Tuesday, January 04, 2011
In the Company of Books: Dusty Progress
I stared at the stack.
Nadine Gordimer's A World of Strangers, R. F. Delderfield's Theirs Was the Kingdom, George Meredith's The Amazing Marriage, Barry Unsworth's Sacred Hunger, Yiyun Li's Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, and Helen Vendler's Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems and Comentaries.
Only six books.
But you know it simply gets ridiculous. Why do I need to read six books at once?
This weekend I decided to change my ways. I was convinced I could schedule two big books this week, balancing Barry Unsworth's Booker-winner novel, Sacred Hunger, with the pop saga, Theirs Was the Kingdom. I would finish the 798-page Delderfield by, say, today? And then continue with Unsworth's 630-page historical epic and finish it by Saturday?
Uh huh. Just like the time I read Don Quixote in a weekend for my Renaissance literature class. I got through 500 of 1,000 pages.
Don Quixote is a splendid book, and maybe I should reread it this year. But brevity is the soul of wit when you're a full-time student and part-time worker. Yes, I hid books in an empty garbage bag on my janitor cart and studied in a congenial professor's office--he was much interested in my dusty progress--after I'd swept the floors and cleaned the blackboards.
Well, back to now. I read the Delderfield most of yesterday but didn't have the stamina to continue today. I had to breathe, read part of a classic. So I picked up Middlemarch, a novel I love.
This afternoon I had to go shopping, so I read Nadine Gordimer on the bus.
So that's four books I'm reading this week--yes, I've started Unsworth's book--and Middlemarch isn't even on my list.
Perhaps this is why bloggers participate in challenges? So they'll have a plan?
A schedule is a nice idea, but I'm not in school now. It IS fun to look at my list. I hope I'll get through some of these this month.
P.S. My husband panicked when he saw the copy of Yiyun Li's short stories. I borrowed it from the library.
I'll hide any books I buy for the next two months.
Posted by Frisbee at 8:02 PM