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Balancing the Books

Years ago, one of my friends set up three to-be-read piles in his apartment — fiction, non-fiction, and classics.  He read in order, taking the top book on each pile, alternating between the three piles, always adding new books to the bottom.

Me?  I pretty much smash-and-grab.

I have a *lot* of books on my to-be-read shelf.  And more on my wish list.  And even more that are on the bookshelves scattered through our house — books that belonged to Mark and that look inviting, if I ever find the time to get to them.

Alas, I read relatively slowly.  And when I’m busy (socially or with work or whatever), the only reading time I have is the 15 minutes or so before I fall asleep each night.  I’m gradually coming to accept that I’ll never read all the to-be-read books in my life.  (I’m having a much harder time accepting that than I am, say, accepting that I’ll never win a medal at the Olympics…)


Given the general craziness in Klaskyville for the past few months, I’ve been reading mostly “candy” — contemporary romance, YA, light literary novels.  But last week, during Staycation, I decided I was up for something with a bit more meat.  I pulled up a book I’ve been meaning to get to for over a year — Hilary Mantel’s BRING UP THE BODIES (the second volume in her chronicle of Thomas Cromwell’s life.)

I am *loving* it.  I’m loving the language — both what she says (and what she doesn’t) and how she says it.  I’m loving the characterization, which is accomplished with such an economy of language that I’m astonished.  I’m loving the history, at least viewed through Mantel’s lens.

I’ve been holding off on “thought” books, on “literary” books, on “hard” books, because I’ve been juggling so much.  But maybe, just maybe, I was making a mistake.

How about you?  What types of books do you turn to when life is chaotic?

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2014 03:19 pm (UTC)
Definitely "candy." Contemporary romance, humorous anything I can find, or sometimes long awaited books in a favorite series. (I'm currently reading the newest Jim Butcher Harry Dresden book. Like intense dark chocolate. With nuts.)

If things are really crazed, I may even reread an old fav, since it takes less mental energy, although then I really feel guilty about my teetering TBR pile.

I read in the morning with breakfast and at night right before sleep, and often have two different books going at a time, one for each slot. Right now my nighttime book is a reread of a fav author whose books are like what I am writing right now. Inspiration and getting in the zone.
Jun. 4th, 2014 03:42 pm (UTC)
See, me? I almost never re-read books...

Although I was just thinking the other day that I might pick up The Lord of the Rings. I don't think I've read it since college!

(And I can *never* read anyone writing in the same genre that I am currently writing. That way lies madness :-) )
Jun. 4th, 2014 04:09 pm (UTC)
Anymore my answer tends to be "audiobooks". Mostly because I can do something else at the same time (knit/sew/etc). I'm finding it takes a lot for my concentration to stay on a book anymore and mostly what I am ACTUALLY reading (as opposed to listening to) is eroticia. It makes me sad because there are so many books I WANT to read but I find myself reading a couple of pages and then putting the book down. :(
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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