazakhstan and they used to have a big sign that said so. This year they have a generic ethnic food sign.

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