Ugh, you guys? I have a confession to make: I'm not reading enough.
I mean, outside of work. I'm reading plenty during the course of my Bleak House duties, and I love every minute of it (I especially love the read after the revision stage, discovering all of the amazing, elegant ways my authors have come up with to address the concerns I raised in editorial talks). I read every book we publish (obvs, right?), and I read several possible-for-Bleak-House books, and sometimes some partials, too.
But non-Bleak House, non-paycheck reading has, for me, lately fallen by the wayside. And, I mean, I guess that's ok. Life is cyclical, and in the past few months some of my other interests have moved more to the foreground, while reading has fallen a bit behind. I'm knitting quite a bit more these days. I'm out of the house at derby practice or meetings or forums or workouts several times per week. I'm devoutly dedicating one hour of every Friday night to Battlestar Galactica (let's not even TALK about what will happen to me three episodes from now, when it's [sob] over [keening]). And before bed each night, I've been working my way through all my seasons of Star Trek: TNG dvs (except the elusive Season Six, which I have yet to own).
In the meantime, though, while these interests cycle forward, the hours I like to spend in a beam of sunlight on a Sunday afternoon with a good book are less available to me. And my TBR pile (or my HTR pile -- my Halfway Through Reading pile) is growing. A lot. I worry that the books I have on my bookshelves now stand at a 60/40 ratio -- 60% waiting to be read or finished, and only 40% complete and beloved.
And then there's the nonfiction. Personally, I have a hard time reading nonfiction. I find value in it and love to learn from it, but I have to gear myself up for the experience. So it takes me for-EV-ah to finish. Like Mikal Gilmore's Shot in the Heart. Like Derek Jensen's The Culture of Make Believe. Like Peter Singer's Practical Ethics. Like Leslie Cannold's The Abortion Myth.
And there are the Big Books Everyone Talks About which I have yet to finish. Like David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest.
Then there are the books that were gifts, and which I am so excited to read but haven't made time for. Like Maxwell Bodenheim's Naked on Roller Skates (thanks, Tasha!). Like Jason Lutes's Berlin, books 1 and 2 (thanks, Sisterbot Beth!). Like Peter Pan (I know, it's embarassing to me that I haven't actually *read* this book, as the story of Peter Pan is pretty much my favorite thing ever).
In any case, there's a lot of material on my bookshelf that I'd like to devour. And beyond that, there is a wealth of material not yet on my bookshelf, kept on a mental list, that I'd like to someday explore. And past those borders is the material I don't know about, but that I'm sure I'll want to read once introduced.
But in the meantime, I just cast on for a new sweater. And there's a very, very important bout on Saturday. And have I mentioned about the Battlestar Galactica?! There are so many pursuits to which I'd like to devote my time, and the books I have won't spoil. So I'm saving them for another day -- maybe when it warms up enough to take a blanket outside. I know I'll enjoy them on that day, and until then I have to let go of the guilt of the TBR/HTR piles. There's no earthly way I can do everything I'd like to do in a day, so I'm gonna just enjoy what I've chosen and not feel guilty about making the choice.
p.s. I'm planning a possible super-secret-best-friend surprise, which may involve a long car trip, coming up soon. If you were to be in a long car trip situation, might you bring a book on tape? Which one?!