Here we are well into September already and I haven’t even stopped to take a breath and think about reading plans. It seems like I have just been grabbing whatever I feel like or whatever is due next at the library. It’s not a bad thing but it tends to distract me from books that are not of the moment that I really do want to read like Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose. It has been on my shelf for — we won’t say how long — and back in July I got all excited about it and was finally, finally, going to read it. It is still sitting on my reading table and has several library books piled on top of it. Maybe I should request a copy from the library and then I might actually read it! Now that is an idea with possibilities.
Only trouble is, I can borrow from the public library and the academic library at the university where I work. The public library comes with the standard 3-week checkout and three renewals as long as no one else wants the book for a potential borrowing time of twelve weeks. Because I am a staff person at the university, I can borrow a book for as long as four months with a renewal taking it to eight months. Such a long time tends to let me set these books aside. This means I am still meandering my way through the poems of But What by Judith Herzberg, the fascinating world of moss in Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and I’ve had Medea all summer and still not even picked it up. Clearly I am highly motivated by deadlines when it comes to reading, or rather, library due dates.
I did finish Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? and Willa Cather’s short story collection The Troll Garden. I have not written about these two books yet, posts on them coming soon.
For September, it looks like two books will be arriving for me at the public library, Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall and Teach Us to Sit Still by Tim Parks, a book I requested on a whim after Ian mentioned how good it was in a comment about The Miracle of Mindfulness.
In the mail for reviewing for Library Journal I have on its way to me a book of essays called Icon which has a variety of writers considering various public figures from Linda Lovelace and Aretha Franklin to bell hooks and Andrea Dworkin. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Also on its way to me for review from the publisher is Hilary Mantel’s book of short stories The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. How could I refuse that offer?
Then, of course, I am in the midst of Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd and She by H. Rider Haggard. I began reading Danielewski’s House of Leaves for the RIP Challenge yesterday.
And if that is not enough, I also have from the university library, so you know this one will be lingering for a while, The Selected Letters of John Keats. I can’t say why I all of a sudden wanted to read Keats’s letters but I did and do. I’ve not made it all the way through the long introduction yet, but it is serving to make me even more excited about the letters.
Gosh, all those books. And they are only the ones I currently know about. Who knows what might manage to slip in at the last second?
And now, I’d like to ask for a moment of silence for my dead Kindle. Yes, Kindle is truly gone. It is a hardware problem that cannot be fixed and I am so far out of warranty that I am out of luck. I am not yet out of luck when it comes to ereaders though. Earlier this year Bookman’s Kindle 1 appeared to die. It wasn’t charging and was acting all kinds of strange so he got himself a new basic Kindle, small, and light without a keyboard. After Bookman’s new Kindle arrived the old one revived and still works. So I am reading on the Kindle 1 now. I am not sure how long for this world it will actually be because while the battery does charge, it lasts barely a week before it needs to be recharged. And this is with the wifi turned off. While my Kindle 2 is dead, my decision about whether to buy a new ereader has been postponed until Bookman’s Kindle 1 ceases to limp along which could be tomorrow or next year; it’s hard to know for sure with these things.