One of the good things about having multiple books in progress all the time is that there is always something to read to go with my mood and I am rarely grumbling at a story that isn’t clicking for whatever reason — I want a page turner and the book is a slow, character-focused book say, or I want something quiet but the one book is frenetic and loud. With more than one book on the go, I never get stuck in one book when what I want at the moment is something entirely different. And, if I don’t have what I want already started, I get the pleasure of diving into a new story.
The flip side of this however, because there is always a flip side, is what I am finding myself coping with right now. I have a couple books on the go, all good, all that I want to read, all moving slow but not in a bad way. These would be the three main books I am reading, the ones that get to most eyeball time.
One is Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. This is a science fiction book about a generation ship — a ship of about 2,000 people that was sent off from Earth to populate a new planet in a distant solar system. It has taken 170 years to get to this new planet and they are just arriving. Of course the planet is not exactly like Earth from gravity to length of day, to soil bacteria, etc. Now these people who are not the same ones who set out from Earth 170 years ago, have to figure out how to survive on their new home. Interesting, but often technical, and slow moving.
Another is Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve by Ian Morris. As I suspected, I do not agree with his thesis. The book is a carrot and a stick. I am not so excited by his argument and text (stick) but I keep reading because half the book is a critique of his argument by three other people and one of those people is Margaret Atwood (carrot). I want the carrot, but the stick is sometimes hard to take!
My other main book at the moment is Republic of Imagination. I am very much enjoying it but the section on Huck Finn is the biggest one in the book and it is starting to go on too long. Unfortunately there are another 20-30 pages of the Huck section to go.
I don’t mind that these books are moving along at a slow pace or that I am occasionally bored by them. Foragers is a library book with others waiting for it so I have to really concentrate on getting that one done.
So what’s the problem? Well, my turn came up for another library book two days ago, The Bicycling Big Book of Cycling for Women. It’s about bikes and training and nutrition and all that. I expected it would be something to dip into, that it would not be something I wanted to just sit and read for long periods of time. But it turns out I do want to sit and read it much to the detriment of the other books! So the last two nights instead of reading Foragers as I had been doing, I have been reading about cycling. Why read a carrot/stick book when I can read a book that is all carrot? Not a problem generally but the due dates make it one.
This weekend I will be making myself read Foragers as much as possible and attempt to limit my time with the bicycling book. This is not a problem you one-book-at-a-time people have! You can laugh and shake your heads at me, but you multiple book people will understand what a difficult time I am facing for the weekend. These are nice problems to have and I hope all of you have a good weekend with no worse dilemmas than bookish ones to conquer!