Happy Sunday, dears. I hope wherever you are on this vast planet your day/evening/night is peaceful and going/has gone well. Better yet, whatever you're reading I hope it's gripping and/or satisfying. If it isn't, toss the thing aside, okay? Promise me that much. There is so much more out there. Don't believe me, come see my house. Just make an appointment first: the place is usually a mess.
I've had one blasted good reading week, though squeezing books into my schedule was tough. In general, my attention has been split of late. I haven't stopped to figure why. I can be sitting comfortably with a book, enjoying perfect bliss, then another part of my brain fires, reminding me I need to do x or y and do it right away. So up I jump, leaving the book I was reading open, face down, next to what I refer to as my "butt warmth," the place my dogs steal every time I stand. (One of these days one of them will get squashed doing that.)
Many times I'm right, I have forgotten to do something I should have done before I got cozy - like switching the laundry. The time I spend reading is virtual "dead time," from the homemaker point of view. So why not have the wash going at the same time? When the dryer sounds I can pop up, hang/fold and switch, and sit right back down again.
Other times, the reason I jump up is random, something I could have put off, something guilt chooses as an excuse to poke me with a sharp stick when it sees me content. Did I need to get up and put away the shoes I suddenly recalled were in the middle of the floor, or could I have waited until the next time I passed them? Where's the fire?
Reminds me of when my kids were infants and I always had one ear trained, listening for signs they needed tending. Those who have yet to bear children, I want to tell you: afterward your attention span will never be the same. I'm sure it's a "preservation of the species" thing, the reason we've survived this long. Once upon a time women had to worry their children would be snatched by saber-toothed tigers, or that they'd swallow a rock or shard of pottery, resulting in a necessary sixth maternal sense evolving. Even now, when danger generally isn't quite so constant our genes still haven't gotten the message. Kiss that great mind goodbye, girls.
Another obstacle lies in my recent shifting of books. I got it into my head the books in our basement utility room could be better arranged (a truth), as some were scattered onto other shelves, stuck behind boxes and sundry. I fixed that and it looks so, so much better. Plus, I can read all the titles!
In the family room, there were books spilling out of the cases onto the floor. I re-arranged a few shelves, turning stacks of books on their sides to make more room, and now, though the bottom shelves are double-stacked, it gives the illusion it looks better. Kind of.
Next up, my office. While earlier in the year it was impossible to get from door to desk without twisting an ankle - or, worse, the risk of ruining a book - now I can tell the floor is carpeted. Is that project done? Not yet but it's over the hump.
Last weekend, when Target had bookshelves on sale, I bought two more: one two shelf and one three shelf, with an eye toward filling an empty wall (travesty!) in the finished part of our basement (which already houses three tall Ikea bookcases, some of the middle one wasted with glass shelving for the display of decorative pottery). Only, when I tried assembling the smaller one I could make neither heads nor tails of the instructions. I'm usually pretty good with that so I remain convinced the hardware they provided was wrong, rather than my skills being limited. All this means I'll have to find a volunteer to take a look at it for me.
Rather a long-winded explanation of what's kept me from reading as much as I could this week. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
Here are some of the books I hope to talk about over the upcoming week:
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
This is Not the End of the Book: Two Great Men Discuss Our Digital Future, A Conversation Curated by Jean-Phillipe de Tonnac
I may also get back to the topic of bestsellers, if time allows. There are a few conversation threads I've left hanging too long. I need to make time to get back to those, too.
In the meantime: read, my loves. Read.