Friday, March 23, 2007

Dreaming about reading

My brain has concocted a new anxiety template. I now dream I'm reading the books I can't manage to get around to while I'm awake. Last night it was The Translation of Dr. Apelles.

I took the new Jonathan Raban, unread, back to the library yesterday. Someday. . .

Sunday while S. was with his Spanish tutor, I made a quick walk-though at the bookstore across the street. I had to talk myself out of purchasing Kurt Andersen's Heyday, one of the newest additions to my wishlist: no new books for a couple of months, remember? I came home, placed a hold on it at the library, then, for good measure, placed holds on all the books being published in May or June that I'd been enticing myself with thoughts of blowing all my gift cards and coupons on: why not save the coupons until fall?


The Assault on Reason.

The Shadow Catcher.

The Yiddish Policeman's Union.

The Pesthouse.

But I haven't read the stack of books I got for my birthday last fall. Nor have I read a single one of the books I got for Christmas. The neat stack of classics on the dining room table has disassembled into a messy pile of neglect.

Heyday was waiting for me at the library yesterday. I should read Lady Susan first. I'll continue on with Emma, but slowly since Heyday is 620 pages.

I want to read The Violent Bear It Away now that I've reacquainted myself with Wise Blood. I want to read Doctor Faustus before we see the play. I want to participate in Carl's Fantasy Challenge.

I want to read at least 20 other books before the next wave of library holds comes in but I know I won't have the time.

The game is fixed and yet I continue to play.

I just need to stop dreaming about it.


  1. You have better will power than I do. I can relate to your comment about not yet having gotten to the books you received for your birthday and Christmas. I finally read a book my husband gave me for Christmas in 2005 recently. What I need to do is pull myself away from this computer right now and get in some reading. :-)

  2. It's hard. Without the computer, we could get more reading done. But without the computer, how could we effortlessly learn about all the books we want to read?

  3. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Wow, dreaming about the books you aren't reading. That's pretty bad. I think I am getting close to that as well. Too many books! I am conflicted between admiring your willpower in saving your giftcards and thinking you absolutely crazy :-D

  4. Dreaming about books is scary...but I guess it's better than dreaming about the 9-5 job.

  5. I still dream about having to take an exam for a class I didn't realize I was registered for. And having to teach a class that I'm not prepared for.

    I'm sooo much happier when I don't dream.

  6. Susan, your posting is so interesting, because I've been dreaming about the stories I am not WRITING.
    The other night I had such a vivid dream, I SAW the transcript, it was right there, I was reading it. And the story ended with the main character saying, "That's called winning."
    That is the ONLY thing I could remember the next day, ALL day as I wracked my brain trying to recall more.
    I too, have a stack of unread books. And I keep buying them.
    I have a stack of unwritten stories, and I keep thinking, and dreaming, of them.

  7. Now THAT is a dream I'd like to have, Cip--one that would inspire me to do what I'm currently not doing, instead of feeling anxious about something I am already.

  8. Anonymous7:59 PM

    The thing about buying books or checking them out from the library--it makes me feel like I need to hurry and then the reality is I feel like I am actually really I also have not read a single book I received at Christmas. I was just thinking about that today. I am at least trying to not go crazy putting holds on library books. As a matter of fact I am trying hard not to think about new books that are coming out....

  9. I envy your being able to hear Haven Kimmel read. I just read The Solace of Leaving Early. It is the kind of book that makes you want to know more about the writer.


A bang, not a whimper

  Two months into L.'s retirement, and I'm finished with the stockpiling of books. No more book purchases! Or at least, no purcha...