Tuesday, February 14, 2012

So Many Books, So Little Time

I read a lot. That was the whole point of this blog of course, though it has turned into both more and less than that. More because I write about more than just books, less because I haven't been able to post much in the past year or so. I just don't feel like I have much to say lately. The effort to get my few words out into the intrawebs seems to have a poor work to value ratio.

But sometimes you just have to write some things down. Like this book, So Many Books, So Little Time: a Year of Passionate Reading. The author's purpose was to read a book a week and chart her reactions, impressions, etc. What resulted was a beautiful little love story, a woman and her obsession. My reaction was slightly creeped-out amazement; someone else feels this way, leaves her books all over the house, relates the books to what is happening in her life, remembers life events by the books read during that time. It was weird.
For example:

On her bookshelves :
You might not be able to figure out what's going on organizationally, but I have a Rain Man-like capacity to visualize the books, almost title by title, and put my hand on any one within seconds.
On her side of the bed:
On my side, the right side of the bed, is a table heaped with books and magazines and stray papers and catalogues and old bank receipts and who know what else. . . .To me, it shows simply that I am a card-carrying member of the compulsive readers' society.
On multiple books:
By double-booking--keeping one book at home and another in my back pack or glove compartment--I always had something to do while stuck in traffic, stranded in a long long, or as it turned out, sitting by the phone waiting for (someone) to call.
Though of course I tend to have as many as four going at once, upstairs, downstairs, kitchen and purse. She mentions finally being able to not finish a book if it is awful (I couldn't do it until after I was married), the hesitation of lending books, and incompatible book recommendations. All things I always kept to myself as if I had a strange habit that wasn't fit for normal society.

The funniest part was how completely different we are in many other respects. If there are more than three books we have both read I would be surprised. She lives a life very foreign to mine and I'm sure my life would be completely unappealing to her. Yet if we were to meet, at least we could ask each other about our reading habits and connect.

So Many Books, So Little Time. Sara Nelson. G.P. Putnam's Sons. 2003